CFP: International Journal of Islamic Architecture (IJIA) Special Issue: “Gender and Architecture in the Islamic World: Restrictions, Reactions, and Actions”

Thematic volume planned for June 1, 2026
Proposal submission deadline: June 15, 2024

Guest Editor: Dr. Gül Kale, Carleton University
In-house editor: Dr. Alex Dika Seggerman, Rutgers University

For the complete CFP, see:

Gender and Architecture in the Islamic World: Restrictions, Reactions, and Actions

Real and imagined spaces are inherently gendered based on widely accepted heteronormative and patriarchal ways of living, thereby affecting how buildings and cities are accessed, used, and experienced. Moreover, spatial practices associated with such heteronormative and gender binary systems impact design ideas that shape the built environment. The imposition of traditional gender roles in architecture from patriarchal and heteronormative views affect urban policy making, architectural education, and decision making in the building and transformation of cities. Even the word ‘architect’ was and still is often gendered both in historical and contemporary perceptions of the society due to the male-dominated professional field despite the involvement and contributions of women in the transformation of the built environment for centuries. Hence, space and gender are intrinsically linked and mutually construct one another. Against these complex yet urgent ongoing questions, this special issue of the International Journal of Islamic Architecture aims to interrogate the relation between gender and architecture focusing on feminist, queer, non-binary, and trans perspectives with an interdisciplinary approach from the past and present. However, in order to have a nuanced understanding of diverse dynamics shaping spaces and spatial practices, contributions will need to have an intersectional approach encompassing race, sexuality, age, disability, class, religion, and ethnicity. Moreover, studies must derive from specific social, cultural, and political contexts and localities to prevent essentialist approaches to Islamic and diasporic communities.
This special issue raises questions around three themes: restrictions, reactions, and actions. On the one hand, while looking at gender history to see the restrictions imposed on various marginalised groups through socio-political structures and institutions, it is crucial to avoid victimising them by also underscoring their reactions, resistance, and attempts to reclaim their rights. On the other hand, it is equally important to show how marginalised and racialized groups took these rejections of heteronormative and patriarchal power dynamics as a starting point to build alternative communities based on their spatial experiences and embodied creative design ideas and practices. The purpose of this threefold approach is to have a well-rounded and nuanced grasp of the role of gender in architecture beyond passive and top-down narratives. 

Some questions one might consider within the Islamic context might include:

· What are the legal policies that impact women, queer, non-binary, and trans people’s spatial actions and urban experiences today and/or in the past?
· Where can we locate architectural movements and alternative participatory practices that initiated real change for women, queer, non-binary, and trans people in specific neighbourhoods or cities?
· What is the impact of women, queer, non-binary, and trans people’s liberation movements in opening and forming new safe spaces?
· What are the real and virtual sites of resistance for women, queer, non-binary, and trans communities, ranging from gathering at small community meetings to occupying the squares?
· How can we rewrite the history of women’s participation in architectural education from an intersectional perspective?
· What can intersections of critical race theory and gender studies offer to reconsider travel literature and representations produced to convey urban narratives?

Editors welcome articles dealing with similar issues related to gender and architecture from an intersectional and interdisciplinary perspective, encompassing a wide variety of areas including, but not limited to, legal history, law, critical race theory, labour history, environmental history, history of emotions, and history of science.

Practitioners, urbanists, art historians, specialists in literary, religious, and gender studies, curators, archivists, librarians, archaeologists, anthropologists, geographers, sociologists, and historians whose work resonates with the topic of this special issue are welcome to contribute discussions that address the critical themes of the journal. Collaboratively authored articles are also welcome. Please send a title and a 400-word abstract to the guest editor, Gül Kale, Carleton University ([email protected]), by June 15, 2024.


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