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Lisa Moore Interim, Director 2505 University Avenue, A4900, Burdine Hall 536, Austin Texas 78712 • 512-471-5765

Mounira Charrad

Core Faculty Ph.D., Harvard

Associate Professor
Mounira Charrad

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Biography

Mounira (Maya) Charrad received her Ph.D. from Harvard University and her undergraduate degree from the Sorbonne in Paris. Her research has centered on state formation, colonialism, law, citizenship, kinship and women’s rights. More specifically, she has considered strategies of state building in kin-based societies and how struggles over state power shaped the expansion or curtailment of women's rights. She is currently studying conceptions of modernity in legal discourses in the Middle East. Challenging explanations of politics based on a textual approach to religion, she offers instead a focus on social solidarities and where they are grounded (kinship, ethnicity, or other).  Her work has been translated into French and Arabic, and featured on websites and in the media. Her research has been funded by several grants including the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Mellon Foundation, the American Association of University Women, and the American Institute of Maghribi Studies

Her book, States and Women's Rights: The Making of Postcolonial Tunisia, Algeria and Morocco(University of California Press,2001), won the following awards:

  • Distinguished Scholarly Book Award, American Sociological Association.
  • Best Book on Politics and History Greenstone Award, American Political Science Association.
  • Distinguished Contribution to Scholarship Award. Outstanding Book in Political Sociology, American Sociological Association, Section on Political Sociology.
  • Outstanding Scholarly Book in Any Field Hamilton Award, University of Texas at Austin.
  • Best First Book in the Field of History Award, Phi Alpha Theta International Honor Society in History, 2002.
  • Best Book in Sociology Komarosvky Award, Honorable Mention, Eastern Sociological Society, 2003.

Professor Charrad teaches courses on Comparative/Historical Methods; Political Sociology; Gender Politics in the Islamic World; The Veil:  History, Culture and Politics; Global Gender Inequality; Gender and Development.

She is affiliated with the Center for European Studies; the Center for Middle East Studies; the Center for Women’s and Gender Studies; the Rapoport Center for Human Rights and Justice; and the Center for Russian, East European, and Eurasian Studies. She also holds a courtesy appointment in the Department of Middle East Studies.

Selected other publications:

Patrimonialism and Imperial Strategy, Mounira M. Charrad and Julia P. Adams, eds., Special Issue of Political Power and Social Theory, forthcoming.

 “Sustained Reforms of Islamic Family Law: Tunisia under Authoritarian Regimes, 1950s to 2010,” Mounira M. Charrad and Hyun Jeong Ha in Family Law and Gender in the Modern Middle East,Adrien Wing and Hisham Kassim (eds.), New York: Cambridge University Press, forthcoming.

 “Central and Local Patrimonialism:  State Building in Kin-Based Societies” in Patrimonial Power in the Modern World, Julia P. Adams and Mounira M. Charrad, eds, Vol. 636 of The Annals, The American Academy of Political and Social Sciences. New York, NY: Sage, forthcoming in 2011.

Patrimonial Power in the Modern World, Julia P. Adams and Mounira M. Charrad, eds, Vol. 636 of The Annals, The American Academy of Political and Social Sciences. New York, NY: Sage, forthcoming in 2011.

“Gender in the Middle East: Islam, States, Agency,” Annual Review of Sociology. Vol 37. Forthcoming 2011.

 “Women’s Agency across Cultures:  Conceptualizing Strengths and Boundaries,” in Women’s Agency:  Silences and Voices, Special issue, Women’s Studies International Forum, Vol. 33 (6), December 2010.

Guest Editor, Women’s Agency: Silences and Voices, Special issue, Women’s Studies International Forum, Vol. 33 (6), December 2010.

“Kinship, Islam or Oil:  Culprits of Gender Inequality?” Politics and Gender (A Journal of the American Political Science Association). Vol. 5 (4), December 2009:  546-553.

