Course Credits: 3
- Fall 2017
The global Islamic revival of the last quarter century has garnered much attention from scholars and the general public, often related to concerns that it threatens women’s progress toward equality. Indeed, Islamic movements are known for emphasizing a return to "traditional" gender norms. Muslim women's clothing in particular has received much scrutiny, especially the veil, which has become a polarizing symbol of Islam. Yet women in many countries are increasingly attracted to Islam. In addition, some Muslim women are involved in movements to advance gender equality and democratization in their countries. There are also important shifts happening with Muslim masculinity. These developments challenge monolithic portrayals of gender in Islam and also force us to rethink long-standing sociological assumptions about women's empowerment and secularization. What do these phenomena tell us about gender, modernity, and globalization? This class will explore these issues through recent scholarly accounts of Muslim women and men in different parts of the world, with emphasis on Asia, Africa, and the Middle East. The comparative focus of this class will highlight broader patterns of Islamic revival and allow us to consider how these case studies speak to theories of gender, social change, and globalization.
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