PAPERS Resources

AAR Annual Meeting
Denver, CO
November 17-20, 2018

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Islam, Gender, Women Unit

Statement of Purpose: 

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.

Call for Papers: 

For 2018, we will conduct a workshop session that explores the “state of the field” in the study of women and gender in relation to Islam and Muslim contexts. Our objective is to invite critical reflection on emerging methods, trajectories, and challenges in various subfields of the field including approaches to gender as a category of thought and the “mainstreaming” of its consideration in scholarship on Islam and Muslims. Drawing on pre-circulated papers spanning a broad range of topics and subfields, the session will use each paper to examine how the field of Islam and gender is developing and its relationship to other fields, including Islamic Studies and Religious Studies more broadly.

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 2018) and 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. Topical area is open, as the specificities of each paper will be discussed in the broader context of the field.

Proposals to IGW for this session should:

• Include an abstract of the piece
• Explain clearly how the piece might help to initiate a discussion on development on the field of the study of women and gender in relation to Islam and Muslims
• 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 piece at the workshop

Note: After reviewing proposals, IGW will request from finalists the full text of papers/articles in early March 2018 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 2018.

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. 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 2018.

• Pedagogy
This year, a co-sponsored session with the Islam, Gender, Women Unit and the Teaching Religion Unit will focus on teaching practices, strategies, and challenges in teaching about Islam, gender, and women. The session will be organized around a brief presentation (5-6 minutes) from each session participant of a particular technique, classroom exercise, text, assignment, syllabus, or assessment that they have found effective in their particular institutional setting. These brief presentations will serve as the foundation for subsequent discussion by session attendees seated at small discussion tables, where attendees may share their own pedagogical experiences and tools. Therefore, for this co-sponsored session, IGW and Teaching Religion are not accepting proposals for standard full-length conference papers or for prearranged paper panels. Rather, we invite proposals for presentations (5-6 minutes) that engage specific pedagogical strategies, texts, and tools used in undergraduate classrooms. We welcome proposals from instructors who teach a range of courses (that is, proposals need not be limited to courses in Islamic Studies).

Proposer names are visible to chairs but anonymous to steering committee members
For our review of workshop session proposals, proposals are anonymous to chairs and steering committee members during review, but visible to chairs *and* steering committee members prior to final acceptance or rejection. This is a necessary feature of our review process, since we select promising proposals and review full papers (in draft form) prior to making our final selections. For other session types, proposals are anonymous to chairs and steering committee members until after final acceptance/rejection. For the deliberation process among chairs and steering committee members to select proposals, we have decided to make each other's comments visible to one another in order to encourage conversation amongst us about the proposals and their merits.
ChairSteering Committee