“Tunisia at the Forefront of the Arab World:  Two Waves of Gender Legislation.”  Washington and Lee Law Review. Vol. 64 (4), Fall 2007:  1513-27 Revised and Reprinted in Women in the Middle East and North Africa: Agents of Change, edited by Fatima Sadiqi and Moha Ennaji.  New York: Routledge, 2010.

“Contexts, Concepts and Contentions:  Gender Legislation in the Middle East.”  Hawwa: Journal of Women in the Middle East and the Islamic World.  2007. Vol. 5 (1): 55-72.

“Unequal Citizenship:  Issues of Gender Justice in the Middle East and North Africa.”  In Maitrayee Mukhopadhyay, ed.,Gender Justice, Citizenship and Development, Ottawa, Canada:  International Development Research Centre, 2007.

"Becoming a Citizen:  Lineage Versus Individual in Morocco and Tunisia." In Gender and Citizenship in the Middle East, Suad Joseph, ed.  Syracuse, NY:  Syracuse University Press, 2000, pp. 70-87.  

"Policy Shifts:  State, Islam and Gender in Tunisia, 1930s -- 1990s."  In Social Politics, Summer 1997, Vol. 4 (2):  284-319. Expanded as “Continuity or Change:  Family Law and Family Structure in Tunisia.” With Allyson Goeken. In African Families at the Turn of the Twenty-First Century, ed. By Yaw Oheneba-Sakyi and Baffour K. Takyi, Westport, CT:  Praeger, 2006; Revised and reprinted as “Family Law and Ideological Debates in Postcolonial Tunisia.” in Yount, K.M.and H. Rashad (eds.). Family in the Middle East: Ideational Change in Egypt, Iran, and Tunisia: Routledge, 2008.

“Sustained Reforms of Islamic Family Law: Tunisia under Authoritarian Regimes, 1950s to 2010,”  in Family Law and Gender in the Modern Middle East, Adrien Wing and Hisham Kassim (eds.), New York: Cambridge University Press, forthcoming.

Interests

Gender and Women's Rights; Political Sociology; Theory; Colonialism; Development; Comparative-Historical Sociology; Middle East and North Africa.

WGS 340 • Gender Polit In Islamic World

47075 • Fall 2012
Meets TTH 200pm-330pm NOA 1.102
(also listed as ISL 373, MES 341, R S 358, SOC 336G )
show description

Description:

The course is devoted to the study of gender politics in the Islamic world. It is designed to help students gain a better knowledge of the Islamic world and, at the same time, increase their understanding of major sociological concepts such as gender, social organization, culture, and politics. It shows how culture is mediated by politics, resulting in diverse interpretations of the cultural tradition and in different policies with respect to gender. We start by examining the themes and issues that are part of the common denominator of the Islamic tradition. We then consider how the diversity can be explained and what factors contribute to it. The focus is on women’s rights, which have been a key political issue in several countries and internationally.

Texts:

E.W. Fernea, Guests of The Sheik: An Ethnography of an Iraqi Village. Anchor, (GS) 1965.

M. M. Charrad, States and Women’s Rights: The Making of Postcolonial Tunisia, Algeria and

Morocco. Berkeley: Univ of California Press, 2001 (SWR)

Fadela Amara, Breaking the Silence: French Voices from the Ghetto. Berkeley: UC Press 2006 (BTS).

Joni Seager, The Penguin Atlas of Women in the World. 4th ed. Penguin. 2009. (Atlas).

Articles will be placed on Blackboard.

Grading and Requirements:

Students are encouraged to take an active role in discussing readings and raising questions. I expect students to attend class and to complete the assigned readings prior to coming to class.

Exam 1 25%

Exam  2 40%

Exam 3 20%

Team presentation 10%

Class participation 5%

WGS 340 • Gender Polit In Islamic World

47040 • Spring 2012
Meets MWF 1100am-1200pm ENS 109
(also listed as ISL 373, MES 322K, SOC 336G )
show description

Course Description:

The course is devoted to the study of gender politics in the Islamic world.  It shows how culture is mediated by politics, resulting in diverse interpretations of the cultural tradition and in different policies with respect to gender. We start by examining the themes and issues that are part of the common denominator of the Islamic tradition.  We then consider how the diversity can be explained and what factors contribute to it.  The focus is on women's rights, which have been a key political issue in several countries and internationally. The course is designed to help students gain a better knowledge of the Islamic tradition and, at the same time, increase their understanding of major sociological concepts such as gender, social organization, culture, and politics.

