CGDS Prepares a New Podcast on Women, Gender, and Early Islam

On October 18, 2019, Dr. Lynn Rose interviewed  Dr. Edith Szanto on gender and Islam as part of the CGDS podcast series. Dr. Szanto, whose PhD in Religious Studies is from the University of Toronto, served first as assistant professor and then as an associate professor at AUIS for several years. She developed and taught, as part of the gender minor, an upper-level course on women in Islam. Dr. Szanto recently joined the Religious Studies Department at the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa, an R-1 Institution. Her research interests include Twelver Shi'ism, Sufism, religious minorities in the Middle East, and the anthropology of Islam. Dr. Szanto responded to several questions, including one about her current research projects, which include, among others, the shifting role of Zaynab in popular culture and political discourse. In her concluding comments about gendered violence, Dr. Szanto said that “change doesn’t happen by simply talking about it: real change requires structural change.” Other podcasts have included topics on health, politics, and, sexuality. All of the podcasts will be edited, transcribed, and available to the public in Arabic, English, and Kurdish next year. This series of podcasts is funded by a two-year grant from the EU to promote gender equity through education in the MENA region.