Arab-Feminist-Muslim-Queer Resistance

The course asks and attempts to answer & the question: How is critical understanding of Arab/Muslim social experiences changed when we put ideas about gender and sexuality at the forefront of the analysis? To illustrate structural forces that influence the lives of Arab and Arab American women, queer and trans people the course centers analysis on experience-based knowledge they have produced. Using a mix of materials, the course problematizes both essentialism and exceptionalism regarding gender and sexuality and calls attention to the intersections of gender and sexuality with race, nationality, and religion when thinking about difference. The course explores how shared oppressions connect Arab and Arab American feminists to women of color/third world feminist movements working for social transformation: rather than prioritizing one liberation struggle over another the course emphasizes the simultaneity of struggles (against sexism, homophobia, racism, Islamophobia, nativism, neocolonialism) by women, queer and trans people “over there” (in the Arab World) and “over here” (in American society).