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Women in Islam - Lecture Series March to July 2012

poster christina von braun_le donjaThe lecture series "Women in Islam" gives interested listeners an understanding of different aspects and opinions of the role of women in Islam. National and international experts will give statements on the status of women in religious and political Islam, Islamic feminism, women's rights, about the lives of Muslim women in Islamic countries and in Europe, especially in Austria.

In the last decade, Islam has shifted, mainly due to the attacks of 9/11 to the center of the public and media's attention. The burqa ban, which has existed for quite some years in some European countries, played a part in that. Countless books have been written about "the" women in Islam, mostly in connection with the veil and the opression of women in Islam. Various experts and non-experts also report almost daily in the media and television broadcasts, with just different opinions. Politicians had already adopted this topic, as shown by election posters in Switzerland and Austria.

But do even "the women" exist as a homogeneous group in Islam? Is Islam the main reason for the favorable treatment of women in Islamic societies? Or does it only play a marginal role and the reasons lie elsewhere? Can we deny women and girls who (want to) wear a headscarf, that right? Can a piece of fabric exacerbate the integration of Muslim women in Europe? And is the veil really just a piece of fabric? Do the honor killings really occur in the name of Islam, or are the reasons rather to find in patriarchal and other intersectional reasons?

These and similar questions will be discussed by the speakers in the context of one-hour lectures. Essential of the lecture series is the rich diversity of different perspectives which allows the opportunity for reflection.

The experts come from Germany, Great Britain, Switzerland and Austria. They deal will this issue in various motives. Each lecture will be followed by an audience discussion. The proposed panel discussion will not be held for the benefit of audience participation.

Free admission to all lectures.

past dates:

Thursday, 28th June 2012: Christina von Braun: "Symbol, Picture, Gender in Judaism, Christianity, Islam" (Presentation: Birgit Sauer:  Political scientist) at NIG II, Neues Institutsgebäude, ground floor, Universitätsstraße 7, 1010 Vienna, 7 p.m., followed by a discussion

The Speaker: Christina von Braun is Cultural theorist, author and filmmaker; Professor of Cultural Studies at Humboldt-University zu Berlin. More than fifty documentary films, numerous books and essays on mind and mentality history. Speaker of the DFG-Research Training Groups, Gender as a category (2006-2012) and the 'Jewish Studies Center Berlin-Brandenburg', Vice President of the Goethe Institute.

Recently published: Verschleierte Wirklichkeit. Die Frau, der Islam und der Westen (together with Bettina Mathes), Berlin 2007. Stille Post. Eine andere Familiengeschichte, Berlin 2007. Mythen des Blutes (together with Christoph Wulf (Hg.)), Frankfurt/M 2007. Das Unbewusste: Krisis und Kapital der Wissenschaft (together with Dorothea Dornhof, Eva Johach (HG.)), Bielefeld 2009. Glauben, Wissen und Geschlecht in den drei Religionen des Buches, Wien 2009. Der Preis des Geldes. Eine Kulturgeschichte, Berlin 2012.

Thursday, 14th June 2012: Nadje Al-Ali: "Beyond Islam: Gender, Politics and War in Iraq" (Presentation: Lise Abid, Islamic scientist and publicist) at the Lecture Hall 28 (HS 28), Main Building of the Universiy of Vienna, stair VII, 1. floor, Dr.-Karl-Lueger-Ring 1, 1010 Vienna, 7 p.m., followed by a discussion. The lecture will be in English.

The Speaker: Nadje Al-Ali is Professor of Gender Studies at the Centre for Gender Studies, at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London. Her main research interests revolve around gender theory; feminist activism; women and gender in the Middle East; transnational migration and diaspora mobilization; war, conflict and reconstruction’ art & cultural studies and food. Her publications include What kind of Liberation? Women and the Occupation of Iraq (2009, University of California Press, co-authored with Nicola Pratt); Women and War in the Middle East: Transnational Perspectives (Zed Books, 2009, co-edited with Nicola Pratt) as well as numerous book chapters and journal articles. Her most recent book (co-edited with Deborah al-Najjar) is entitled We are Iraqis: Aesthetics & Politics in a Time of War (Syracuse University Press).

Thursday, 3rd May 2012: Carla Amina Baghajati: "Changing female role models - Muslim Women and their strategies concerning equal opportunities" (Presentation: Sybille Hamann, freelance journalist and author) at the VHS Ottakring, 2nd floor, Ludo-Hartmann-Platz 7, 1160 Vienna, 7 p.m., followed by a discussion

The Speaker: Carla Amina Baghajati was born 1966 in Mainz/Germany and has been living in Austria since 1987. She is married to Tarafa Baghajati and mother of four children. She is a founding member of  the Initiative of Muslim Austrians (2008 winner of the Democracy Prize Margaret Lupac Foundation for Parliamentarism and Democracy), longtime volunteer media advisor and spokesperson for the Islamic Faith Community, since the elections in 2011 Women's representative, co-founder of the platform Christians and Muslims and Lecturer for the training of future teachers of Islamic religion at the IRPA (Private course for the teaching of Islamic religion at compulsory schools in Vienna).

Thursday, 19th April 2012: Amani Abuzahra: "Muslim women between self- and external perception: Localization of Identities" (Presentation: Lise Abid, Islamic scientist and publicist) at NIG II, Neues Institutsgebäude, ground floor, Universitätsstraße 7, 1010 Vienna, 7 p.m., followed by a discussion

The Speaker: Amani Abuzahra, M.A. studied philosophy at the University of Vienna and Intercultural Studies at the University of Salzburg and is doing her doctoral thesis in the field of intercultural philosophy on the subject: Hybrid Identity. She is a lecturer of philosophy and intercultural education at the high school program for the teaching of Islamic religion in Vienna. Furthermore,  she is the Integration Commissioner of the Islamic Faith Community in Austria and active in adult education.

Friday, 2nd March 2012: Seyran Ates: "Why Islam needs a Sexual Revolution? - What has that to do with Human Rights?" (Presentation: Puja Khoschsorur) at the Uni Campus, Hörsaal D, Altes AKH Vienna, Spitalgasse 4/Hof 10.2., 7.p.m., followed by a discussion

The Speaker: Seyran Ates was born in 1963 in Istanbul and has been living in Germany since 1969. She is author (including The Multicultural Mistake and Islam needs a sexual revolution) and she worked until 2006 as a lawyer. She was a member of the German Conference on Islam and took part in the integration peaks of the federal government. Ates has received numerous awards including the Berlin Women's Award of the Berlin Senate for Economics, Labour and Women (2004), the award for Woman of the Year by the German State Citizens' Association (2005), the Federal Cross of Merit (2007) and the Order of Merit of the City of Berlin (2008).

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