[CAPSAHARA Lecture Series ] CNRS, Laboratoire d’Anthropologie Sociale (CNRS-EHESS-Collège de France, Université PSL)
4 February 2019, 4pm > 6pm Room Multiusos 2, ID Building, Faculdade de Ciências Sociais e Humanas – NOVA FCSH
Until recently, scholarship on Arab-islamic countries had largely neglected love and sexuality as topics of inquiry. For a long time, the study of kinship systems and Islamic law overshadowed interest in personal sentiment and sexuality. Moments of closeness between men and women have always been possible, perhaps even more so today, thanks to the spread of mixed-gender social spaces (universities, mixed-gender coffee-shops, etc.) and new communication technologies (the Internet, cell phones, etc.). These discrete dynamics shaping the experience of love deserve attention. Love can be thought of as a sentiment that young people can cultivate before marriage, during marriage or as a feeling typical of extramarital relationships as it is the case in Mauritania. Among saharian Moors the sphere of seduction and passion, very often poetized, coexists in parallel with the marital sphere governed by Muslim jurisprudence (fiqh). Courtship in many societies has commonly been a male prerogative, with women generally supposed to manifest their desires only indirectly. The fact that men are considered the subjects of desire and women its object is a major cross-cultural element which ensures men’s appropriation of women’s bodies and structures relations between people of the opposite sex.
Corinne Fortier is a cultural anthropologist and a researcher at the French National Center of Scientific Research (CNRS). She is also a member of the Social Anthropology Lab (LAS) (CNRS-EHESS-Collège de France-Universités PSL, Paris). Bronze Medal 2005 of the French National Center of Scientific Research (CNRS). She conducted research in Mauritania and in Egypt as well as on Islamic scriptural sources related to gender, body, love, and family law.
Francisco Freire (CAPSAHARA PI)
AZIMUT – Studies in Arab and Islamic Contexts
CRIA-Centro em Rede de Investigação em Antropologia