1/28/16: Muslim Women, Veiling, and Human Rights

What is Veiling, Sahar Amer
What is Veiling, by Sahar Amer Image: UNC Press

Professor Sahar Amer, University of Sydney
Author of “What is Veiling”

Date:          January 28, 2016
Time:         2:00 pm
Location:  Library Video Theater 2

This talk will focus on several lesser-known aspects of Muslim veiling practices that contribute to the construction of a more balanced and complex understanding of Islamic veiling: Muslim fashion, Muslim beauty pageants, veiled dolls, and progressive interpretations of Islam. Such elements challenge conventional views of Muslim women and remind us that the practice of veiling in Islam is not solely associated with religious convictions or political impositions. Rather, veiling today has become intertwined with global market forces and worldwide economies. By becoming attuned to the multiplicity and complexity of reasons Muslim women veil (or not), we may reconceptualize and expand the very definitions of “choice,” “individuality,” and “human rights.”

Professor Sahar Amer is a specialist in comparative, cross-cultural relations between Arab and Muslim societies and Western cultures from the Middle Ages until today. She has published extensively on gender and sexuality in Arabic and French literature, Franco-Arab and Arab-American postcolonial identities, and Muslim women veiling practices. The main conceptual paradigm underlying her research is the notion of “borders” (cultural, linguistic, historical, and geographic), not as elements of separation and division, but rather as fluid spaces of cultural exchange, adaptation, and collaboration. She is the Chair of the Department of Arabic Language and Cultures at the University of Sydney.

Questions? Contact UConn Literatures, Cultures and Languages

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