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Transdisciplinary Approaches of Gender in MENA region

Approach the gender issues in the Middle East and North Africa, through history, history of art, political science, sociology and linguistics from the late Ottoman Empire to the present time

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CIVIS focus area
Society, culture, heritage
Open to
  • Bachelor's
  • Master's
  • Phd
Field of studies
  • Social Science and humanities
  • Blended Intensive Programmes (BIP)
Course dates
16 February - 7 June 2024

This course addresses the years from the late Ottoman Empire (18th century- 1922) to the present time focusing on a transdisciplinary approach to gender issues in the Middle East and North Africa. Gender constituted a decisive parameter of the Ottoman and Turkish modernization as well as within the Arab world in North Africa and the Middle East. In crucial moments of the history of the region, in times when the relationship between the individual and the state, as well as the very notion of body politics were reconsidered, gender relations were also renegotiated. Gender hierarchies within the family and the whole society became a central point of public debate and took strong political connotations. As far as the Republic of Turkey and the states that emerged after the fall of the Ottoman Empire in the Middle East are concerned, the “women’s question” was central throughout the years –and still is- in the discourses of both the secularist forces and Islamic revivalists. The academic programme will offer the students the possibility to explore diverse theoretical approaches to feminist and gender studies and to implement them in the Mediterranean region under the Ottoman legacy.

Main topics addressed

The BIP will cover the years from the late Ottoman Empire (18th century- 1922) to the present time and the academic programme will be structured according to the following axes:

  • Theoretical introduction to feminist and gender studies
  • Gendered construction of the public and private sphere from the late Ottoman Empire to the contemporary Middle East through a transdisciplinary approach
  • Agency and gender-based social demands from the Late Ottoman Empire to the contemporary Middle East
  • Gender as a metaphor of secularism/ political Islam in the region.

Learning outcomes

Students at the end of the course will have the opportunity:

  • To acquire theoretical knowledge on feminist and gender studies
  • To address the evolution of these issues in a defined geographical area, the Mediterranean, where they will have the opportunity to focus on specific case studies, in different periods and from a multidisciplinary perspective
  • To access to primary sources dealing with gender and feminist studies and analytical tools to conduct research using this kind of data
  • To acquire skills in scientific dissemination through audio-visual technology
Dates: 16 February - 7 June 2024 Total workload: 75 hours
Format: Blended ECTS: 3*
Location: Madrid, Spain Language: English (B2) 

*Recognition of ECTS depends on your home university.

Physical mobility

3 to 7 June 2024

The in-person component will include 20 hours of working sessions with the students in order to elaborate the last work submitted for evaluation, which consists of a short-video (docutube) in which they will introduce to the audience their selection and analysis of primary sources of feminist and gender studies.

There will be also two afternoon activities: a visit to Prado Museum with a gender outlook and the organization of a round table on the addressed topics with the Institute for Women´s Studies at Universidad Autónoma de Madrid.

Virtual part

16 February to 17 May 2024

The online part of the BIP will consist of 13 weekly sessions of 2 hours each that will depart from a theoretical and historical approach in order to eventually focus on specific thematic issues related to gender and feminist studies in the Ottoman and Post-ottoman spaces, that is, Turkey, the Middle East and North Africa:

  • 16 February 2024: “Gender as a Concept”
  • 23 February 2024: “Feminism as a Theory and Social Practice”
  • 1 March 2024: “Gender and Ottoman Social History”
  • 8 March 2024 : “Gender Approaches of Turkish History”
  • 15 March 2024: “Gendering the History of the Middle East”

Thematic sessions will follow focusing on the upcoming issues:

  • 22 March 2024 : “Languages with grammatical gender and genderless languages: Greek and Turkish as examples”  
  • 5 April 2024 : “Space (public and private)”
  • 12 April 2024: “Institutional power and micro-power”  
  • 19 April 2024: “Politics and women’s mobilizations”
  • 26 April 2024: “Gender and migration”
  • 3 May 2024: “Gender and media”
  • 10 May 2024: "Art, gender and nation building"
  • 17 May 2025: "Islam and Feminism in Turkey and the Middle East"  


This course is open to Bachelor's, Master's, and PhD students at CIVIS member universities.

Students from all fields of Social Sciences and Humanities are welcome. Bachelor students must be at least in their 3rd or 4th year of their academic programme.

Participants should have a good level of written and spoken English (B2).

NB: Visiting Students - Erasmus Funding Eligibility

To be eligible for your selected CIVIS programme, you must be a fully enrolled student at your CIVIS home university at the time you will be undertaking the programme. Click here to learn more about the eligibility criteria.

