Women’s Studies and transformative politics: an Arab-Muslim perspective

Hanan Mahmud Ibrahim


Feminists from different locations are producing important work on the varied forms of women’s resistance to monolithic and hegemonic stances. They are, as well, increasingly exploring the female identity as informed by dynamics like Islam, culture, ethnicity and class differences. I will argue that there is a compelling need to engage students in the classroom with curricula informed by a scholarly work that journeys through different cultural politics, including Islamist, and explores the specificity of women’s agency in this politics. Teachers' and students’ exposure to the ethnography of diverse women’s struggle can raise consciousness of the indispensable links that women’s issues bear on ethics. In addition, it can nurture Women’s Studies in the academy and further secure its moral credibility especially in locations, including Jordan and the Gulf region, where skepticism about women’s issues persists. The success of Women’s Studies is also conditioned by devising pedagogical approaches in the classroom that transform traditional terms of teacher/student engagement.


Women’s studies; university; academia; feminism; gender; culture; transformative; Islam; Arabs; context; subjectivity; interdisciplinary; Jordan; Arab Gulf

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.18538/lthe.v9.n2.99