You are here

Islam, Gender, Women Unit

Call for Proposals

Muslim Feminism, Decoloniality, and Tradition

The 2023 IGW session will be a non-traditional position paper and poster session that aims to engender a conversation about the current state of the field of women and gender in Islamic studies. 

We envision a discussion of the interactions and connections between the following three themes:

  • the study and practice of Muslim and Islamic feminisms,
  • decolonial approaches as they intersect with Islam and gender, 
  • the role of “tradition” and authority in the study of Islam and gender

We invite proposals for (short) position papers (up to 1500 word) that offer formulations of and reflections on one or more of the three themes above. These position papers should not present new research or summaries of existing work, but rather focus on patterns, developments, challenges and questions to facilitate discussion.     

We seek position papers that address any of the intersections of Muslim feminism, decoloniality, the study of Islam, tradition, history, and interpretive possibilities. 

Some questions that may assist in developing the focus of your position paper are:  How do decoloniality and Critical Muslim Studies include considerations of gender? What is the relation between tradition and decoloniality?  How are notions of Islamic tradition constructed, challenged, or deconstructed in the work of contemporary Muslim scholars in different contexts and in other decolonial scholarship? How does the critique of the tradition in Muslim feminist studies relate to decoloniality? How does a decolonial turn toward ‘tradition’ also privilege patriarchy?  

In keeping with our commitment to non-traditional programming, those selected for this session will be asked to offer a short (max. 10 minute) presentation of their position paper (which will be pre-circulated) AND to create a poster to be displayed at the session. The position paper presentations will be followed by a ‘walk about’ to chat to presenters alongside their posters, and followed thereafter by a larger roundtable discussion amongst all attendees of the session.  IGW is not accepting proposals for standard conference papers or for prearranged paper panels. Rather, we solicit position papers on the themes of the CFP that will serve as a basis for a discussion and reflection on the current state of the field.

Please be aware of timeline:

October 1: Panelists will be asked to submit full-draft of position papers

October 15: Position papers will be posted on the AAR website (accessible for registered participants)

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.


Steering Committee Members





Review Process

Proposer names are visible to chairs but anonymous to steering committee members

Review Process Comments

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.