[P4882] Gender struggles and interpretive frameworks: how far can they travel?

Created by Mariz Tadros
Sunday, 11/19/17 3:30pm


In a global conjuncture in which the rise of Trump will undoubtedly mean an intensified attack on women's rights and religious inclusivity, scholarship critiquing the liberal paradigm will undoubtedly assume particular relevance in any academic pushback (such as the work of Talal el Assaad, Saba Mahmoud, Lila Abou el Lughod, Joseph Masaad etc.). While these narratives are important in challenging Western bias and western geopolitical interests past and present, this panel unpacks the genealogy of such constructs and how the historic, political moment in which they arose influences their "traveling" or transcendental power. The panel interrogates the extent to which interpretive frameworks on gender equality and women's agency in the Middle East designed with a Western audience in mind can be useful when they are appropriated as the interpretive lens for analyzing local level gender justice struggles in countries like Egypt and Iraq. The panel highlights some of the epistemological dilemmas that traveling interpretive frameworks entail, in particular with respect to questions of positionality and standpoint. The panellists drawing on both discursive analysis as well as empirical research undertaken in Egypt, Turkey and Iraq critically engage with some of the paradigmatic challenges when such frameworks are applied locally. The four contributions presented in this panel expose a myriad of unintended binaries and reifications when discourses challenging reductionist constructions of women's agency, intended for Western audiences at particular junctures, become appropriated for interpreting the present highly complex localized contexts in the Middle East. The panellists then propose ways of critically engaging with such interpretive frameworks through careful attention to genealogies of discourses, positionality, power analysis and attention to intersectionality of identities.






Sondra Hale

(University of California, Los Angeles)
Panel Participating Role(s): Chair;

Nadje Sadig Al-Ali

(SOAS University of London)
Nadje Al-Ali is Professor of Gender Studies at the Centre for Gender Studies, at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London. Her main research interests revolve around gender theory; feminist activism; women and gender in...
Panel Participating Role(s): Presenter;

Hoda Elsadda

(Cairo University)
Panel Participating Role(s): Presenter;

Mariz Tadros

(Institute od)
Panel Participating Role(s): Organizer; Presenter;