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April 2nd - 4th: Feminism and Authoritarianism in the Middle East

Announcement of Event

Feminism and Authoritarianism in the Middle East
A Workshop in Strategies, Alliances, and Challenges
3-4 April 2014
3 April
@ Persimmon Room

9:30 am Welcome

Maria Bucur-Decard,
Associate Dean for International Programs,
School of Global and International Studies
The College of Arts and Sciences 


Feisal Istrabadi
Director, Center for the Study of the Middle East


Çiğdem Balim
Associate Director, Center for the Study of the Middle East


9:45-10am Introduction  
Nadje Al-Ali



10-10:30 am
Mounira Charrad: "Challenges for Feminists:  Politics and Islam from Authoritarianism to the Arab Spring in Tunisia"

Dalenda Largueche: “Women's associations, the battles of Equality and Parity in post-revolutionary Tunisia” 



Lunch @ IMU Tudor Room. RSVP.



Hania Sholkamy: “The Hegemonic Discourses of Patriarchy in Egypt”

Dina Wahba: "Between two "Revolutions": Changing Feminist Discourses, A personal Reflection"





Ayșe Gül Altınay & Ezgi Koçak

“Love is Organizing:” Feminist and LGBT Readings of Gezi Protests and their Political Background” 


Dinner 7 pm@ Samira restaurant.  Please RSVP

April 4
@ Walnut Room



Nadje Al-Ali: “Divisions and challenges for Iraqi feminists in post-invasion Iraq”

Zahra Ali: “Iraqi women’s rights activism -
dealing with political chaos and sectarian violence in post-Ba’athist Iraq”


Issues for discussion in the afternoon with audience participation (Moderator: Nadje Al-Ali)


1-2:30pm Comparative discussion with the participation of the audience (Facilitator: Ayșe Gül Altınay)


2:45-3:45pm Comparative discussion with the participation of the audience (Facilitator: Mounira Maya Charrad)


4-4:30pm  Future plans (Moderator: Çiğdem Balım)

6:30 – 9 pm Reception/Dinner and Music by Salaam at President’s Room IMU RSVP


Supported by:
Center for the Study of the Middle East, Indiana University; School of Oriental and African Studies, London; the British Council; IU Center for the Study of Global Change; IU Department of Gender Studies; IU Inner Asian and Uralic National Resource Center; IU Institute for European Studies.




Mounira Maya CharradMounira Maya Charrad is Associate Professor of Sociology at the University of Texas in Austin.  A comparative historical sociologist, she has published on a wide range of topics including state formation, law, citizenship, kinship, gender and Islam.  Her book, States and Women's Rights: The Making of Postcolonial Tunisia, Algeria and Morocco (University of California Press, 2001), won several awards, including the Distinguished Book Award from the American Sociological Association, the Best Book on Politics and History Greenstone Award from the American Political Science Association, and the Distinguished Contribution to Scholarship Award from the Political Sociology Section of the American Sociological Association. The book examines strategies of state building in kin-based societies and how struggles over state power shaped the expansion or curtailment of women's rights. She has edited Women’s agency:  Silences and Voices (2010). She has co-edited Patrimonial Power in the Modern World with Julia Adams(2011) and Femmes, Culture et Societe au Maghreb (1996).  She is currently co-editing Patrimonialism, Global History and Imperial Rule with Julia Adams as a special issue of Political Power and Social Theory.  Her articles and book chapters have appeared in major journals and volumes.Her current research considers secularism and women’s activism following the Arab Spring and the rise of Islamist power in Tunisia.  She has been awarded grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Mellon Foundation, the American Association of University Women, and the American Institute of Maghribi Studies.  She has served on the Council of the Comparative Historical Section of the American Sociological Association, and on several editorial boards and book award committees.  She received her undergraduate education from the Sorbonne in Paris and her Ph.D. from Harvard University.


Dalenda Largueche

Dalenda Largueche is Professor of History and Women Studies, at the Faculty of Arts, Letters and Humanities of University La Manouba-Tunis. She is the President & Founder of NGO Association: Nissa Foundation of Culture and Democracy and member of Tunisian Association of Democrat Women (ATFD).
Her publications include: Monogamie en Islam; L’exception kairouanaise, CPU, Tunis (2011); Femmes en Ville dans le monde méditerranéen :Passé et Présent, C.E.R.E.S.&Laboratoire Patrimoine de Tunisie, Pub. du C.E.R.E.S., Tunis (2005);
Territoire sans frontières, La contrebande et ses réseaux dans la Régence de Tunis au XIX siècle, CPU, Tunis(2001); Histoire des femmes du Maghreb : Culture matérielle et Vie   quotidienne, C.P.U., Tunis (2000); Marginales en Terre d’Islam, Cérès, Tunis (1993). She has won Credif’s Prize for the best scientific feminist production in French language for her book: La Contrebande et ses réseaux dans la régence de Tunis au XIXè siècle, Pub. du C.P.U.) (2011) ; Maghreb Union’s Prise for the book L’Histoire du Maghreb à travers ses Sources, Pub. du C.P.U. (2007) ;Credif’s  Prize for the best research on women and gender for the book : Monogamie en Islam, l’exception kairouanaise, Tunis (2011)


