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

Faegheh Shirazi

Core Faculty Ph.D., Ohio State University

Professor
Faegheh Shirazi

Contact

Biography

Research

Textiles, dress, gender identity discourse, and material culture in the Middle East; the meanings of veiling; rituals and rites of passage as they relate to material culture

Research Subject Headings: Religion, Gender and Women's Studies

International Research

Regions of Academic Interest: Middle East, Muslim World

Countries of Academic Interest: Iran

WGS 340 • Sacred & Ceremonl Textiles

47860 • Fall 2014
Meets TTH 1230pm-200pm PAR 103
(also listed as ANT 324L, ISL 372, MEL 321, R S 358 )
show description

From the birth to death textiles, clothing, and other material culture affects our daily lives. The communicative power of textiles and other types of material objects reflects both the everyday and ceremonial lives of people in a society. Although this course focuses on textiles and material objects indigenous to the Islamic world, some examples of non-Muslim communities will be included to draw a comparison. An attempt will be made to shed light on the culture of various Islamic societies. The study of the social and historical background of a community is essential for the interpretation of meanings and symbolism associated with textiles and other elements of material objects. Such a study will be combined in the course with topics like ceremonial gatherings; ceremonial textiles; adornment (jewelry, tattoos, body-painting); body modifications (piercing and body-reshaping); and the role of material objects in public and private celebrations. One of the areas which material objects represent relates to practices of rituals, taboos, and rotes of passage in the societies, which can be traced to the pre Islamic era. Muslim communities in Africa, Asia, and the Middle East will be the primary focus of the course, and an attempt will be made to trace the common origins of ritual practices and their representation as a result to of diffusion and contact with other regional practices. Course presentations will be supported by videos, slide show and various material objects.

Texts

Reader packet.

Grading

In Class presentations 15%

Attendance/ & participation 10%

First Exam 35%

Second Exam 40%

WGS 393 • Gend/Cloth/Ident In Muslim Soc

48035 • Fall 2014
Meets TH 200pm-500pm BEN 1.106
(also listed as ANS 391, MEL 380, MES 386, R S 390T )
show description

Course Description: This graduate seminar examines aspects of the cultural and social significance of clothing and gender relationship 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 sexuality and 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.

Texts

Reader packet to be determined.

Grading

Class participation 10%

Two research papers and/or development of proposal (each) 25%

Class presentations and summary assignments 20%

One or two book reviews 20%

WGS 340 • Gender And Art In Muslim World

48005 • Spring 2014
Meets TTH 1230pm-200pm CLA 0.104
(also listed as ANS 372, ISL 373, MEL 321, MES 342, R S 358 )
show description

This course is a survey of the development of Islamic art (inclusive of most expressive, and creative art forms) in the Muslim societies from the earliest to the present time with a focus on gender and contemporary artistic issues. Topics will include: gender and gender identities; art patronage, Orientalism, themes of power; and their influential roles in form and express formation, the dominant artistic traditions before and after 1900, the loss of traditional aesthetics due to Western influence, and the re-emergence of calligraphic art as an expression of “Universal Muslim Identity”, and themes of artistic expressions as it is related to current world events (war, occupation of land, and religious resurgence).

The Discussions incorporate analysis of historical, political, social & economical factors that gave rise to aesthetic changes in the regional cultures.  Selected biographical data on some of the most influential traditional and modern Muslim artists will be discussed, to provide a basis for the appreciation of the artistic works and the important roles played by the artists in regards to the theme of “Gender”, in both the traditional and the contemporary Muslim societies. 

Text: Reader Packets

Requirements: Upper Division Standing

Grading:

Attendance:                              5%

Active Class participation        5%

Short quizzes                           20%

Class Presentation                   20%

First Exam                               25%

Second Exam                          25% 

WGS 340 • Graffiti/Poster Art: Islm Wrld

47760 • Fall 2013
Meets TTH 200pm-330pm PHR 2.114
(also listed as ANT 324L, ISL 373, MES 342, R S 358 )
show description

Too many portrayals of Islamic societies are treated as superficially as the issues involving the hijab and veiling. Among the hip and the fashionable, the religious fronts and political systems in contemporary Muslim societies (particularly in the Middle East and North Africa), a complex and complicated phenomenon has been developing for decades:  the “art of the wall,” namely, graffiti and poster art.

