Student Master Class with Homa Hoodfar

Student Master Class with Homa Hoodfar

March 9, 2017

12.00pm – 1.00pm (please arrive at 11.45am to register)

Jack Poole Hall, Robert H. Lee Alumni Centre, 6163 University Boulevard

In March 2016, Canadian-Iranian academic Dr. Homa Hoodfar, best known for her research on the role of women in Muslim societies, was arrested in Tehran by Iran’s Revolutionary Guards. She was accused publicly of “dabbling in feminism and security matters” related to the recent election, and in June, after her bail was increased, she was jailed in Tehran’s Evin Prison. There she faced many long interrogation sessions, constant threats of lengthy jail sentences and psychological torture while suffering from deteriorating health. In late September, after months of campaigning and diplomatic maneuvering, she was finally released and returned to Canada.

Please join us on March 9th for a very special presentation with Professor Homa Hoodfar. She will share her story and discuss the reasons why academic freedom remains so important in modern society and why freedom of expression needs to be protected as a global right.

Moderated by Dr. Ayesha Chaudhry, Associate Professor, Institute for Gender, Race, Sexuality and Social Justice, and Associate Professor of Islamic Studies and Gender Studies. Guests are welcome to bring their own lunch. Space is limited.

REGISTRATION LINK: Student Master Class with Homa Hoodfar (faculty and staff welcome – pls identify job title on registration)


Dr. Homa Hoodfar

Homa Hoodfar is Professor of Anthropology at Concordia University, Montreal.  Her primary research and expertise lies in legal and political anthropology. She examines the intersection of political economy;  gender and citizenship rights; women’s formal and informal politics, gender and public sphere  in Muslim contexts. She has extensively field  studied  on empowerment strategies in those communities marginalised by legal constraints particularly in the area of family law and citizenship in Egypt, Iran, Afghanistan, and in Canada’s Muslim community. Professor Hoodfar has also been actively involved in Women Living Under Muslim Laws (WLUML) Network since 1980s.  Her publications include:  Women’s Sport as Politics in Muslim Contexts WLUML (2015); Sexuality in Muslim Contexts: Restrictions and Resistance (edited). London: Zed Books (2012) (with Anissa Helie );   Electoral Politics: Making Quotas work for women   London: WLUML (2011)  (with Mona Tajali).  The Muslim Veil in North America: issues and debates (Edited)  with Sajida Alvi, and Sheila McDonough, Toronto: Canadian Scholars’ Press (2003). Between Marriage and the Market, Berkeley: University of California Press(1997); Development, Change, and Gender in Cairo: A View from the Household. (edited with Diane Singerman) Indiana University Press, and numerous articles based on her different research projects.

Dr. Ayesha S. Chaudhry

Ayesha S. Chaudhry is Associate Professor of Islamic Studies and Gender Studies in the Department of Classical, Near Eastern and Religious Studies and the Institute for Gender, Race, Sexuality and Social Justice at UBC. She completed her Ph.D. at New York University in the Department of Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies. Her research interests include Islamic law, Qur’anic exegesis, and feminist hermeneutics. She is the author of Domestic Violence and the Islamic Tradition: Ethics, Law and the Muslim Discourse on Gender (Oxford University Press). This book explores the relationship of modern Muslims to the inherited Islamic tradition through a study of legal and exegetical discussions of wife-beating in the pre- and post-colonial periods. Currently, she is collaboratively working on a book project on inter-faith feminist hermeneutics, which explores and challenges the limits of feminist interpretations of patriarchal religious texts in the three Abrahamic faiths, called Difficult Texts or Difficult Women?: The Challenge of Scripture to Feminist Readings. She is an Early Career Scholar at the Peter Wall Institute for Advanced Studies and is the recipient of the Research Mentorship award for an interdisciplinary project entitled, “Living Islam Between Text and Practice: A Case Study of Domestic Violence”. She is also developing methods of bridging the academic and community divide by translating her research interests into performance art that might appeal to a wider audience. She is working on a project that explores the meanings of multiple intersecting political discourses surrounding religious women’s sartorial choices. This project is entitled “Cover Story”.