Zahra Ali

Dec 16, 2019

Women and Gender in Iraq

Between Nation-Building and Fragmentation

Cambridge University Press 2018

purchase at bookshop.org In her powerful new book Women and Gender in Iraq: Between Nation-Building and Fragmentation (Cambridge University Press, 2018), Zahra Ali presents a detailed and fascinating account of Muslim feminist discourses and politics in modern Iraq. Women and Gender in Iraq represents historical anthropology at its best; it combines careful attention to the historical contexts and contingencies that have shaped feminist politics in Iraq with an intimate ethnography of the major actors and conditions that continue to drive the narrative of feminist politics and horizons in the country. In our conversation, we talked about the formations of urban middle class gender politics and women's political activism in Iraq before and after the Ba’th period, "the communilization of the Iraqi political system" and its impact on women political activism in the country, the pressures and fissures generated by transnational networks of social and political activism, the "NGOization of women's activism" in Iraqi Kurdistan, and the importance of this book in relation to the currently unfolding political developments in Iraq. This lucidly written book, in addition to attracting the interest of a range of scholars, will also make a great text for courses on Islam, gender, Middle East politics and history, feminist thought, sociology, and anthropology.
SherAli Tareen is Associate Professor of Religious Studies at Franklin and Marshall College. His research focuses on Muslim intellectual traditions and debates in early modern and modern South Asia. His academic publications are available here. He can be reached at sherali.tareen@fandm.edu. Listener feedback is most welcome.

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SherAli Tareen

SherAli Tareen is Associate Professor of Religious Studies at Franklin and Marshall College. His research focuses on Muslim intellectual traditions and debates in early modern and modern South Asia. His book Defending Muhammad in Modernity (University of Notre Dame Press, 2020) received the American Institute of Pakistan Studies 2020 Book Prize. His other academic publications are available here. He can be reached at sherali.tareen@fandm.edu. Listener feedback is most welcome.

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