Sima Fahid
WOST 394 A
Class Hours and Location:Thursday, 2:30-5:15 121 Bartlett
Office Hours: 5:15:-6-00 Office: 73 Bartlett
Email: Sfahid@wost.umass.edu
Phone: 577-0710


The aim of this course is to explore the lives of Middle Eastern women. The emphasis will be on the political, economic, social, cultural and sexual aspects of women's lives and the impact of all these on each other.


Quizzes, class participation, a midterm, and a final paper (both take home assignments). You will be expected to have read thoroughly and thought deeply through assigned materials. Essay assignments will emphasize; (a) reflection on and analysis of the concepts and issues that will be addressed in the class; (b) thoughtful presentation and cogent organization of your ideas; (c) use of clear and detailed examples from your readings to substantiate the abstract concepts you address.

GRADE DISTRIBUTION Quizzes and class participation 30%, Midterm 35%, Final: 35%

Sept. 5

Introduction to the Course A Visit to the Library

Sept. 12 History and Geography of the Middle East

"Introduction to the Middle East," Encyclopedia of World Cultures," Vol. IX, Africa and the Middle East. First Published, 1995.

Encyclopedia Americana, Vol.19, 1996, pp. 71-80

Basim Musallam, "Power and Knowledge, "Middle East Research & Information Proiect (Merip) vol. 9, no. 6 (July-August 1979): 19-26.

Film: Orientalism

Sept. 19. Veil and Harem

Anne Norton, "Gender, Sexuality and the Iraq of Our Imagination," Middle East Report (November-December 1991): 26-28.

Ella Shohat, "Gender In Hollywood's Orient," Middle East Report(January-February 1990): 40-45.

Juan Cole, "Gender, Tradition, and History," in Reconstructing Gender, pp.23-29.

Sept. 26. Veil and Harem

Leila Ahmed, "Western Ethnocentrism and Perceptions of The Harem," Feminist Studies vol. 8, no.3 (Fall 1982} : 521-534.

Arlene Elowe Macleod, "Hegemonic Relations and Gender Resistance: The New Veiling as Accommodating Protest in Cairo," Signs (Spring 1992): 533-557.

Film: Women in Islam

Oct. 24. Rise of the State and the Status of Women

"Women, Islam and the State,"
Rise of the State and the Status of Women

Judith Tucker, "Women and State in 19th Century Egypt, Insurrectionary Women," Middle East Report (January-February 1986): 9-13.

Denize Kandioti, "Women, Islam and the State Middle East Report(November-December 1991): 9-14.

Film: The World of Islam: East and West

Oct. 31. "Women. Islam and the State,"
Rise of the state and the Status of Women

Deniz Kandioti, "Introduction," in Women Islam and the State, Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 1991, pp. 1-21. Deniz Kandiyoti, "Women, Islam, and the State: A Comparative Approach," in Comparing Muslim Societies: Knowledge and the State in a World Civilization. Ed. Juan Cole, pp. 237-260.

Film: The World of Islam: East and West

Nov. 7, Capitalist Development and Subsistence
Production, Integration of Women into the World Market

Susan Tiano, "Gender, Work, and World Capitalism: Third World Women's Role in Development," in Analyzing Gender, A Handbook of Social Science Research, eds. Beth B. Hess and Myra Marx Ferree, pp. 216-243.

Akram Fouad Khater, "'House' to 'Goddess' of the House' : Gender, Class, and Silk in 19th-Century Mount Lebanon," International Journal of the Middle East Studies 28 (1996): 325-348.

Nov.14 Gender and Sexuality

Leila Ahmed, "Arab Culture and Writing Women's Bodies," Feminist lssues vol. 9, no. 1 (Spring 1989): 41-55.

Power and Sexuality in the Middle East, pp. 8-48.

Nov. 21, Women in Lebanon

Joe Stork, "Gender and Civil Society: An Interview with Suad Joseph," in Arab Women, pp. 203-210.

Suad Joseph, "Women Between Nation and State in Lebanon," in Between Women and Nation, Nationalisms, 'Transnational Feminisms and the State, ed. Caren Kaplan, Norma Alarcon, and Minoo Moallem, 1999, pp. 162- 181.

Nov. 28 - No Class

Dec. 5, Women in Iran

Parvin Paidar, "Feminism and Islam in Iran," in Gendering the Middle East. Emerqing Perspectives, ed. Deniz Kandiyoti, Syracuse: Syracuse University Press, 1996, pp. 51-67.

Film: Dark Passages

Dec. 12, Final Paper