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Gender and Sexuality in the Middle East

This course explores social constructions and experiences of gender and sexuality in the Middle East. Drawing on the historical, sociological and anthropological research in the region, the course aims to question the stereotypes about the subordination of Muslim women and men to offer a systematic reading and an analytical discussion of the political, economic and cultural structures that inform femininity and masculinity in the region. The course will start with the examination of women in early Islamic sources, then will move on to nationalist and modernization movements in the 19th and 20th centuries. Gender relations, women’s and men’s lives in contemporary Egypt, Turkey and Iran will be the central part of the course. In this framework, we will pay special attention to Islamist mobilization, family, sexuality, neoliberalism, women’s labor, the experiences of LGBT, and finally women's political role.