Northwestern Events Calendar


MENA Mondays: "The Howzevi (Seminarian) Women in Iran: A Line Made by Walking", Prof. Amina Tawasil

When: Monday, January 12, 2015
12:00 PM - 1:30 PM CT

Where: University Hall, Hagstrum Room, 201, 1897 Sheridan Road, Evanston, IL 60208 map it

Audience: Faculty/Staff - Student - Public - Post Docs/Docs - Graduate Students

Cost: Free

Contact: Katelyn Marie Rashid   (847) 467-5314

Group: Middle East and North African Studies

Category: Lectures & Meetings



The 1979 Iranian revolution enabled conservative women previously limited in mobility to partake in building a Shi’i revolutionary state by expanding access to the women’s seminaries unparalleled in the history of Shi’i Islam. This lecture, based on the fifteen months of field research, draws on the ethnography of Iranian seminarian women, or howzevi. In it I argue that the howzevi changed their sociopolitical conditions by working to strengthen the state via increased availability of Islamic jurisprudent research concerning women, by their continued presence among clerics as researchers, authors, or teachers, and by bridging Islamic text to practice as teachers of the Basij, as university counsellors, and as pioneers and developers of the seminaries. 


Amina Tawasil is a Mellon postdoctoral fellow in the Middle East and North African Studies program at Northwestern, where she holds a courtesy appointment in the Department of Anthropology. She earned her Ph.D. in Anthropology and Education from Teachers College, Columbia University, and has been honored with a fellowship from the American Association of University Women. She co-organized “The Power of Women’s Islamic Education” workshop for the Women Create Change project at Columbia. Her interests are in heterology, social practice, women’s Islamic education, and gender and identity in the Middle East.

More Info Add to Calendar

Add Event To My Group:

Please sign-in