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WPS 2.2

« Juives et Musulmanes en Méditerranée : genre, religion, identité »

« Muslim and Jewish Women in the Mediterranean : religion, gender, identity »


Strategies of Negotiation by Muslim and Jewish Women in the Field of Family Law and Sexuality



March 2nd and 3rd 2009

at Ca’ Foscari University of Venice (Italy)




Co-organized by Lisa ANTEBY-YEMINI and Emanuela TREVISAN SEMI
Partners: IDEMEC (UMR 6591 CNRS-Université de Provence) and University of Venice




Gender offers an interesting angle for a crossed analysis of Islam and Judaism. In this sense, this workpackage wishes to put forth this comparatism concerning contemporary religious practices of Jewish and Muslim women, and in addition, think beyond the association between gender and religion which too often is reduced to the issue of Islam/veil. Having observed the lack of comparative studies between the two religions in this domain, parallels between Islam and Judaism could highlight the convergences (and also divergences) less known; this is why the Mediterranean fields are considered here as fields that can reveal how the identities of Jewish and Muslim women are constructed in everyday life in our contemporary societies.

 In a First Workshop in Paris (19-20 nov. 2008) we examined issues pertaining to the access of Jewish and Muslim women to religious texts, their study, their interpretation and the access of women to the ritual space of mosques and synagogues as well as the emergence of new religious functions for women (Muslim women “imama” or women-rabbis and other ritual functions). In this upcoming Second Workshop in Venice, we want to look at issues concerning family law (marriage, adultery, divorce) and its practices in Islam and Judaism as well as questions pertaining to purity, sexuality, reproduction and feminine homosexuality in religious texts and in the practices of Muslim and Jewish women today.

 The aim of this research project is to be able to work on a specific issue with scholars specialized in each religion and come up with a common paper or article that would look at a chosen theme in a comparative way, blending the perspectives both from Judaism and Islam. A final international conference will be organized in 2010 (in Aix-en-Provence) where we hope such common, inter-religious papers can be presented by two scholars each specialist of one religion. A publication will also follow this planned conference.





March 2nd 2009 :
Family Law, Women and the State

9h  Introduction: Lisa Anteby-Yemini (CNRS, IDEMEC, Aix-en-Provence)

9h 30-13h FIRST SESSION:  Marriage and Divorce in Judaism and Islam

Mohamed Kerrou (Université de Tunis El Manar) : « Le contrat de mariage kairouanais (à Kérouan) »

Emanuela Trevisan-Semi (Université Ca Foscari, Venise) : « Est-ce que la dot de la femme juive au Maroc était vraiment fabuleuse ? » 

Barbara Peveling (EHESS, Paris and Université of Tübingen) : « Henna and Marriage as Female Rites among North African Jews in France »

Christian Bromberger (Université de Provence, Aix-en-Provence) : « Statut et mariage des femmes en islam chiite iranien »

Lunch 13h-14h30

14h30-16h15  SECOND SESSION: Divorce in Judaism and Islam

Corinne Fortier (CNRS, Collège de France, Paris): « Quand les femmes peuvent divorcer en islam. Pratiques différentielles en Mauritanie et en Égypte »

Matthias Morgenstern (University of Tübingen): “Divorce, Virginity and Sterility in Judaism”

16h30-18h30  THIRD SESSION: Women’s Bodies and the State

Tamar El-Or (Hebrew University, Jerusalem): “2007-8 The Winter of the Veiled: Veiled Jewish Ultra-Orthodox Women in Israel”

Lucia Sorbera (Université Ca Foscari, Venice) : “Being Feminist and Muslim in XXth c. Egypt”

Stéphanie Latte-Abdallah (CNRS, IREMAM, Aix-en-Provence) : Discutante

March 3rd 2009 :

Women and Sexuality in Judaism and Islam


Madalina Vartejanu-Joubert (EHESS, Paris) : « Anthropologie des humeurs et lois de pureté dans le judaïsme »

Safaa Monqid (CEDEJ, le Caire) : « Sharia et pratiques féminines de l’espace public au Maroc »

Rachel Démolis (EHESS, Toulouse) : « Apprentissage de la pureté et de la modestie chez les juives nouvellement pratiquantes »

Belkacem Benzenine (Université de Lille III) : Discutant


Martine Gross (EHESS, Paris) : « Homosexualité féminine et textes du judaïsme »

Andrew Kam-Tuck Yip  (University of Nottingham) « Negotiating Sexuality, Religion and Culture: Narratives of British Lesbian Muslims »

Marie-Laure Boursin (IDEMEC, Aix-en-Provence): Discutante

Lunch 13h-14h30


Susan Kahn (Harvard University, Cambridge) « Reproduction and Artificial Procreation in Judaism »

Sandra Houot (Université de Bordeaux) : « Du désir et du refus de procréer. Moralité et corps des femmes dans l’islam»

Annie Benveniste (URMIS, Université Paris 8) : Discutante

16h30-18h      Final Discussion and Conclusion of Workshop ; Future Meetings


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