The purpose of this course is twofold: It is a course that allows students an in-depth look at the diverse women who represent a number of cultures in the Arab world in nations from the Mashrek to the Maghreb. The second primary goal of the course is to study such women through the eyes of leading Arab women theorists who have made an impact not only in their own countries, but also on disciplines intersecting with women's studies worldwide. We will study the Arab woman's place in her respective society, in political and economic systems, in education, and in the family. We will also analyze her contributions to art and literature as well as to the sciences. The course will provide an overview of the Arab woman throughout history, from her origins to her place within recent movements within the Arab Spring and other current world events. As Arab women are Muslim, Christian, and Jewish, views of women within these major world religions will also be taken into account as we study the Arab woman as well as religion's impact on culture in the Middle East and in the Maghreb in particular. In the course, we will utilize theoretical texts, but also case studies as well as examples from media and the arts. During the semester, we will take advantage of teleconferencing opportunities between CWRU and two major academic units for Women's Studies in the Arab world: The Institute for Women's Studies in the Arab World (IWSAW) in Beirut, Lebanon, and the University of Jordan's Center for Women's Studies in Amman.
Offered as FRCH 337, FRCH 437, ARAB 337, ETHS 337 and WGST 337.