R S 383 • Gender, Clothing, & Identity in Muslim Society
2:00 PM-5:00 PM
This graduate seminar examines aspects of the cultural and social significance of clothing in contemporary Middle Eastern Muslim and other Muslim communities. Although the main focus of the course is placed upon the Muslim cultures, some examples of non-Muslim communities will be examined for comparative purposes. This course explores such issues as the role of clothing in shaping male and female identities and relations; clothing as an indicator of social status and group affiliation; religious and political forces behind dress codes and clothing restrictions; debates regarding clothing, especially in the light of the Islamic resurgence; and the commercialization of veils and Islamic dress in recent times. Students will be introduced to theoretical approaches to the study of clothing and its functions, such as the various theories on the origins of clothing, and the ways in which they can be applied to Muslim societies.
Class participation 10%; Two research papers and/or development of proposal (each) 25%; Class presentations & summary assignments 20%; One book review 20%
Course packet and other texts to be announced.