Course Requirements and Grading Policy:  

Students are encouraged to take an active role in discussing readings and raising questions.  I expect students to attend class and to complete the assigned readings prior to coming to class.  

Exam 1 30%

Exam 2 30%

Country Report 20%

Team presentation 10%

Class participation 10%  

Text/Readings

M. M. Charrad, States and Women's Rights:  The Making of Postcolonial Tunisia, Algeria and Morocco. Berkeley:  Univ of California Press, 2001.

Mernissi, Fatema. Scheherazade Goes West: Different Cultures, Different Harems. New York: Washington Square Press, 2001.

Fadela Amara, Breaking the Silence:  French Voices from the Ghetto. Berkeley:  UC Press 2006

Articles are listed on relevant weeks on the syllabus.  They will be placed on Blackboard.

Audiovisuals:

Audiovisuals are an integral part of the course and will be covered in the exams.  

WGS 393 • Gender And Development

48915 • Fall 2009
Meets T 600pm-900pm BUR 231
(also listed as MES 381, SOC 395G )
show description

The course is devoted to the study of gender and development from a comparative perspective.  Attention is paid to patterns of gender inequality, state policies relevant to gender, and women’s movements in different countries.  Although our discussions draw on the literature in the West for the purpose of comparison, the emphasis is on gender in the context of social organization, culture and politics in societies in the rest of the world. The topics we explore include the legacy of colonialism on gender debates, the effect of globalization on women’s roles, the place of gender in the redefinition of citizenship and civil society, and the interaction between local/national movements and the international discourse of women’s rights.  Students may choose to focus their own work in the seminar on a given country or on intra-region and international comparisons.

The field of inquiry “Gender and Development” is located at the intersection of development studies and gender studies, both of which can be understood in many different ways.  The concept of development in particular has been used to mean processes ranging from long term macrostructural trajectories to micro level community programs in developing countries. This semester, the theoretical focus is on the intersection between broad sociological processes and gender issues, especially between political processes and gender, and the geographic focus is on the Middle East and Latin America. A major theme of the seminar is that development cannot be understood in economic terms only or even primarily and that the cultural and the political must be included in the concept. 

In the course of discussing substantive issues addressed in each reading, we will consider the methodology used by different authors and compare the advantages and limitations of comparative-historical research, surveys, interviews, participant observation, and other methods in the study of development and gender.  The research proposal (see below) should specify not only the question to be investigated but also the research method.

Course Requirements:  The course meets once a week and attendance is required. The course grade is based upon the following:  Position Papers/Critiques of Readings 10%, Class Presentations 10%, a take home midterm 30 % and a Research Proposal 50% (topic selected after consultation with the instructor). 

Required Texts:

Charrad, Mounira M. States and Women’s Rights:  The Making of Postcolonial Tunisia, Algeria and Morocco, UC Press, 2001.

Myra Marx Ferree and Aila Mari Tripp, Global Feminism:  Transnational Women’s Activism, Organizing, and Human Rights New York U Press, 2006.

Rodriguez, Victoria. Women in Contemporary Mexican Politics, UT Press, 2003.

Seager, Joni:  The Penguin Atlas of Women in the World, Penguin, 2003.

Selected articles photocopied and available for purchase as a course packet at Paradigm (24th street)

Recommended:

  • Visvanathan, Nalini: et. al., eds, The Women, Gender and Development Reader, 2000
  • Htun, Mala. Sex and the State:  Abortion, Divorce, and the Family Under Latin American Dictatorships and Democracies. Cambridge Univ. Press, 2003.
  • World Bank, Gender and Development in the Middle East and North Africa:  Women in the Public Sphere, World Bank Publications, 2004.
  • B. Ehrenreich and A R Hochschild, eds.  Global WomenNannies, Maids and Sex Workers in the New Economy, Metropolitan Books, 2003.
  • R Datta & J Kornberg, eds, Women in Developing Countries:  Assessing Strategies for Empowerment, Lynne Rienner Pub, 2002.
  • Ronald Inglehart and Pippa Norris, Rising Tide:  Gender Equality and Cultural Change around the World,Cambridge U Press, 2003.