Poster art and graffiti are employed by various groups within the Islamic world to project their ideas through the mediums of photography, video, the film of documentary makers, the paint and ink of professionals, anonymous or amateur designers and artists to record the political and social events within urban areas. Such visual records depicting aspects of everyday life give voice to the people living and working within the Muslim world. An observer can see acts of rebellion as the anonymous young population in Muslim societies experiments with ways to test the limits of freedom. This is done with creativity and often with courage, which may cause concern to the political systems ruling over people whose freedom of speech and action are limited.

In this course, the students are introduced to a common and general principle of Islam, followed by a study of differences in culture and linguistic background of the people in lands of a Muslim majority. The major part of the semester is devoted to analysis and studying graffiti and poster art as it relates to social and political events unfolding. It is expected that the students become interested and learn that the interpretation of today’s Muslim youth through popular culture, expressed in the art and work of talented people manifesting their identities and personal expression about the world around them, provides a valuable access to learning and getting closer to the cultures that may seem strange, illogical, or somewhat hostile to the principles of “Western democracy.” This is an opportunity for us to look at the body and soul of people of ancient civilizations and of a recent troubled history with high hopes for a bright future from the perspective of those from the inside looking out.

Texts:

Reader packets TBD

Grading:

TBD

WGS 340 • Muslim Women In Politics

47787 • Fall 2013
Meets TTH 930am-1100am PAR 301
(also listed as ANT 324L, ISL 372, R S 358 )
show description

There has been a religious resurgence since the 1970s, and Islam has come to play a significant role in the world. Despite the restrictions placed on women by the religious authorities, the most unexpected effect of this religious renaissance is the overwhelming political participation of many Muslim women at different leves in their respective cultures. While a large number of Muslim women are winning elections in many countries, in general, women's rights are still an issue in the Muslim world. Since the beginning of recorded Islamic history, Muslim women with political influence have held political offices and positions of leadership. At the same time, we know that in some Muslim nations the rights of women are limited, and their participation as public servants is almost impossible. In both of these cases, Islam is given as the key rationale for participation or lack of participation of women in their society. Both Quranic and hadith commentators vary as to whether women's political participation is a correct interpretation of religious imperatives.Debate about the religious legitimacy of Muslim women and their participation in politics ae the themes of this course. We will study and discuss the historical developments and debates about both religious and cultural perspectives that affect hte role of Muslim women in politics. We will study important Muslim women who have held or hold important political positions or influential positions in NGOs or as political activists and grassroot leaders. In addition, we will also study issues on gender, ethnicity, culture, and faith that impact Muslim women's political participation and how Muslim women constitute themselves as social and political actors as a result of their interactions within the structural frameworks and political cutlures.

Texts

Readers packets prepared by the instructor

Grading

Attendance  5%

Active participation 10%

4 quizzes (lowest grade dropped) 30%

Exam 1  25%

Exam 2  30%

WGS 340 • Gender And Art In Muslim World

47070 • Fall 2012
Meets TTH 330pm-500pm WAG 420
(also listed as ISL 373, MEL 321, MES 342, R S 358 )
show description

This course is a survey of the development of Islamic art (inclusive of most expressive, and creative art forms) in the Muslim societies from the earliest to the present time with a focus on gender and contemporary artistic issues. Topics will include: gender and gender identities; art patronage, Orientalism, themes of power; and their influential roles in form and express formation, the dominant artistic traditions before and after 1900, the loss of traditional aesthetics due to Western influence, and the re-emergence of calligraphic art as an expression of “Universal Muslim Identity”, and themes of artistic expressions as it is related to current world events (war, occupation of land, and religious resurgence). Discussions incorporate analysis of historical, political, social & economical factors that gave rise to aesthetic changes in the regional cultures. Selected biographical data on some of the most influential traditional & modern Muslim artists will be discussed, to provide a basis for the appreciation of the artistic works and the important roles played by the artists in regards to the theme of “Gender”, in both the traditional & the contemporary Muslim societies.

