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Islam and Feminism

Islam and feminism seem contradictory, especially referring to the current public discourse. But analyzing the pairing of these two terms is a complex and exciting endeavor. Is there an "Islamic feminism"? Can contemporary Muslims be feminists?

Course periodJuly 20, 2020 - July 31, 2020 Session II
Category Cultural Studies & Religion
Course levelsMaster
Class size

max. 15 participants in class

Credits and certificate

You will receive a final grade certificate and 5 ECTS credit points as well as six weeks after the end of the course a transcript of records only in the event of regular attendance (must be present 80% of the time) and active class participation.

Application deadline June 1, 2020, or when participant quota is reached
Course fee680.00 Euro | (excl. program fee and discounts)


Is there such a thing as “Islamic feminism”? Can contemporary Muslims be feminists? Can feminist theorists and practitioners develop an analysis and critique of patriarchy that takes religious framework, histories and concepts seriously? What is the relationship between gender norms in Islam and feminist critique of them?

This seminar course explores these questions and pursues possible answers through a study of both discourses and practices related to Islam and feminism in the past decade.


Preliminary Course Program (pdf)

Course structure

Academic lessons

  • You will receive a total of 40 contact hours (one contact hour equals 45 minutes).
  • Lessons will comprise lectures, group work, discussion sessions, excursions.


Schedule (Track D)

Week 1

Monday: 10am - 12pm & 1pm - 3pm

Tuesday: 10am - 12pm & 1pm - 3pm

Thursday: 10am - 12pm & 1pm - 3pm

Friday: 12pm-4pm (excursion to mosque Berlin-Moabit)


Week 2:

Tuesday: 10am - 12pm & 1pm - 3pm

Wednesday: 10am - 12pm & 1pm - 3pm

Thursday: 12pm - 4pm & 5pm - 7pm

Friday: 10.30am - 2pm


Cultural extra-curricular activities:

HUWISU offers a fine selection of interesting extra-curricular activities and aims to give all participants an unforgettable stay in Berlin. Your program includes excursions, sport activities and social gatherings providing you the opportunity to get to know the city, the university and your classmates better and to meet students from all parts of the world. The costs for these offers are included in the course fees.

Activities and tours we offer regularly: Federal Chancellery, German Parliament, House of Representatives, Topography of Terror, Political Archive, Museum Island, Kreuzberg Tour, Daytrip to Potsdam, Boat trip, Beach Volleyball, Exhibitions, Farewell Party…

Language skills English: B2
Motivation Letter about one page in English
Student Profile

Master students and advanced undergraduate students (final year) of all subjects with an academic background and a strong interest in Islamic studies, gender studies, urban anthropology and sociology.

In order to follow the course, a very good command of English is required. The minimum age requirement is 18 years.

Prof. Dr. Riem Spielhaus

Riem Spielhaus is Professor of Islamic Studies with a focus on education and cultures of knowledge at Georg-August-Universität Göttingen and head of the department Textbooks and Society at the Georg Eckert Institute for International Textbook Studies in Braunschweig.She studied Islamic studies and African studies at Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, where she also earned her PhD, writing on debates over Islam and the self-positioning of Muslims in Germany. Her dissertation, released by the Ergon Publishing House, received the Augsburg Academic Prize for Intercultural Studies in 2010. She worked as a postdoctoral research fellow at the Centre for European Islamic Thought at the University of Copenhagen, Denmark, and the Erlangen Centre for Islam and Law in Europe at the Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg. Riem Spielhaus is a member of the Rat für Migration (Council for Migration). Her research interests include female authorities on Islam, the institutionalisation of Islam, the political participation and religious practices of Muslims in Europe, and the production of knowledge about Muslims in Europe. She published several articles on female leadership in Islamic communities and co-edited a special issue of The World of Islam on "Muslim Women and the Challenge of Authority".

CoordinatorPierre Steuer/ Carmen Opolski/ Sanja Müssig
Contact detailsInternational Department
Unter den Linden 6
10999 Berlin