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Endowed Spring 2018 Lecture Series by Prof. Smadar Lavie at Vilnius University

Smadar 2879 1aTransnationalism, Citizenship, Gender and Family Dynamics in the Middle East

Prof. Smadar Lavie, Dept of Ethnic Studies, University of California, Berkeley

This endowed four lecture series introduces the diversity and heterogeneity of family, kinship and gender relations in Middle Eastern societies and their diasporas. It traces religious observance as a culturally lived experience, spanning from the local to the transnational.

The lectures are based on classic and new works by feminist scholars, listed below, introduce theoretical arguments from the Humanities and Social Sciences, and juxtapose these to complex case studies from various locals. In so doing, the lectures illuminate connections between religion and ritual, ethnicities, genders, education, the media, travel, migration, citizenship, political commitments, conflict and societal change. Concurrently the course aims to undo the many stereotypes about Middle Eastern women. 

Lectures will be held at the Institute of Asian and Transcultural Studies, Vilnius University, J. Kovalevskis aud. (Universiteto Str. 5, entrance from Daukantas courtyard)Download poster

Prof. Smadar Lavie is a Visiting Scholar at the Ethnic Studies Department, U.C. Berkeley and Visiting Professor at the Institute for Social Science in the 21st Century at University College Cork. Lavie spent nine years as tenured Professor of Anthropology at U.C. Davis. She is the author of The Poetics of Military Occupation, which received Honorable Mention in the Victor Turner Award for Ethnographic Writing, and co-edited Displacement, Diaspora, and Geographies of Identity and Creativity/Anthropology, in addition to dozens of articles in scientific journals and edited volumes. Lavie is the recipient of the American Studies Association's 2009 Gloria Anzaldúa Prize and the 2013 "Heart at East" Honor Plaque for service on behalf of Mizrahi communities. Lavie’s recent book, Wrapped in the Flag of Israel won Honorable Mention in the Association of Middle East Women’s Studies 2015 Book Award Competition and was a finalist for the Anthropology of Religion’s 2015 Clifford Geertz Book Prize. A second edition of the book with an afterword on Gaza 2014 and Mizrahi feminism is to see print in July 2018. Prof. Smadar Lavie's interview in Lithuanian TV

Following is the list of recommended readings for each lecture. These readings are intended as additional material and is NOT required for attendance.

•  17 April 2018 17:30   Patriarchy

Kandiyoti, Deniz. 1988. “Bargaining with Patriarchy.” Gender and Society 2(3): 274-290.

Joseph, Suad. 1994. “Brother/Sister Relationships: Connectivity, Love and Power in the Reproduction of Arab Patriarchy.” American Ethnologist 21(1) February): 50-73. 

 • 19 April 2018 17:30  Globalization and Social Movements

Moghadam, Valentine M. 2009. Globalization and Social Movements: Islamism, Feminism and the Global Justice Movement. Lanham: Rowman and Littlefield. pp. 63-89.

Jud, Islah. 2005. “Between Religion and Secularism: Islamist Women of Hamas.” In On Shifting Ground: Muslim Women in the Global Era. Ed. F. Nouraie-Simone. New York: CUNY Press. pp 172-195.

Feldman, Rachel. 2017. “Putting Messianic Femininity into Zionist Political Action: The Race-Class and Ideological Normativity of Women for the Temple in Jerusalem.” Journal of Middle Eastern Women’s Studies 13(3) pp. 395-415.

 • 24 April 2018 17:30  Resistance, Agency, Docility

Mahmood, Saba. 2001. "Feminist Theory, Embodiment, and the Docile Agent: Some Reflections on the Egyptian Islamic Revival." Cultural Anthropology 16(2): 202-236.

Scott, Joan W. 2007. The Politics of the Veil. Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Press. pp. 21-89.

Lavie, Smadar. 2011 “Staying Put: Crossing the Israel–Palestine Border with Gloria Anzaldúa.” Anthropology and Humanism Quarterly. Vol. 36 (1): 101-121.

  26 April 2018 17:30  Queering the Middle East – Belonging, Exile and Diaspora

Shakhsari, Sima. 2014. “The queer time of death: Temporality, geopolitics, and refugee rights.” Sexualities. 17(8): pp. 998-1015.

Jadallah, Huda. 2011. “Reflections of a Genderqueer Palestinian American Lesbian Mother.” In Arab and Arab American Feminisms: Gender, Violence and Belonging. R. Abdulhadi, E. Alsultany and N.Nabr, Eds. Syracuse UP pp. 276-282.

Swedenburg, Ted. 1997. “Saida Sultana/Danna International: Transgender Pop and the Polysemiotics of Sex, Nation, and Ethnicity on the Israeli-Egyptian Border” The Musical Quarterly 81(1): 81-108.

NOTE: This material is intended for purposes of education, research, scholarly communication, or critical commentary, all in conformity with “fair use” and the established practice of authors’ providing single offprints for noncommercial use. Any other use is unauthorized and may violate copyright.


Welcome to the Institute of Asian and Transcultural Studies

The Centre of Oriental Studies was formed in 1993 to provide a focus for the creation and dissemination of knowledge about Asia and the Middle East within Vilnius University and at the national level. As of February 1, 2018 the Centre is reformed into the Institute of Asian and Transcultural Studies and is an integral part of the Faculty of Philosophy of Vilnius University.

With over thirty scholars and teachers, the Institute now is the largest and most distinguished establishment of non-European culture studies and research in Lithuania and one of the leading institutions in the Baltic countries. The Institute teaches histories, cultures, philosophies, religions, arts and literatures of Asia and the Middle East, as well as subjects on contemporary issues related to Asian and Middle Eastern countries ranging from sociological and anthropological matters to regional politics.

Since 2000 the Institute (formerly known as the Centre of Oriental Studies) runs an undergraduate program (Bachelor degree) of Asian Studies (in Lithuanian). The program offers specializations in Middle Eastern, Chinese, Indian and Japanese languages and cultures. Since 2006 the Institute also offers the graduate master programme of Modern Asian Studies (in Lithuanian), which focuses on modern and contemporary developments of Asia with an interdisciplinary and transcultural approach.

The Instute’s research includes a wide range of disciplines, the most important of which are cultural studies, Asian philosophies and religions, arts, social studies, anthropology, and history. The Institute aims to strengthen the cross-cultural and comparative perspectives so that the regional aspect of research would be seen in a broader context.

The Institute (formerly known as the Centre of Oriental Studies) is also a founding member of the Baltic Alliance for Asian Studies (BAAS) – the regional network for Asian studies and research since 2004.

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