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review of women’s studies

In her keynote address to the Institute of Women’s Studies 2012 conference, Professor Saba Mahmoud (University of California, Berkeley), took the audience on a far-ranging intellectual journey with the aim of re-thinking “the nexus between family law, gender and sectarian conflict.” Beginning with a detailed examination of recent incidents of Coptic-Muslim conflict in Egypt, sparked by interreligious marriage and claims of the abduction and conversion of Coptic women, Mahmoud then analyzed how “the gendered and sexualized dimensions of interreligious conflict… are best understood as a product of the unique paradoxes produced by the simultaneous privatization of sexuality and religion under the modern post- colonial state.” Placing religion-based family law as a component of the modern national project, rather than an archaic remnant of patriarchy, Mahmoud showed that “getting right women’s rights’’ – the title of the 2012 conference – required grappling with complex issues, including “the secular”, which she termed religion’s “Siamese twin.” Read Full Book

by Gender at Work

Saba Mahmood, Rema Hammami, Aruna Rao, Nadera Shalhoub-Kevorkian, Kalyani Menon-Sen and Penny Johnson


Review of Women's Studies: Annual Review of Women's and Gender Studies


May 16, 2012