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Critical Feminist Analysis of Formations of Gender and Power in the “Middle East”

6 hour course by Lena Meari (Birzeit University)

  • Schedule: 5, 6 & 7 July (09:00-11:00)
  • Venue: IBEI

This course focuses on how gender analysis, with a focus on critical de-colonial feminist thought, is crucial for understanding the working of power in the region called the “Middle East”. The course begins by interrogating the politics of knowledge production on women and gender by Eurocentric Colonial-Orientalist mainstream feminist scholarship. To adequately study gender beyond the dominant theories that emerged from such scholarship, the course centralizes the theory of intersectionality, or the ways gender is co-constituted with multiple axes of power and oppression. It explores feminist debates about the complex intersections between gender, colonial discourses and practices, neoliberal economies and patriarchal ideologies in specific historical local contexts. Finally, the course discusses feminist debates on the formations of agency and resistance in the region through specific case studies considering women movements and resistance practices.


Lena Meari
Assistant Professor of Anthropology in the Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences and the Institute of Women’s Studies at Birzeit University, Palestine.

She has special interest in the geopolitics of knowledge production; de-colonial feminist theory; revolutionary movements; and decolonizing methodologies. Her research focuses on the formation of revolutionary subjectivity in colonial contexts and the practices of sumud among Palestinian political prisoners. Her publications include “Sumud: A Palestinian Philosophy of Confrontation in Colonial Prisons”, “Re-signifying `Sexual` Colonial Power Techniques: The Experiences of Palestinian Women Political Prisoners”, and the co-edited books “Rethinking Gender in Revolutions and Resistance: Lessons from the Arab World” and “The Politics of Engaged Gender Research in the Arab Region: Feminist Fieldwork and the Production of Knowledge”.