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Anthropologist to Speak on Moral Crusades to Save Muslim Women

April 25, 2012
By Alex Korsunsky '12

Lila Abu Lughod, a member of the Carleton Class of 1974 and an anthropologist well known for her work on gender and postcolonial theory, will present  “Authorizing Moral Crusades to Save Muslim Women: Literary Trafficking and Rights-Talk in the Public Sphere” at 8 p.m. on Wednesday, May 2 in the Severance Great Hall on the Carleton campus. This event is free and open to the public.

Abu Lughod is known for challenging simplistic and universalistic readings of culture, arguing forcefully for the importance of diversity and complexity within cultures. Her work has largely focused on women in the postcolonial context, especially in the Arab world. Her ethnographic work on sentiment and cultural expression among Egyptian Bedouins resulted in her first book, Veiled Sentiments (University of California Press, 1986), which earned honorable mention from the Chicago Folklore Prize. Additionally, she has worked on a wide range of subjects, including nationalism, feminism, global media, and historical memory.

A Carleton alumnus with a Ph.D. from Harvard University, Abu Lughod is currently the Joseph L. Buttenwieser Professor of Social Science and the Co-Director of the Center for Critical Analysis of Social Difference at Columbia University. In addition to Veiled Sentiments, Abu Lughod is the author of Writing Women’s Worlds: Bedouin Stories (University of California Press, 1993) and Dramas of Nationhood: the Politics of Television in Egypt (University of Chicago Press, 2005), and has served as the editor for numerous anthologies.

This event is sponsored by the Ira Wender Visitors for Cultural Understanding Fund and the Department of the Middle Eastern Languages. For more information or disability accommodations, contact or call (507) 222-5437. Severance Great Hall is located off College Street on the Carleton campus.