Struggles over gender roles and rights have been prominent in the Middle East and North Africa since the 19th century and continue to mark contemporary political and social discourses. Since the colonial period, gender categories and sexualities have been critiqued and negotiated on behalf of empire, the nation, modernity, personal freedom; today debates and struggles over global rights, islamic law, and modernity continue to mark politics. Despite the particularity of ideas and events in the region, a comparative framework helps to overcome exoticization of the region and develop a more acute understanding. The topics of the course include engagement with the discourse of the Exotic Other, the effects of modernity, the role of nationalism and the state, state-society negotiation, islamic formulations, and continously, the question: where does change come from? Issues of the veil and islamic dress the expansion of anti-gay laws, the disciplining of bodies in state and social settings - these issues of gender and sexuality extend the realm of the political into intimate spaces. Assignments include a midterm and a short paper that develops research and analytical skills. The course is 200 level. While background in the study of the Middle East or gender is not necessary, an introductory political science or social science course is required.
Section 601 - SEM
M 0530PM-0830PM

University of Pennsylvania
The Ronald O. Perelman Center for Political Science and Economics
133 S. 36th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104-6215
Phone: (215) 898-7641

Nicholas Sambanis Chair
Alex Weisiger Graduate Chair
Daniel Hopkins Undergraduate Chair