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Workshop: Masculinity Studies in the Muslim Contexts: Approaches and Challenges

04.07.2018 | 09:00 - 13:00

The event has two dates. The second session will be in autumn, we'll keep you updated here!

Dr. Danilo Marino, post-doctoral fellow at the BGSMCS


Dr. Adam Talib (Durham University)


If, as Judith Butler observes, "gender is an identity tenuously constituted in time, instituted in an exterior space through a stylized repetition of acts", then also masculinity is constantly created, recreated and challenged in historically specific contexts and constructed through social interactions. However, as Raewyn Connell pointed out "masculinities are not equivalent to men" but rather they are "the patterns of practice by which people (predominantly men) engage that position in a gender relation", which means that also women have a role in the shaping of masculinities. Most of the masculinities studies try to answer to the question what it is to be a man but very little research have been dealing with the issue of what it is to be a man in a Muslim context. This workshop tries on the one hand to give a theoretical framework on the masculinities studies and, on the other, intends to discuss how these theories can be meaningful as an analytic field of research in a Muslim environment, and this not only from a theoretical point of view but also from an empirical perspective. This means that, on a more practical level, the participants to the workshop will be also asked to interact in the discussion, bring their own insights and explore the implications of masculinities studies in their current research. For this reason, during the second session, which will have a more hands-on format, participants will be asked to give a brief and informal presentation (10 minutes) on how they see their own research within the filter of the masculinities studies.

A list of readings for the first session will be given after the deadline for application. A list of readings for the second session will be given during the first meeting.

Workshop Outline:

This first meeting (July 4) will consist of a general introduction to masculinities studies: their origin, their relation with the feminist studies, the debates around the "relevance" of masculinity as an analytical concept and their adaptation to Muslim cultures and societies. This session will have a more academic format with lectures by both the keynote speaker and the organizer of the workshop. The setting will be informal and interaction and discussion will be fostered during the whole meeting. The participants will be assigned with some introductory readings.

                Also, this first session will feature the participation of Dr. Adam Talib, currently Assistant professor of Arabic literature at Durham University. Dr. Talib, who has been also giving courses on Gender in pre-modern Arabic literature at the American University in Cairo, will focus on the theory and the practice of the masculinities studies in the Muslim context from his own experience as expert of the classical Arabic tradition and as literary translator of modern Arabic fiction. Moreover, Dr. Talib's participation to this workshop is also important in view of his current research project where he is more directly tackling issues related to gender, masculinity, identity, violence and sexuality. 

                The second meeting will begin with the presentation every student has prepared. Then a general discussion of the different contributions and the assignment readings will be held. Crucial questions already partially introduced in the first session will be raised again such as the male experience and the identity existence of dominant and subordinated masculinities, the relation between age and gender, the ways in which masculine identities are constructed within homosocial environments, homosexuality and masculinity, competing forms of masculinities, male political agency, marginality, violence, the performative nature of the masculine vs feminine opposition and sexual inequality and the notion of acceptable masculine body and behavior. All these issues will be also treated within an Islamic perspective.


Draft Programme of the first session:

- Presentation of the workshop (Dr. Marino)

- Introduction to gender theories and masculinity studies (Dr. Marino)

- Gender and masculinity in Islamic studies (Dr. Marino and Dr. Talib)

- Theory and practice of gender and masculinities studies (Dr. Talib)

- Case studies (Dr. Talib)

- General discussion and presentation of the assignments (Dr. Marino)

For any queries or questions, please contact: Marino@bgsmcs.fu-berlin.de

Zeit & Ort

04.07.2018 | 09:00 - 13:00

Berlin Graduate School Muslim Cultures and Societies
Altensteinstr. 48
14195 Berlin