Spring 2003
Sima Fahid
Women's Studies: 394 A
Class Hours and Location: Tue. & Thur. 2:30-3:45, Bartlett Hall 119
Office Hours and Location: Tue. & Thur. 3:45-4:30, Bartlett Hall 73
Email Hours: 3:45-4:30
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, A midterm, and a final paper (both take home assignments). Class participation will carry a letter grade. 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.


Quizzes, and Class participation 30%, Midterm 35%, Final: 35%


Course Packet: Copycat Print Shop, 37 E. Pleasant st. Amherst.

Jan. 28. History and Geography of the Middle East

Introduction to the Course

A Visit to the Library

Tues. Jan. 30

"Introduction to the Middle East," Encyclopedia of World Cultures," Vol. IX, Africa and the Middle East. First Published, 1995.
Encyclopedia Americana, Video: Orientalism Vol.19, 1996, pp. 71-80

Feb. 4. Orientalism

Feb. 6. Orientalism

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

Feb. 11 Orientalism

Basim Musallam, "Power and Knowledge," Middle East Research & Information Project Feb. 13. Veil and Harem

Video: Women in Islam

Feb. 18, No Class

Feb. 20. Veil and Harem

Anne Norton, "Gender, Sexuality and the Iraq of Our Middle East Report(November-December 1991): 26-28. Imagination," Ella Shohat, "Gender in Hollywood's Orient," (January-February 1990): 40-45. Middle East Report

Feb. 25. Veil and Harem

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

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

Feb. 27. Veil and Harem

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

March 4. Women in Muslim Societies

Yvonne Yazbeck Haddad and Jane I. Smith, "Women in Islam: The mother 0f All Battles," In Arab Women. Between Defiance and Restraint, ed, Suha Sabbagh, 1996, pp. 137-150.

Ramala Khalidi and Judith Tucker, "Women's Rights in the in Arab World," Arab Women, Between Defiance and Restraint, pp. 9-18.

March 6. "De-Essentializing Islam and Muslim Women"

Defining Essentialism

Nayereh Tohidi, "The Issue at Hand," In Women in Muslim Societies, Diversity Within Unity, eds. Herbert L. Bodman and Nayereh Tohidi. Boulder, Colorado: Lynne Rienner, 1998, pp. 277-294.

March 11 "De-Essentializing Islam and Muslim Women"

Camillia Fawzi El-Soth and Judy Mabro, "Introduction," In Muslim Women's Choices, Providence: Berg, 1994, pp.1-32.

March 13, "De-Essentializing Islam and Muslim Women"

Sondra Hale, "Muslim Women's Choices: Religious Belief and Social Reality," In Muslim Women's Choices, pp. 1-3.

Eleanor Doumato, "Am I 'Part of the Problem?'" The Middle East Women's Studies Review, vol. 11, no.2 (June 1996): 11-13.

Midterm Paper

Spring Break

March 25. 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.

March 27. "Women. Islam and the State."
Rise of the State and the Status of Women

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

April 1. "Women. Islam and the State."
Rise of the State and the Status of Women

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.

April 3, 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 Analvzinq 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

April 10, Gender and Sexuality

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

April 15 Gender and Sexuality

Power and Sexuality in the Middle East, pp. 8-25.

April 17. Gender and Sexuality

Power and Sexuality in the Middle East, pp. 26-48.

April 22, 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.

April 24. Women in Lebanon

Suad Joseph, "Elite Strategies for State Building: Women, Family, Religion and the State in Iraq and Lebanon," In Women. Islam and the State, ed.

April 29. Women in Palestine and Israel

Mary N. Layoun, "A Guest at the Wedding: Honor, Memory, and (National) Desire in Michel Khleife's Wedding in Galilee," in Between Women and Nation..., pp. 92-107.

May 1. Women in Sudan, Maghrib, Iraq and Lebanon

Mounira Charrad, "State and Gender in the Maghrib," Middle East Report (March-April 1990): 19-24.

Ellen Gruenbaum, "The Islamist State and Sudanese Women," Middle East Report (November-December 1992): 29-32.

May 6. Women in Turkey

Denize Kandiyoti, "Women and the Turkish State: Political Actors Symbolic Pawns?" in Woman, Nation. State. 1989, pp. 126-149.

May 3. Women in Iran

Parvin Paidar, "Feminism and Islam in Iran," In Gendering the Middle East, Emerging Perspectives, ed. Denize Kandiyoti, Syracuse: Syracuse University Press, 1996.

May 8. Women in Algeria

Susan Slyomovics, "Hassiba Ben Bouali, If you Could See Our Algeria": Women and Public Space in Algeria," in Arab Women, pp. 211-220.

May 13, Final Paper