Text: Reader Packets

Requirements: Upper Division Standing

WGS 340 • Muslim Women In Politics

47050 • Spring 2012
Meets TTH 1230pm-200pm PAR 1
(also listed as ISL 372 )
show description

Course Description

There has been a religious resurgence since the 1970s, and Islam has come to play a significant role in the world.  Despite the restrictions placed on women by the religious authorities, the most unexpected effect of this religious renaissance is the overwhelming political participation of many Muslim women at different levels in their respective cultures.  While a large number of Muslim women are winning elections in many countries, in general, women's rights are still an issue in the Muslim world.

Since the beginning of recorded Islamic history, Muslim women with political influence have held political offices and positions of leadership. At the same time, we know that in some Muslim nations the rights of women are limited, and their participation as public servants is almost impossible. In both of these cases, Islam is given as the key rationale  for participation or lack of participation of women in their society. Both Quranic and hadith commentators vary as to whether women’s political participation is a correct interpretation of religious imperatives.

Debate about the religious legitimacy of Muslim women and their participation in politics are the themes of this course. We will study and discuss the historical developments and debates about both religious and cultural perspectives that affect the role of Muslim women in politics. We will study important Muslim women who have held or hold important political positions or influential positions in NGOs or as political activists and grassroot leaders. In addition, we also will study issues on gender, ethnicity, culture, and faith that impact Muslim women’s political participation and how Muslim women constitute themselves as social and political actors as a result of their interactions within the structural frameworks and political cultures.

 

Texts

Readers Packets prepared by the Instructor

 

Grading & Requirements

Attendance   5%

Active Participation (blackboard/Class)  20%

2 quizzes       20%

Midterm paper         25%

Final paper   30%     

WGS 340 • Sacred And Ceremonial Textiles

46985 • Fall 2011
Meets TTH 330pm-500pm WAG 201
(also listed as ANS 372, ANT 324L, ISL 372, MES 328, R S 358 )
show description

From the birth to death textiles, clothing, and other material culture affects our daily lives. The communicative power of textiles and other types of material objects reflects both the everyday and ceremonial lives of people in a society. Although this course focuses on textiles and material objects indigenous to the Islamic world, some examples of non-Muslim communities will be included to draw a comparison. An attempt will be made to shed light on the culture of various Islamic societies. The study of the social and historical background of a community is essential for the interpretation of meanings and symbolism associated with textiles and other elements of material objects. Such a study will be combined in the course with topics like ceremonial gatherings; ceremonial textiles; adornment (jewelry, tattoos, body-painting); body modifications (piercing and body-reshaping); and the role of material objects in public and private celebrations. Full course description to be provided by the instructor. 

 

Texts

To be provided by instructor. 

 

Grading

To be provided by instructor. 

WGS 340 • Veiling In The Muslim World

47695 • Spring 2011
Meets TTH 1230pm-200pm PAR 1
(also listed as ANS 372, ISL 372, MES 322K, R S 358 )
show description

Veiling In The Muslim World

Whoever has the editing ability for title- please remove the "11-". Not all of us have this as a Topic 11, and it confuses people who look at this course listing through multiple channels.  Thanks, Aubrey

WGS 340 • Gender And Art In Muslim World

47090 • Fall 2010
Meets TTH 330pm-500pm WAG 420
(also listed as ISL 372, MES 322K, R S 358 )
show description

This course is a survey of the development of Islamic art (inclusive of most expressive, and creative art forms) in the Muslim societies from the earliest to the present time with a focus on gender and contemporary artistic issues. Topics will include: gender and gender identities; art patronage, Orientalism, themes of power; and their influential roles in form and express formation, the dominant artistic traditions before and after 1900, the loss of traditional aesthetics due to Western influence, and the re-emergence of calligraphic art as an expression of “Universal Muslim Identity”, and themes of artistic expressions as it is related to current world events (war, occupation of land, and religious resurgence). Discussions incorporate analysis of historical, political, social & economical factors that gave rise to aesthetic changes in the regional cultures. Selected biographical data on some of the most influential traditional & modern Muslim artists will be discussed, to provide a basis for the appreciation of the artistic works and the important roles played by the artists in regards to the theme of “Gender”, in both the traditional & the contemporary Muslim societies. 

Possible Texts:

Readers’ packets

 

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