Feminism in Crisis? Gender and the Arab Public Sphere


Carmen Geha, Assistant Professor of Public Administration

Sara Mourad, Assistant Professor of Media Studies

Rim Saab, Assistant Professor of Social Psychology


Conference Overview

The Arab public sphere is characterized by a patriarchal logic that ignores, sidelines, and violates women’s interests, needs, and rights. In government, public institutions, social movements, and the media, the exclusion of women from public life has had historical and ongoing repercussions on their economic, political, and symbolic status in society. Since the beginning of the popular uprisings in 2011 and the subsequent civil and regional wars, women in the Arab world have become a renewed subject of knowledge production and policy debates. International non-governmental organizations and civil society organizations have acknowledged and addressed the particular experiences and challenges of women in times of revolution, war, and displacement. Governments across the region have passed new legislations addressing domestic violence, sexual harassment, and personal status laws. In the midst of the geopolitical crises sweeping the region, and between state-feminism’s lip service to women’s rights on one hand and the NGOization of activism and political participation on the other, this interdisciplinary academic conference asks: what can feminism accomplish? Contributions will address this question in the context of the following four streams: 1) Civil society, social movements, and collective action 2) Political economy, electoral and public institutions 3) Media, representation, and creative practices 4) War, conflict, and displacement.


Call for Submissions

We invite theoretical and empirical submissions from scholars from a wide range of fields and disciplines that apply a feminist and intersectional lens to the study of violence, inequality, and injustice in societies in the Arab region and their diasporas. We are interested in a variety of topics including gender roles and identities, women’s rights and policy-making, the transformation of masculinity and femininity, feminist organizing and community-building, the intersections of feminism with labor, LGBT, anti-racist, and anti-sectarian movements, as well as theoretical and methodological orientations in the study of gender and sexuality. We welcome a variety of presentation formats, such as individual paper presentations, panel sessions and roundtable discussions. The working language of the conference will be English (submission and presentations in Arabic are welcome but no translation will be provided). A selection of accepted papers will potentially be published in a themed special journal issue.


Deadline for abstract submission: 5 November 2017. Submissions should be emailed to aub2018conference@gmail.com. Selected contributors will be notified by 20 November 2017.



Friday, January 19, 2018 - 09:00 to Saturday, January 20, 2018 - 17:30
American University of Beirut
Type of event: 
Abstract submission: 
Sunday, November 5, 2017

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