Hania Sholkamy

Hania Sholkamy is an Associate Research Professor at the Social Research Center of the American University in Cairo (AUC ) and is also affiliated with the Ministry of Social Solidarity as technical advisor to the minister introducing a conditional cash transfers program to Egypt. Her PhD is from the London School of Economics and Political Sciences, The University of London. She obtained her BA and MA from AUC. Her research interests and publications are mainly in the fields of health, particularly reproductive health, gender, population and qualitative methods. Her publications include Categories and Contexts: Anthropological and Historical Studies in Critical Demography (OUP) with S. Szreter and A. Dharmalingam, and Health and Identity in Egypt (AUC press) with F. Ghanam.
She has been a member of various professional associations including The Reproductive Health Working Group (current), the Committee on Anthropology and Demography of the International Union for the Scientific Study of Population (1998-2002) and the Advisory Committee of the Middle East Awards program of the International Population Council (2002/3). She is also a member of the executive committee of the Institute for Gender and Women’s Studies of the AUC, A fellow of the Economic Research Forum, and a member of the International Faculty of the Arab Gulf University in Bahrain. She is currently regional coordinator of the “Pathways to Women’s Empowerment Research Consortium” in partnership with the Institute of Development Studies at Sussex, UK. She is a contributor to the Egyptian press writing on issues of poverty, social policy and gender.



Dina Wahba

Dina Zakaria Mohamed Wahba is Project Associate at UN Women Egypt, and the co-founder of Iktyar (choice) Feminist Collective for Gender Studies and Research(October 2013), Cairo. She received an M.A in Gender Studies (2012, SOAS) with her dissertation  "Gendering the Egyptian revolution". Her BA is in Political Science (Cairo University). She is the Coordinator of the Gender Academic School; lead researcher in a project entitled “Women’s Political Participation and Voting Patterns in Egypt” funded by the International Peace Institute (IPI). She has been the West Asia Officer for Women Living Under Muslim Laws (WLUML) London, United Kingdom. She has worked at Thomson Reuters Foundation
as Project coordinator, and at the  Arab Women Organization: an intergovernmental organization under the umbrella of the League of Arab States, Cairo; Danish Egyptian Dialogue Institute (DEDI) and Al Ahram Centre for Political and Strategic Studies (ACPSS). She has been an online editor for The Majalla, politics and current affairs magazine about the Middle East, and Media Representative for Core Publications, Cairo.





Ayşe Gül Altınay

Ayşe Gül Altınay is an Associate Professor at Sabancı University, Turkey. She received her Ph.D. in Cultural Anthropology from Duke University. Her research and writing have focused on militarism, nationalism, violence, memory, gender, and sexuality. She is the author of The Myth of the Military-Nation: Militarism, Gender and Education (Palgrave Macmillan, 2004); co-author of Violence Against Women in Turkey: A Nationwide Survey (with Yeşim Arat, Punto, 2009,, işte böyle güzelim... (based on women’s narratives of sexualities, with Hülya Adak, Esin Düzel and Nilgün Bayraktar, Sel, 2008,, and Torunlar (based on Muslim grandchildren’s narratives of their converted Armenian grandparents, with Fethiye Çetin, Metis, 2009, second edition 2010; French translation: Les Petits-enfants, trans. Célin Vuraler, Arles: Actes Sud, 2011; Armenian translation: Torner, trans. Lilit Gasparyan and Tigran Mets Hratarakchatun, Yerevan: Targqnutyun, 2011; English translation: Grandchildren, trans.Maureen Freely, Transaction Publishers, forthcoming); and editor of Vatan, Millet, Kadınlar (Iletişim, 2000, second edition 2004) and Ebru: Reflections on Cultural Diversity in Turkey, a photography projectby Attila Durak(Metis, 2007, Her co-authored book with Yeşim Arat, Türkiye’de Kadına Yönelik Şiddet (Violence Against Women in Turkey) was awarded the 2008 PEN Duygu Asena Award.



