Gender Middle East Main

Students have created short stories, propaganda posters, play scripts, podcasts, personal letters, newspapers, and original artwork.

Exhibition on Gender to highlight student projects

The Institute of Arab and Islamic Studies at the University of Exeter is to host an exhibition highlighting student work on gender studies this Friday, 11th May.

On Friday 11th May from 17:30, all are welcome to attend the event celebrating and showcasing the work done by University of Exeter students on the courses ‘Gender, Identity and Modernity in the Middle East’ and ‘Gender, Sexuality and Violence in Palestine/Israel’.

Dr Katie Natanel, who has organised the event and convenor of gender studies courses at the University’s Institute of Arab and Islamic Studies, said, “My original intention was to challenge narrow understandings of what counts as ‘knowledge’ and promote political engagement beyond the spaces of our classrooms. 

“But projects have exceeded my expectations, and the journey has also become about working with students as collaborators, co-educators and co-creators.” 

Students have created short stories, propaganda posters, video and photo essays, play scripts, podcasts, flip-books, personal letters, discographies, newspapers, and original artwork. All the work showcased is original and made by students themselves. 

“This exhibition is driven by their ideas, their creativity and their willingness to take risks.” Dr Natanel commented,

“This year I changed the assessment for both modules to include summative projects, and asked the students to consider how their work could contribute to political debates, public discourses or activist agendas.  At first some were sceptical that it could, but they designed their projects with this aim in mind, and the results are impressive.”

Students have also praised the creation of the event with Nick McAlpin, a fourth year French and Arabic student, saying, “Dr Natanel has been incredibly supportive of our academic ventures, entrusting some of us to present with her at an academic conference, and now this event.

“The result is that we not only learn from each other and by informing others, but we contribute to research around innovative and effective pedagogy, with a collaboratively written paper in the works.”

“My hope is that we start to break down stereotypes and encourage critical understandings of gender and sexuality in the Middle East, a region complex as any other.” 

The event takes place on Friday 11th May from 17:30 in the Institute for Arab and Islamic Studies on the Streatham campus and is open to all.

Date: 10 May 2018

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