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Lecture: “Reading for Gender in Islamic Law” with Saadia Yacoob (Williams College)

February 18, 2021 | 6:00 pm - 7:30 pm


This talk focuses on discussions about consent to marriage in Islamic law, and asks whether gender is a predictable determiner of an individual’s legal status. From the marriage of free individuals to enslaved people and children, Muslim jurists considered a number of social factors in determining whether an individual had the right of consent to marriage. Thinking at the intersection of these different social identities allows us to see that gender was not the primary identity through which social relations were ordered in Islamic law. An intersectional analysis demonstrates that to fully grasp the complex social order imagined and authorized by Muslim jurists, we must think beyond the gender binary.


Saadia Yacoob is Assistant Professor of Religion at Williams College. She holds a PhD from Duke University and an MA from the Institute of Islamic Studies at McGill University. Her research focuses on the construction of gender in early Islamic law, exploring the legal tradition’s normative constructions of maleness and femaleness and the gendered body and the impact of these gendered norms on legal hermeneutics. More broadly, her research interests include the history of Islamic law, Islamic feminism, history of sexuality, feminist epistemology, and legal anthropology.


Zoom registration link.


Organized by Duke Islamic Studies Center, Duke Middle East Studies Center, and Duke AMES Department.


Duke University


February 18, 2021
6:00 pm - 7:30 pm
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