ENGL 280B (2016-2017, Fall) Topics in Genre

The Muslim world is perhaps the least understood or most misunderstood part of the world, among Americans. The Muslim world is seen as homogeneous, and the very name Muslim conjures up images of religious fanaticism and terrorism. Muslim women are imagined as burka clad beings living under perpetual suffering and silence inflicted on them by archaic religious and cultural traditions. This course will explore such perceptions from the perspective of writings by Muslim women. There is a longstanding tradition of writing by Muslim women in languages such as Urdu, Arabic, Turkish, Hausa, Swahili, French and English. With a focus on writings in English and some translations, we will discuss writers from Bangladesh, Pakistan, Egypt, Sudan, Senegal, and the USA, in the context of Islam and ideologies such as Orientalism, Islamophobia, and Islamic feminism. Students will gain a good understanding of the ways Muslim women interpret their condition in the context of culture, religion, and gender. Prerequisite: FYW. See English Department website for more details.

Counts Toward Majors: English, Race and Ethnic Studies, Women's and Gender Studies

Counts Toward Concentrations: Africa and the Americas, Africa/African Diaspora, Middle Eastern Studies, Race and Ethnic Studies, Women's and Gender Studies

To find books for this class, please visit the St. Olaf Bookstore.