Middle East Anthropologist to Discuss Gender, Religion, and Human Rights at Denison
Posted: September 25, 2006
Columbia University anthropologist Lila Abu-Lughod will deliver a convocation lecture titled "The Debate on Gender, Religion, and Human Rights: Questions from a Middle East Anthropologist" at 4:30 p.m. on Thursday (Oct. 5) in the Burton Morgan Lecture Hall on the Denison University campus.
Abu-Lughod's studies of gender identity, national pedagogy, class politics, and religious identity have led her to reflect on the theoretical and methodological questions of the cultural production of nations. "It is just as unhelpful to reduce the complex politics, social dynamics, and diversity of lives in the U.S. to Christianity as it is to reduce these things to Islam in other regions. We should ask not how Muslim societies are distinguished from 'our own' but how intertwined they are, historically and in the present, economically, politically, and culturally," she says.
Abu-Lughod has worked on women's issues in the Middle East for more than 20 years and is one of the most respected scholars in the field of Middle Eastern studies. Prominent titles that she has written include: "Writing Women's Words: Bedouin Stories"; "Remaking Women: Feminism and Modernity in the Middle East"; and "Dramas of Nationhood: The Politics of Television in Egypt."
After earning her doctorate from Harvard University in 1984, Abu-Lughod spent two and a half years living with the Baladi tribe of Egyptian Bedouins. The daughter of a well-known Palestinian intellectual, Ibrahim Abu-Lughod, and Janet Abu-Lughod, a well-established anthropologist, she challenges Westerners' assumptions about the lives of Islamic women.
Currently, Abu-Lughod is studying the questions of national identification, violent disruption, and memory within the Palestinian experience of the 1948 war.
The Laura C. Harris "Gendered Borders" Program, Women's Studies Program, and the Department of Sociology/Anthropology are sponsoring this event.
CALENDAR LISTING: Denison University, Granville -- Convocation by anthropologist Lila Abu-Lughod; 4:30 p.m. Thursday (Oct. 5), Burton Morgan Lecture Hall. Free and open to the public. Contact 740-587-6297 to confirm information.
Denison University, founded in 1831, is an independent, residential liberal arts institution located in Granville, Ohio. A highly selective college enrolling 2,100 full-time undergraduate students from all 50 states and dozens of foreign countries, Denison is a place where innovative faculty and motivated students collaborate in rigorous scholarship, civic engagement and the cultivation of independent thinking.
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