Professor Irene Schneider (Georg-August-Universität Göttingen), gives a talk for the MEC Women's Rights Research Seminars. Chaired by Professor Marilyn Booth (Magdalen College, Oxford)
Irene Schneider is Professor of Arabic and Islamic Studies. She received her PhD from Tuebingen University in 1989 and published her Dissertation under the title "Das Bild des Richters in der adab al-qadi-Literatur". In 1996 she finished her habilitation at the University of Cologne with a Study published under the title "Kinderverkauf und Schuldknechtschaft. Untersuchungen zur frühen Phase des islamischen Rechts" (English short version in the article: Freedom and Slavery in Early Islamic Time (1st /7th and 2nd /8th centuries), in: al-Qantara. 28. 2007, S. 353-382). In 2008 she turned down the offer of the Chair "Islamic Studies and Gender Studies" at the University of Zurich and in 2014 the offer of the Sharjah Chair of Islamic Studies at the University of Exeter/UK.
Abstract: Irene Schneider: "Debating the Law, Creating Gender“ My book strived to break new ground in mainly four research areas. 1. First, by observing legal iterations/debates (Benhabib 2003) in connection with the construction of gender roles in a Muslim state for a period of more than seven years (2012–2018), the question was asked why these iterations partly lead to “jurisgenerative” results, i.e. to “lawmaking” and partly failed to do so. The aim was to understand how these iterations developed in Palestinian society and “who belled the cat,” i.e., who steered these iterations successfully and how some discourses became dominant while others did not. Research so far had most often considered only short-term developments leading to reforms, ignoring long-term developments and discourses that ended without success. 2. Second, the research combined the analysis of the dominant discourses in these iterations between 2012 and 2018 – khulʿ in the first phase (2012–2014) and the question of how international law can be brought into harmony with national law in the second phase (2014–2018) – on the socio-legal level with an in-depth linguistic analysis based on Koselleck’s Begriffsgeschichte and the approach of translating from the “global” to the “local.” This linguistic analysis proved essential in understanding the shifts in these iterations as well as the social power struggle behind these shifts. 3. Third, the concentration on university teaching as part of iterations, especially when combined with an analysis of the textbook and the actual teaching process has revealed a deeper understanding of intellectual discourses in Palestine in a section of the public sphere, i.e., the universities, which has been ignored so far. It is still a surprisingly underresearched area taking into consideration that it is in universities that the future elite – in this case future lawyers, judges, and scholars – are trained. The question, whether they are well-enough equipped with the existing education to take up the task of harmonizing international law with national law based on Islamic legal terminology must be seriously asked. 4. Fourth, because of the political situation especially since 2007, there has been more research on the West Bank than on Gaza and research most often concentrated on one area or the other but was not combined and compared as is done in this book. Especially the research focus on Gaza lead to surprising results in comparison with West Bank iterations.