Journals to Consult

AJS, ASR, Gender and Society, Theory and Society, Sociological Theory, Social Politics, Women’s Studies International Forum, Signs.

WGS 340 • Gender Polit In Islamic World

47860 • Spring 2009
Meets MW 300pm-430pm PHR 2.114
(also listed as MES 322K, R S 358, SOC 336G )
show description

                       GENDER POLITICS IN THE ISLAMIC WORLD

SPRING 2009

Course Description:   The course is designed to help students gain a better knowledge of the Islamic world and, at the same time, increase their understanding of major sociological concepts such as gender, social organization, culture, and politics.  The course is devoted to the study of gender politics in the Islamic world.  It shows how culture is mediated by politics, resulting in diverse interpretations of the cultural tradition and in different policies with respect to gender. We start by examining the themes and issues that are part of the common denominator of the Islamic tradition.  We then consider how the diversity can be explained and what factors contribute to it.  The focus is on women’s rights, which have been a key political issue in several countries and internationally.

 Course Requirements and Grading Policy:  Students are encouraged to take an active role in discussing readings and raising questions.  I expect students to attend class and to complete the assigned readings prior to coming to class.  Course Requirements include 2 exams, a country report, a team presentation and participation in class discussions. Grading is as follows: Exam no.1:  40%; Exam no.2: 25%; Country Report 15%; Team presentation: 10%; Class participation: 10%. 

Text/Readings:

M. M. Charrad, States and Women’s Rights:  The Making of Postcolonial Tunisia, Algeria and Morocco. Berkeley:  Univ of California Press, 2001 (SWR)

Mernissi, Fatema. Scheherazade Goes West: Different Cultures, Different Harems. New York: Washington Square Press, 2001.

Fadela Amara, Breaking the Silence:  French Voices from the Ghetto. Berkeley:  UC Press 2006

Articles will be placed on Blackboard.

Audiovisuals:

Audiovisuals are an integral part of the course and will be covered in the exams. 

Publications

Patrimonialism and Imperial Strategy, Mounira M. Charrad and Julia P. Adams, eds., Special Issue of Political Power and Social Theory, forthcoming.

 “Sustained Reforms of Islamic Family Law: Tunisia under Authoritarian Regimes, 1950s to 2010,” Mounira M. Charrad and Hyun Jeong Ha in Family Law and Gender in the Modern Middle East,Adrien Wing and Hisham Kassim (eds.), New York: Cambridge University Press, forthcoming.

"Patrimonialism, Past and Present:  An Introduction" Mounira M. Charrad and Julia P. Adams in Patrimonial Power in the Modern World, Julia P. Adams and Mounira M. Charrad, eds., Bol 636 of the Annals, The American Academy of Political and Social Sciences.  New York, NY:  Sage.  July 2011.

“Central and Local Patrimonialism:  State Building in Kin-Based Societies” in Patrimonial Power in the Modern World, Julia P. Adams and Mounira M. Charrad, eds, Vol. 636 of The Annals, The American Academy of Political and Social Sciences. New York, NY: Sage, forthcoming in 2011.

Patrimonial Power in the Modern World, Julia P. Adams and Mounira M. Charrad, eds, Vol. 636 of The Annals, The American Academy of Political and Social Sciences. New York, NY: Sage, forthcoming in 2011.

“Gender in the Middle East: Islam, States, Agency,” Annual Review of Sociology. Vol 37. Forthcoming 2011.

“Women’s Agency across Cultures:  Conceptualizing Strengths and Boundaries,” in Women’s Agency:  Silences and Voices, Special issue, Women’s Studies International Forum, Vol. 33 (6), December 2010.

