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Muslim Women and the West

The seminar was designed to study aspects of the encounter between Muslim women and the West. It was divided into three parts:

  1. The Western perception characterization and construction of “the Muslim woman”; the historical encounter of European and American travelers, missionaries, journalists, and colonial bureaucrats with Muslim societies and cultures; and the construction of of Muslim women as sexual objects, downtrodden and in need of Western “liberation.” ​
  2. The Muslim response to the challenges posited by these images, the impact of modernization and education, the development of women's liberation movements, and the appropriation of women's issues by the nation-state. Particular attention will be given to Egypt, Indonesia, Turkey, and Iran.
  3. Experiences of Muslim women in the West and their integration/assimilation into the United States and various cultures of Europe, including France, Britain, and Germany; the development of Islamic feminism in the West; as well as Muslim women’s involvement in changing family structures, new forms of media and art, dress and fashion, film and theater, literature and music.

This class (HIST 367) was taught by Yvonne Haddad.

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Yvonne Haddad headshot

Yvonne Haddad

School of Foreign Service