Islam, Art, Gender and Sexuality -
A Colloquium with Professor Amanullah De Sondy (Religious Studies) and Professor Karen Mathews (Art/Art History)

The rise of extreme forms of Islam globally has directed much attention towards issues of gender and sexuality. Though we are frequently exposed to political interventions from all sides, the medium of art is often overlooked. In this colloquium, we aim to explore the ways in which Muslim men and women deal with issues of patriarchy, freedom of views, pluralism, race/ethnicity, censorship, and exile through gendered and sexual expressions in the visual arts. By looking closely at the way in which critical and controversial issues are raised in artistic works and how they are negotiated and navigated through strict and rigid understanding of religious scripture and legal traditions, we can better understand the diversity of opinions on these issues in the Islamic world and the innovative, controversial, and transformative visual responses they engender on the part of contemporary artists.