Asma Barlas
Professor of Politics
Ithaca College

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  Short papers and selected Talks

For papers/ talks that don't have links, please email me.


“Thinking of Muslims in ‘Morally Relevant Ways,’” Keynote, Faith and Culture conference, Melbourne, Australia, June 16, 2012.

“Islamic Law, Scripture, and Women’s Rights” Public Seminar, Melbourne Law School, University of Melbourne, Australia, June 12, 2012.

“Uncrossed Bridges: Islam, Feminism, and Secular Democracy,” Keynote, Istanbul Seminars, Istanbul, Turkey, May 21, 2012.


“On Anti-Anti-Foundationalism: Nasr Abu Zayd’s ‘Rethinking’ of the Qur’an,” presentation at Conference on Islamic Newthinking: In Honor of Nasr Abu Zayd, Kulturwissenschaftliches Institut of Essen and the University of Zurich, Essen, Germany, June 26-29, 2011.


“Abraham in the Qur’an: the unbound body,” keynote, Conference on Religion and the Body, Donner Institute for Research in the History of Religion, Åbo Akademi University, Åbo (Turku), Finland, June 16-18, 2010.

“Islam and Religious Diversity: towards pluralism and recognition,” Keynote address, Festival of Friendship Dinner, Ottawa Muslim Women’s Organization, Canada, April 25, 2010.

“Women as Agents of Change in Muslim Majority Countries and the World,” presentation at workshop, Italian Council of Social Sciences and Ethnobarometer; Rockefeller Center, Bellagio, Italy, March 13-14, 2010.


"The Qur'an, Shari'a and Women's Rights," plenary address, Conference on Reimagining the Shari'a, University of Warwick, Venice, Italy, September 14, 2009.

"She Speaks! Voices of Hope, Strength and Resilience," keynote, Turning Point for Women and Families Fourth Annual Ramadan Iftar, Queens Museum, New York, August 29, 2009.

"Muslim Women's Rights: Frameworks and Interpretations," Regional Conference on Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment in Muslim Societies, Jakarta, Indonesia. March 11-12, 2009.

"Islamic Reform and Gender Equality: Fiqh, Feminism, or CEDAW?" Regional Conference on Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment in Muslim Societies, Jakarta, Indonesia. March 11-12, 2009.


Globalizing Equality: Revisiting the debate, Third International Congress on Islamic Feminism, Barcelona, Spain, October 25, 2008.

Re-understanding Islam: A double critique, Commemorative Lecture, Islamic Community of Lisbon, Portugal, June 22, 2008.

Would Spinoza Understand Me? Europe, Islam, and the Mirror of Difference, Spinoza Lecture II, University of Amsterdam, the Netherlands, June 5, 2008.

“Believing Women in Islam:" Between secular and religious politics and theology, Spinoza Lecture 1, University of Amsterdam, the Netherlands, May 8, 2008.


Hearing the Word, as a Muslim: 13 passages of the Qur'an and religious difference; Cornell University Vespers Service, November 4, 2007.

Human Rights and Human Responsibilities: Can we speak of women's rights in Islam? Dow Lecture, Saginaw Valley State University, Michigan, October 22, 2007.

Engaging Islamic Feminism: Provincializing feminism as a master narrative, Keynote address, "Islamic Feminism: Current Perspectives," Tampere, Finland, August 31, 2007.

Still Quarrelling over the Qur’an: Five theses on interpretation and authority, Conference on Redefining Boundaries: Muslim Women and Religious Authority in Practice, Institute for the Study of Islam in the Modern World, Amsterdam, June 24, 2007.

Lost in Translation: (Muslim) Women and (Films on) Islam, Keynote address, "Women and Islam" film series, National Film Board of Canada, Toronto, May 22, 2007.

"A Collective Purpose: Crossing Cultural Boundaries: Learning to Engage Islam and Muslims," Emmie Baine Lecture, 42nd Annual Women's Symposium, Southern Methodist University, Dallas, Texas, March 1, 2007.


Four Stages of Denial or my On-Again, Off-Again Affair with Feminism: Response to Margot Badran, Feminism beyond East and West: new gender talk and practice in global Islam, Ithaca College, October 23, 2006.

"One Father, Three Dysfunctional Offspring: On the 'Problematic' Aspects of Monotheism," Snowstar Institute for Religion, Toronto, Canada, June 4, 2006.

