AAR Annual Meeting
November 18-21, 2017
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The Islam, Gender, Women (IGW) Unit uses non-traditional programming to address meta-questions of the study of gender and women in relation to Islam and Muslims, to support the mentoring and development of its scholars, and to create resources and scholarly networks to advance the field. The name IGW signals that the study of gender and women is an essential subfield of the larger study of Islam and Muslims while shifting attention away from the “woman question in Islam” and toward the study of gender. Our unit examines the relational formation and subversion of genders, while still taking into account “women” as they are interpellated by complex social and symbolic systems.
IGW brings together scholars at all career stages, including those working outside the academy. It supports scholarly reflexivity in a collaborative and collegial setting, discussing methods/approaches and the professional dimensions of research and teaching in the field. It fosters collective consideration of the aims, evolution, and lacunae of the field as a way to nurture new lines of inquiry. Our non-traditional programming, such as workshops and mentoring/networking sessions, aims to strengthen rather than compete with the work of related program units, prevent the segregation of scholarship on gender and women into one unit, encourage sustained “mainstream” engagement with questions of gender and women, and expand opportunities for collaboration and conversation with and among other units.
In 2017 IGW will conduct a workshop session that explores research methodologies in the study of women and gender in relation to Islam and Muslim contexts. Our objective is to invite critical reflection on the particular methodological concerns, challenges, and responsibilities of conducting research in the field.
In keeping with our commitment to non-traditional programming, the session will be organized as a workshop, with pre-circulated readings (made available for advance reading on the AAR website in fall 2017) and themed discussion tables formed around those readings.
Therefore, IGW is not accepting proposals for standard conference papers or for prearranged paper panels. Rather, we solicit proposals from those who would like an article or chapter length piece of their writing that has already been published or otherwise completed/drafted in full to serve as a basis for one table’s discussion at the session.
Papers should have an identifiable method that can serve as the basis for broader discussion, but need not engage questions of method exclusively or directly. Some possible discussion topics that the papers will help us to examine are: new/emerging methodological directions (historical, textual, ethnographic, theological, etc.); analysis of manuscripts and other pre-modern texts; digital scholarship as it has shaped the study of Islam and gender; interdisciplinarity; normativity; the researcher’s ethical responsibilities; the relationship/position of scholars to their sources, archives, and conversation partners; the role of deconstruction and critique; questions concerning access and consent; approaches to material and visual culture; and methods that move beyond the gender binary.
Proposals to IGW for this session should:
• include an abstract of the piece
• explain clearly how the piece relates to the suggested themes of the call
• indicate the length of the full piece
• indicate its status in the publishing process (if published, details; if under review, where; draft, etc.) and whether it forms part of a larger project
• suggest possible facilitators for discussion of the pieces at the workshop
Note: After reviewing proposals, IGW will request from finalists the full text of papers/articles in early March 2017 before making final selections. Though only work that can be circulated for review is eligible, authors will be able to revise the text before it is posted on the AAR website for participants in September 2017.
Although we have a strong preference for scholars proposing their own work, we are also willing to consider proposals to serve as table facilitator for a discussion of another scholar’s published work. Such proposals should indicate why the work matters for the themes under consideration and what qualifies you to facilitate such a discussion. Should such a proposal be accepted, we would then also encourage the author to attend and participate in the session.
After final selection of the texts, themed tables will be announced broadly, and facilitators for each table will be solicited. Workshop attendees will be asked to sign up for the themed table at which they will participate and will have advance access to the designated text beginning in September 2017.
This year a joint-sponsored session with the Men, Masculinities, and Religions (MMR) and Religion in Europe (RiE) units will examine: Islamophobia, the body, and gendered/racialized policies of the state from a transnational perspective (including, but not limited to, European perspectives). As opposed to a traditional paper/panel setup, the session will be formed around a set of very short (6-7 minute) initial provocations/remarks that will serve as the foundation for subsequent discussion by session attendees seated at small discussion tables.
Therefore, for this joint-sponsored session, IGW, MMR, and RiE are not accepting proposals for standard full-length conference papers or for prearranged paper panels. Rather, we solicit proposals for short remarks that will serve as the basis for small group discussions.
Possible topics for proposals include: state surveillance of Muslim communities; state policies in relation to gender binarization; gendered/sexualized practices of detention or torture; the production and circulation of images/representations of Muslim men as terrorists; headscarf/hijab/burkini controversies and legislation; gendered/sexualized hate crimes in the broader public; the mainstreaming of alt-right and white nationalist political movements and discourses; Muslim vulnerability or acquiescence to, negotiations with, and/or resistance to such discourses and practices; methodologies within the study of Islam, gender/race, the body, and the state; and methodologies for studying the intersections between Islamophobia, gender, femininity, and masculinity. Since this session is co-sponsored by the Religion in Europe unit, proposals addressing European contexts are encouraged.
In our third year as a program unit we will again conduct a co-sponsored mentoring/networking session (in cooperation with the other Islam-related units) for those who study Islam and Muslims. We particularly invite the participation of those who study gender and women in relation to Islam and Muslim contexts. Program unit leadership will organize this session; IGW is not accepting paper/panel proposals for it.