This course is also open to students with the same academic profile, who are enrolled at a CIVIS strategic partner university in Africa. Please check here, if you can apply and this particular course is open to applications from your university. Successful applicants will receive an Erasmus+ grant covering travel and subsistence costs during their stay. Applicants should be willing to extend their stay at the host university for 1-3 weeks for additional research and/or training purposes.

Application process

Send your application by filling in the online application form by 7 November 2023 with the following documents:

  • Motivation letter
  • CV



The course fosters both individual and collaborative ways of learning from critical and abstract contents to case study cases and analytical tools.

Virtual lessons will integrate:

  • Webinar participation and attendance (80%) of the course: 10%
  • Quizzes to check students´ feedback on reading assignments: 30% grade
  • Teamwork to prepare online presentations on scheduled topics: 30%

In-person component of the course will entail:

  • Attendance and participation (90%): 10%
  • 3 minutes video presentations: 20% 

Blended Intensive Programme

This CIVIS course is a Blended Intensive Programme (BIP): a new format of Erasmus+ mobility which combines online teaching with a short trip to another campus to learn alongside students and professors across Europe. Click here to learn more about CIVIS BIPs.

GDPR Consent

The CIVIS alliance and its member universities will treat the information you provide with respect. Please refer to our privacy policy for more information on our privacy practices. By applying to this course you agree that we may process your information in accordance with these terms.

Aix-Marseille Université

  • Juliette Dumas is Associate Professor in modern Ottoman history at the Aix-Marseille université. Her current research activities focus on the study of historiographic and memorial discourses regarding Ottoman society. Interested in the relationship between women and political power in the Ottoman Empire in the modern period, she specialised in the political role of women at the Ottoman court. In addition to learning the Ottoman language, she teaches on gender and the relationship between men and women in the Middle East, on the political and social history of the Ottoman Empire, and on cultural and tourist policies in Turkey and the Middle East.
  • Ludovica Tua is a PhD student in Media Studies, and holds a Bachelor’s degree on Classics at Università degli Studi Torino, a Master's degree on History at EHESS, Paris, and a Master's degree on International Relations at the University of Geneva. Her current PhD project addresses the representation of femininity and masculinity in Media and TV series, with a special focus on the Turkish mediasphere that she has studied since her Master degree.

National and Kapodistrian University of Athens

  • Eleni Sella (Mazi) is Professor of Linguistics at the Department of Turkish Studies and Modern Asian Studies of the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens (NKUA), specializes in General and Applied Linguistics, Sociolinguistics, Theory and Teaching of Translation. Her research interests include issues of bilingualism or multilingualism, contrastive analysis of languages, second language acquisition/learning, bilingual-minority education, bilingualism and teaching of grammar, issues of national identity and language, as well as theoretical and didactic issues of translation and interpreting.
  •  Efthymia (Efi) Kanner is Associate Professor of Turkish Culture and Society in the Department of Turkish Studies and Modern Asian Studies of the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens. Her research interests cover fields of social history of the Late Ottoman Empire and Turkey such as micro-history, history of education and of philanthropy, history of gender relations and history of social movements. Her last publications refer to gender and transcultural encounters in the Ottoman Empire and Turkey, the multiple gender aspects of Turkish modernization as well as the movement against gender-based violence in contemporary Turkey and its political dimensions.  
  •  Maria Rompopoulou is Adjunct Lecturer at the Department of Turkish Studies and Modern Asian Studies of the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens (NKUA), carries out research and teaching work on Learning, Teaching and Assessment of Turkish as a foreign language as well as Issues of Bilingualism from 2009 to present. Her research interests include issues of bilingualism or multilingualism, contrastive analysis of languages, second language acquisition/learning, bilingual-minority education, bilingualism and teaching of grammar, gender issues in contrasting Greek and Turkish languages as well as theoretical and didactic issues of teaching Turkish as a second language.

University of Bucharest

  • Silvana Riacheru is Associate Professor at the Faculty of History, University of Bucharest (FHUB).  She had nine years’ experience in cultural diplomacy and cultural management at the Romanian Cultural Institute Istanbul as director (2011-2015), deputy director (2007-2011) and project coordinator (2006-2007). She has published articles on the Romanian-Ottoman diplomatic relations after 1878, the Ottoman perspective on modernization of Romania and modern gender history. She is author of the book Ottoman Diplomats and Subjects in the Old Kingdom. Ottoman-Romanian Relations between 1878-1908 (Romanian, Iasi, 2018).