“Reading the Qur’an: Challenges and Possibilities for Muslim Women,” Workshop convenor, Symposium on Gender, Race, Islam, and the “War on Terror,” Simon Fraser University, Canada, May 11-13, 2006.

“The Qur’an and Gender: Sexuality and Women’s Status in Islam,” class, St. Bartholomew’s Church, New York City, April 24-25, 2006.

“Believing Women” in Islam, lecture, Swarthmore College, April 14, 2006.

“Women, Politics, and Islam: Rereading Islamic Sources,” Middlebury College, April 6, 2006.

“Sacred Knowledge and Women’s Rights in Islam,” Columbia University, March 29, 2006.

“Women in Islam: Rethinking texts, traditions, and reason,” University of Oregon, March 2, 2006.


“Qur’anic Hermeneutics and Muslim Women’s Liberation,” International Congress on Islamic Feminism, Barcelona, Spain, October 29, 2005.

The Family and Marriage: Muslims in the 21st Century, Los Angeles Latino Muslim Association, Los Angeles, California, April 16, 2005.

Media Reflections: Ignorance of a Hegemonic Imagination, Occupied Spaces Symposium, Ithaca College, April 8, 2005.

“Women’s and Feminist Readings of the Qur’an,” Center for Middle East Studies, Harvard University, March 22, 2005. (In press; cannot put text on webpage for copyright reasons.)

Women’s Rights and Role in Islam, DePaul Law School, March 7, 2005.

Women in Islam: Facts and Perceptions, Conference on Muslim Women’s Health Needs, University of Illinois at Chicago, March 4, 2005.

Interview: “The Qur’an Doesn’t Support Patriarchy”, Naufil Shahrukh talks to Asma Barlas on her feminist interpretations of Islam, with special reference to the post-9/11 world. Published in ABC, The Nation, Pakistan, February 2005.


Mainstreaming Extremism, Muslim Public Affairs Council, Fourth Annual Convention, Long Beach, California, December 18, 2004.

Christian and Muslim Women in Conversation About Scripture, Hartford Seminary, December 3, 2004.

Teaching about Women and Islam, AMEWS Roundtable, MESA, San Francisco, November 21, 2004.

Art Across Borders: Celebrating Humanity or Cannibalizing It?, Exhibition of Iraqi and Palestinian Art, Ithaca College, October 28, 2004.

Towards a Theory of Gender Equality in Muslim Societies, CSID Annual Conference, Washington, D.C., May 29, 2004.

Globalizing Equality: Muslim Women, Theology, and Feminisms, Library of Congress, Washington, D.C., March 26, 2004.

The Excesses of Moderation, Colloquium on ‘Moderate’ Islam, University of Utah, Feb 21-22, 2004.

The Qur’an, Sexual Equality, and Feminism, University of Toronto, January 12, 2004.


Muslims in the US: Burning Issues of the Day, SRF Forum, California, May 24, 2003.

A Requiem for Voicelessness: Pakistanis and Muslims in the US, Homeland Insecurity: Attack on Civil Liberties & Domestic Racism, Cornell University, April 12, 2003.

Islam, Women, and Equality: Reading the Qur’an for Liberation, Ithaca College, March 19, 2003.

Determining Islamic Authority in North America, Harvard Divinity School, March 8, 2003.

Religion and Our Response to Violence, Cornell University, February 13, 2003.


Challenging Patriarchal Interpretations of Islam, Anderberg Lecture given at the University of Nebraska, Omaha, November 7, 2002.

9/11, the Academy, and Renewal, Ithaca College, September 12, 2002.

Tradition and Modern Life: Changing Roles of Women, digital video conference with US Embassy, New Delhi, 13 August, 2002.

"Fundamentalism & Modernity," Robert L. Bernstein Symposium, Yale Law School, April 13, 2002.

"Will the 'Real' Islam Please Stand Up?", Yale University, February 21, 2002.

Martin Luther King, Jr. Day: Recontextualizing King, Ithaca College on 21 January 2002.


"Islam, the Middle East, and Terrorism: What we Are and Aren't Talking About", "Making Sense of September 11," Ithaca College, November 8, 2001.

"On Interpretation and Exceptionalism," Ithaca College, October 29, 2001.

Introducing bell hooks, Ithaca College, October 3, 2001.

Feminists, Stereotyping, and Liberation - Films on Islam: In my Father’s House & Voices of the Morning , Park Auditorium, Ithaca College, November 8, 1999.

    For talks that don't have links, please email me.