Ezgi Koçak Ezgi Koçak has an MA from York University, Canada, in Gender, Feminist and Women’s Studies. Her BA is in Political Science and International Relations (one year in Bonn). Despite her young age, she is a seasoned activist. She is the International Relations Coordinator of Kaos GL, and she is on the Advisory Board of the Young Feminist Activism Program (affiliated to the Association for Women’s Rights in Development (AWID)). She has been the President of the Association for Supporting Women Candidates – Ankara Branch (Ka.Der Ankara); Country coordinator of the European Women’s Lobby (EWL).
Her publications include- “Homophobia in Political Parties’ Programs and Statuses,” KAOS-GL—the journal issued by one of the leading LGBT rights’ organization (Issue 118, May-June 2011); “Stony Roads of Patriarchy: An Evaluation on Ruling Masculine Vocabulary in Political Parties’ Documents,” Amargi–Quarterly Feminist Theory and Politics Journal (Issue 21, Summer 2011); co-author,  Ka.Der Ankara, Reading Political Party’s Documents Through the Lens of Gender. 1st Ed. (Ankara: Mattek Yayıncılık, 2011).





Nadje al-AliNadje Al-Ali is Professor of Gender Studies in the Centre for Gender Studies, at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London. Her main research interests revolve around gender theory; feminist activism; women and gender in the Middle East; transnational migration and diaspora moblization; war, conflict and reconstruction. She has worked in Bosnia, Egypt, Iraq and Jordan as well as the UK and the US.
Her publications include What kind of Liberation? Women and the Occupation of Iraq (2009, University of California Press, co-authored with Nicola Pratt); Women and War in the Middle East: Transnational Perspectives (co-edited with Nicola Pratt; (Zed Books, 2009); Iraqi Women: Untold Stories from 1948 to the Present (2007, Zed Books); New Approaches to Migration (ed., Routledge, 2002, with Khalid Koser); Secularism, Gender and the State in the Middle East (Cambridge University Press 2000) and Gender Writing – Writing Gender (The American University in Cairo Press, 1994) as well as numerous book chapters and journal articles. Her most recent book (co-edited with Deborah al-Najjar) is entitled We are Iraqis: Aesthetics & Politics in a Time of War (Syracuse University Press).
Professor Al-Ali was President of the Association of Middle East Women’s Studies (AMEWS) from 2009-2011, and has been an Associate Director of JMEWS since 2009. Recently, she has been elected to the board of the Middle East Studies Association of North America (MESA). She is also a member of the Feminist Review Collective and a founding member of Act Together: Women’s Action for Iraq and a member of Women in Black UK. Currently she is facilitating the introduction of women and gender studies into Iraqi higher education, while working with Iraqi women’s rights activists in increasing the capacity for evidence based research. Recently she has become President of the SOAS branch of the University and College Union (UCU).

Zahra AliZahra Ali is a PhD Student in Sociology specializing in Women and Gender Studies in relation to Islam and the Middle East at Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales -School of High Social Sciences Studies- of Paris (EHESS) and Institut Français du Proche Orient -French Institute of the Near East- (IFPO-Iraq).  She is at the moment a Visiting Academic at the Centre for Gender Studies of the School of Oriental and African Studies in London (SOAS).
The subject of her PhD dissertation is “The post-2003 Iraqi Women’s Movement: a Women Social History of Contemporary Iraq”. It is based on an ethnographic fieldwork (October 2010-June 2012) within Iraqi Women’s organizations mainly in Baghdad and secondarily in Erbil and Sulaymaniyah (Iraq and Iraqi Kurdistan) that relied on participant observation, 80 semi-structured interviews (life-stories), collection of historical documents, and statistical data. Her publications include « Penser l’émancipation par le religieux : des féminismes islamiques », Penser l’émancipation. Offensives capitalistes et résistances internationales, (Ed.) Hadrien Buclin, Joseph Daher, Christakis Georgiou and Pierre Raboud, Paris, La Dispute, November 2013 ;(with Laurent Bonnefoy) « Retrouver Bagdad. Une jeunesse en quête de normalité », Jeunesses arabes. Du Maroc au Yémen : loisirs, cultures et politiques, (Ed.) Myriam Catusse, Laurent Bonnefoy, Paris, La Découverte, September 2013 ; « Beyond secular/Islamist women’s activism: the post-2003 Iraqi women’s movement », Frontiers, Special Issue on Gendering Faith: Islamist Women Activism, supervised by Muwatin, The Palestinian Institute for the Study of Democracy, and CMI; Chris. Michelsen Institute, Spring 2014.

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