Université Hassan II de Casablanca

  • Fadma Ait Mous is currently a Tenured Professor of sociology (Professeur Habilité) at Aïn Chock Faculty of Letters and the Humanities (Hassan II University of Casablanca), Director of the Confucius Institute at the H2UC, and "Chargée de mission" on developing research on Social Sciences and Humanities. Her research interests focus on issues related to nationalism, gender, youth, migration, urban and rural dynamics in Morocco.

Hosting University: Universidad Autónoma de Madrid

  • Carmen Rodríguez López holds a degree in Political Science and Sociology from the Complutense University of Madrid (UCM) and a PhD from the Autonomous University of Madrid (UAM). She has conducted predoctoral and postdoctoral research stays at Boğazici University (Istanbul) and has taught at Istanbul Technical University on the formation of the Republic of Turkey. At present, she is Associate Professor at the Department of Arab and Islamic Studies and Delegate for Internationalization of the Faculty of Arts and Humanities at UAM. Her research interests are focused on Turkey´s domestic and foreign policy.
  • Laura Galián is Assistant Professor at the Department of Arab and Islamic Studies and Oriental Studies, Autonomous University of Madrid (Spain). Before, she was a postdoctoral researcher at HORIZON 2020 project “RETOPEA: Religious Toleration and Peace” at Universidad de Granada and a Juan de la Cierva research fellow at the same university. Her research interests and publications deal with history of concepts, history of ideas and the Middle East. She has published the book: Colonialism, Transnationalism and Anarchism in the South of the Mediterranean (Palgrave McMillan, 2020). She is currently coordinating the research project CONEMED: Emancipatory Concepts in the Mediterranean – Memories, Translation and Transition in its Diachrony” (Spanish Research Agency)
  • Darina Martykánová is Associate Professor at the Department of Modern History at the Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, Spain. She graduated in Turcology - History and Culture of Islamic Countries of the Charles University, Prague. She worked at the University of Potsdam, Germany, and at the Centre d'études turques, ottomanes, balcaniques et centreasiatiques of the EHESS, Paris. She is author of Reconstructing Ottoman Engineers. Archaeology of a Profession (1789-1914), Pisa 2010, and several publications on the transnational dimensions of Ottoman history of science and technology.
  • Paula Lobato González holds a Double Degree in Sociology and Political Science and Administration from the Pablo de Olavide University (UPO), and a Master’s degree in the European Union and the Mediterranean from the Complutense University of Madrid (UCM). She is currently a PhD researcher and trainee fellow at the Universidad Autónoma de Madrid (UAM), as well as a fellow in the Women Institute of Spain. She has carried out research stays at Kapodistrian University in Athens and Sabanci University in Istanbul; she has also been a research intern at the University of Marmara and has received a "Certificate in Political Studies SciencesPo" from SciencesPo Rennes.

Collaborating members with the CIVIS network

Boğaziçi Üniversitesi

  • Yeşim Arat is a retired Professor from the Department of Political Science and International Relations at Boğaziçi Üniversitesi, Istanbul. She is the author of The Patriarchal Paradox: Women Politicians in Turkey (1989), Rethinking Islam and Liberal Democracy: Islamist Women in Turkish Politics (2005), Violence against Women in Turkey (2007, with Ayşe Gül Altınay (the Turkish version received the 2008 Pen Duygu Asena Award) and numerous articles on women and also Turkish politics. She served as a board member in various academic journals and also in UNRISD. She is a member of the Science Academy, Turkey.

Universidad Complutense de Madrid

  • Almudena Cabezas is Associate Professor of School of Political Science & Sociology at UCM since 2008 where she teaches at undergraduate and graduate level and Director of the UCM-UNED Research Group on Society and Politics Studies. She focuses on Latin American Studies and Feminism, and her current research deal with feminist geopolitics, regionalisms, transnationalism & integration processes, gender & LGTBIq+ policies and social movements and transnational sociopolitical networks. Also has a long experience as consultor for NGOs and institutions with training, research and awareness on gender policies and women's participation in Latin America and Europe.

Universitat de Barcelona

  • Danae FONSECA is a Juan de la Cierva postdoctoral researcher in Arab and Islamic Studies at the Faculty of Philology and Communication and at ADHUC-Centre de Recerca Teoria, Gènere, Sexualitat at the University of Barcelona. With a degree in International Relations from the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, a Master´s in Contemporary Arab and Islamic Studies and a PhD from the Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, her research is situated at the intersection of art and gender, particularly in the history of contemporary Palestinian art and representations of the nation. She has also studied women's agency and participation in revolutionary contexts.