This course is an interdisciplinary introduction to Sufism, the mystical tradition of the Islamic world. The class focuses on the heartland of the Middle East, namely the eastern Arab lands, Turkey and Iran. No prerequisites are required. (Gen. Ed. I)
This course will examine general attitudes about sex and gender roles among people of the Middle East by studying primary sources and scholarly literature relating to sexuality and its place within Middle Eastern societies. The course investigates the cultural landscape of the Middle East before the rise of Islam and inquires how the mix of the new religion together with the prevailing customs of Late Antiquity created a new framework for gendered relations. The course considers debates pertaining to gender roles and sexuality in the medieval and early modern periods, and will probe the changing contours of women?s lives during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.