Thursday, November 10, 2011
Room 1644, International Institute
Marion Katz (PhD 1997, University of Chicago) is Associate Professor of Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies and Director of Graduate Studies at the NYU. She is the author of Body of Text : The Emergence of the Sunni Law of Ritual Purity (SUNY Series in Medieval Middle East History, 2002), a reconstruction of early scholarly debates about the law of ritual purity (tahara) and the underlying issues of community boundaries, gender, and attitudes towards the body, and The Birth of the Prophet Muhammad: Devotional Piety in Sunni Islam (Routledge, 2007), where she discusses the celebrations of the birth of the Prophet as a mode of interaction between individual believers and the Prophet that was based on mutual recognition and exchange rather than exclusively on obedience and emulation. Her current project examines the construction of gender through the evolving juristic debate over women’s public worship and mosque access, demonstrating that women’s behavior did not necessarily conform to the rules developed by legal scholars, and followed a social and religious logic of its own.