Guest Editor, Women’s Agency: Silences and Voices, Special issue, Women’s Studies International Forum, Vol. 33 (6), December 2010.

“Kinship, Islam or Oil:  Culprits of Gender Inequality?” Politics and Gender (A Journal of the American Political Science Association). Vol. 5 (4), December 2009: 546-553.

“Tunisia at the Forefront of the Arab World:  Two Waves of Gender Legislation.”  Washington and Lee Law Review. Vol. 64 (4), Fall 2007:  1513-27 Revised and Reprinted in Women in the Middle East and North Africa: Agents of Change, edited by Fatima Sadiqi and Moha Ennaji.  New York: Routledge, 2010.

Charrad, M. (2007, September) Contexts, Concepts and Contentions: Gender Legislation in the Middle East. Hawwa: Journal of Women in the Middle East and the Islamic World, 5(1), 55-72.

Charrad, Mounira M. (2001) States and Women's Rights: The Making of Postcolonial Tunisia, Algeria and Morocco. Berkeley: University of California Press.

Charrad, M. M. (1997, June) Policy Shifts: State, Islam and Gender in Tunisia, 1930s -- 1990s. Social Politics, 4(2), 284-319. Expanded s "Continuity or Change:  Family Law and Family Structure in Tunisia." with Allyson Goeken. In African Families at the Turn of the Twenty-First Century, ed.by Yaw Oheneba-Sakyi and Baffour K. Takyi. Westort, CT:  Praeger, 2006.  Revised and reprinted as "Family Law and Ideological Debates in Postcolonial Tunisia." in K.M. Yount and H. Rashad, eds. Family in the Middle East: Ideational Change in Egypt, Iran and Tunisia: Routledge, 2008.

Charrad, M. & Pieper, C. (2008, December) The Sociology of Islam: ASA Session Brings Fresh Perspective. Newsletter of the Sociology of Religion Section of the American Sociological Association, 9(2), 5-8.

Patrimonial States in Early Modern Europe and in the Contemporary Era: Similarities? Essay on the Familial State by J. Adams.  Poltiical Power and Social Theory.  2008. Vol 19: 243-251.

Charrad, M. (2007, September) Teaching Comparative and Historical Sociology: Challenges and New Directions. Trajectories, Newsletter of the Comparative and Historical Sociology Section of the American Sociological Association, 19(1).

Charrad, M. (2007) Unequal Citizenship: Issues of Gender Justice in the Middle East and North Africa. In M. Mukhopadhyay (Ed.), Gender Justice, Citizenship and Development. Ottawa, Canada: International Development Research Centre.

Charrad, M. (2006, September) Waves of Comparative and Historical Sociology, Essay on Remaking Modernity. International Journal of Comparative Sociology, 47(5), 351-358.

Charrad, M. & Goeken, A. (2006) Continuity or Change: Family Law and Family Structure in Tunisia. In Y. Oheneba-Sakyi & B.K. Takyi (Eds.), African Families at the Turn of the Twenty-First Century. Westport, CT: Praeger.

Charrad, M. (2006, March) Rulers and Families, Review essay on The Familial State: Ruling Families and Merchant Capitalism in Early Modern Europe. Comparative and Historical Sociology Section Newsletter 17(2).

Charrad, M. (2005, December) Broadening the Discourse: States in Kin-based Societies. Political Sociology: States, Power, and Societies, 12(1), 8-9.

Charrad, M. (2004, September) Code of Personal Status, Tunisia. Encyclopedia of the Modern Middle East and North Africa, 4 vols. 2d ed., Philip Mattar ed., Macmillan Reference USA, 2230-2231.

Charrad, M. (2003, March) Why study Colonialism?. Comparative and Historical Sociology, 15(1), 18-21.

"State and Gender in the Maghrib." In Women and Power in the Middle East, Suad Joseph and Susan Slyomovics, eds., Philadelphia:  University of Pennsylvania Press, 2001, pp. 61-71. Revised and Updated.  Initially published In Middle East Report, March-April, 1990, pp. 19-24.

