Near Eastern Languages and Cultures | Seminar on Family, Gender and Crisis of Masculinity in Muslim Central and Southwestern Asia
N695 | 16020 | Nazif Shahrani

04:00P-06:15P T BH 011



The objectives of this seminar are fourfold: First, to examine family
and gender ideals and practices of Muslims within the broader
theoretical context of family and gender studies in anthropology.
Second, to examine the impact of person-centered sovereignty-based
rules of governance in ideologically driven (nationalist, Marxist,
Islamist, secular modernist among others) centralizing colonial,
post-colonial and post-Soviet nation-states of the twentieth century
upon the traditional ideals of mardaanagi/jawaan mardlik (virtuous
manliness) among the subjects of such states in Muslim southwestern
and Central Asia. The effects of state policies and technologies of
power or its failure/collapse and consequent civil/proxy wars,
population displacements, international interventions, and
perpetuation of conditions of subject-hood producing crisis of
masculinity will be also discussed.  In addition to a discussion of
the futuwatnama literature, the course will draw on ethnographic and
literary data from Afghanistan, Iran, Soviet and post-Soviet Central
Asian republics. Third, to introduce students to critical research
issues in the comparative study of family and gender dynamics in
Muslim societies and culture of the Southwestern and Central Asia.
And finally, to explore the intellectual and practical implications of
integrating anthropological and literary approaches to the analysis of
family and gender dynamics with a particular focus on the changing
notions of masculinity in pre-colonial, colonial and post-independence
countries of  Muslim Central and Southwestern Asia.
The first part of the seminar will consist of readings and discussions
of essential theoretical/ background materials, and will include
critical evaluations of a number of case studies about Central Asia
and the Middle East.  The second part will involve discussion of
student project presentations.