I Want to Learn How to Think Beyond Academic Disciplines

Vol.5 2017.03.16 Emi Goto

Islam and Ie (houses)―The History of Physical Separation Depending on Gender: Past, Present and Future―

As is often pointed out, physical separation depending on gender is a peculiarity of Islamic houses. The restriction on contact between men and women (excluding the relationships which are prohibited by marriage) and the requirement for women’s beautiful parts to be covered is according to the Qur’ān(Koran). However, the way of actual practice of these acts vary from era to era, from area to area and from person to person.

In this lecture, I will look at the houses and inhabitants in Cairo (Egypt) and examine their diversity and dynamism as well as considering the reason why these kinds of phenomenon occur.


Emi Goto
Emi Goto received her doctorate (Ph.D.) in 2011 from Department of Area Studies, Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, The University of Tokyo. Her dissertation, titled “Veils for God: Increase of the Muhajjabat and Dissemination of Religious Discourses in Contemporary Egypt,” dealt with the relationship between religious discourses and Muslim veils. From September 2003 to August 2005, she was a research fellow of Institute for Gender and Women’s Studies, The American University in Cairo, Egypt. Then from April 2008 to March 2012, she was a postdoctoral research fellow of Japan Society for the Promotion of Science, and since November 2012, she has been a project research fellow of University of Tokyo Library System. Her main research interests are 1) understanding of Islam in contemporary world, 2) Islam and women: their status, roles, and veils, 3) sharia and national law, and 4) history of clothing in the Middle East. Her works in English include “Qur'an and the Veil: Context and Interpretation of the Revelation,” International Journal of Asian Studies 1 (2), 2004, pp. 277-95.

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