Charrad, M. (2000) Becoming a Citizen: Lineage Versus Individual in Morocco and Tunisia. In S. Joseph (Ed.), Gender and Citizenship in the Middle East (pp.70-87). Syracuse, NY: Syracuse University Press.

Charrad, M. (1999, June) Bringing in Tribe: Beyond a State/Class Paradigm. Comparative and Historical Sociology, 11(3), 1-3.

Charrad, M. (1998) Cultural Diversity Within Islam: Veils and Laws in Tunisia. In H. Bodman & N. Tohidi (Eds.), Women in Muslim Societies: Diversity Within Unity (pp.63-79). Boulder, CO: Lynne Rienner.

Charrad, M. (1996) Femmes, Culture et Societe. Casablanca, Morocco: Afrique Orient. Vol. 1.  Femmes, Culture et Famille.

Charrad, M. (1996) Femmes, Culture et Societe. Casablanca, Morocco: Afrique Orient. Vol. 2. Femmes, Pouvoir Politique et Developpement.

Charrad, M., Bourqia, R. & Gallagher, N. (1996) Femmes au Maghreb: Perspectives et Questions. In Femmes, Culture et Societe (pp.9-14). Casablanca, Morocco: Afrique Orient.

Charrad, M. (1995, November) Review of Gender and National Identity: Women and Politics in Muslim Societies. Contemporary Sociology 24(6).

Charrad, M. (1994) Repudiation versus Divorce: Responses to State Policy in Tunisia. In E. Chow & C. Berheide (Eds.), Women, the Family and Policy: A Global Perspective (pp.51-69). State University of New York Press.

Charrad, M. (1987, March) Review of Women and the Family in the Middle East: New Voices of Change. Contemporary Sociology 16(2).

Awards and Achievements

Selected professional and scholarly awards and achievements include:

Council Member (elected), Section on Comparative and Historical Sociology, American Sociological Association, 2011-14.

Editorial Board, Contemporary Sociology, 2011-present.

National Endowment for the Humanities, Faculty Fellowship for Research, Sept 2010-June 2011.

American Institute of Maghrebi Studies, Grant for Field Research in Tunisia, 2009- 2010.

Advisor, Survey of Women’s Rights in the Middle East and North Africa, Freedom House, New York, 2009 and 2004.

Distinguished Service to the Tunisian American Community Ibn Khaldun Award, 2005.  In recognition of “bringing a better understanding of Tunisian society, history, and culture to American universities, students, and educated public.”

Associate Editor, Editorial Board, Sociological Theory, 2006-Present.

Editorial Board, Politics and Gender, 2007-present

International Selection Committee, Middle East Research Competition, Ford Foundation, 2006-08.

Editorial Advisory Board, Journal of Middle East Women’s Studies, 2004-present.

Distinguished Scholarly Book Award, American Sociological Association. 2004.

Best Book on Politics and History Greenstone Award, American Political Science Association. 2003.

Distinguished Contribution to Scholarship Award. Outstanding Book in Political Sociology, American Sociological Association, Section on Political Sociology.

Outstanding Scholarly Book in Any Field Hamilton Award, University of Texas at Austin. 2002.

Best First Book in the Field of History Award, Phi Alpha Theta International Honor Society in History, 2002.

Best Book in Sociology Komarosvky Award, Honorable Mention, Eastern Sociological Society, 2003.

American Sociological Association-National Science Foundation Fund for the Advancement of the Discipline Grant, 2004.

Best Book in Sociology Komarosvky Award, Honorable Mention, Eastern Sociological Society, 2003.

Council Member (elected), Section on Comparative and Historical Sociology, American Sociological Association, December 1999-2003.

Board of Directors, American Institute of Maghribi Studies, 1999- 2003.                                        

Chair (elected), Faculty Advisory Committee (Editorial Board), University of Texas Press, 2006-07.

Honorary Member, Phi Alpha Theta International Honor Society in History, 2002 – present.

International Advisory Board Member, Journal of North African Studies, 1997-present.

 

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