Examines dominant discourses about the veil and about Muslim women in order to trace the making, trajectory and effects of the so-called “problem” of the veil. Analyzes how the veiling practices of Muslim women have been an object of scrutiny, commentary, disavowal and incitement to discourse ever since 19th century Western travelers began writing about the Muslim women they encountered and the veils that concealed them from their sight. Readings include works by/about late nineteenth and early twentieth century Western Orientalists and missionaries; early male reformers from the Middle East; contemporary Middle Eastern and Western feminists. We will also examine a number of contemporary debates and controversies about the veiling practices of Muslim minorities in the US and Europe (in Germany, Belgium, the Netherlands and France). 0.5 unit or 1 unit. Meets the Critical Perspectives: Global Cultures requirement. (Not offered 2018-19).
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