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Gender and the Middle East: Categorical Thinking, Decolonization, Critical Perspectives

6 hour course by Suad Joseph (UC Davis)

  • Schedule: 2, 3 & 4 July (11:15-13:15h)
  • Venue: IBEI

The course will cover such topics as: How does gender become a category of political projects in/for/about/through the Middle East? How does categorical thinking underwrite the political mobilization of gender? How are gender and the Middle East mobilized for national narratives, for global narratives, for colonial/postcolonial narratives, for times of violence/war/resistance/revolution? How do gender and the Middle East travel through media fora, scholarly fora, public imaginations? In what ways is it possible to decolonize such narratives? How do Middle Eastern feminist scholars, in the field, engage and address feminist issues of research and activism on the ground? What are the next generation of questions about gender and the Middle East that must be addressed by feminist scholars and activists?

Suad Joseph
Distinguished Research Professor at the University of California, Davis.

Suad Joseph is the founder and founding president of the Middle East Section of the American Anthropological Association), founder and founding president of the Association for Middle East Women's Studies (AMEWS) and founder/director of the Arab Families Working Group. She founded and directed the University of California Davis Arab Region Consortium. She was president of the Middle East Studies Association of North America in 2010-2011.  She is co-founder and founding president of the Arab American Studies Association and co-founder of the Association for Middle East Anthropology and the Journal of Middle East Women’s Studies. She is General Editor of the prize-winning Encyclopedia of Women and Islamic Cultures. She has edited or co-edited 12 books, and published over 100 articles in journals and books, most recently Reporting Islam: Muslim Women in the New York Times, 1979-2011 (2023); Handbook of Middle East Women (2023); The Politics of Engaged Gender Research in the Arab Region: Feminist Fieldwork and the Production of Knowledge (2021); the award-winning Arab American Women: Representation and Refusal (2021). She is the founder and founding director of the Middle East/South Asia Studies Program at UC Davis; co-founder of the UCD Feminist Research Institute. She was awarded the UC Davis Prize – the largest undergraduate teaching and research prize in the United States; the Middle East Studies Association Jere L. Bacharach Lifetime Service Award in 2019; the Association for Middle East Women’s Studies and the Arab American Studies Association lifetime service awards. Her research on her native Lebanon focuses on gender and citizenship, the state, family, children and youth, trauma, and the cultural politics of selfhood. She currently PI’s multi-university collaborative projects on gendering STEM education, refugee mental health, and mapping the production of knowledge on women and gender in the Arab region.