Recent strands of western historical writing understand gender in medieval Islamic societies through any of number of local cultural, religious and political discourses. This type of writing shifts the focus of historical research away from questions regarding whether Islam debases or improves the status of women--questions that tend to immobilize the subject in a polemic of competing essentialisms-and instead finds gender as having been produced in historically dynamic local processes. My thesis attempts to contribute to th.is literature by exploring how gender functioned as a regulatory issue in the context of the Almoravid political-religious movement in alAndalus through a close reading of the Risa/at fl al-qada' wa al-hisba, a hisba manual authored by Ibn 'Abdun in Seville around the year 1100 AD. I first situate hisba generally in the discourse of siayasa shar 'iyya. This administrative basis for understanding is expanded in a section linking the pragmatic logic of subject-formation in hisba literature with that offiqh. Several discursive moments related to this logic are provided. I also situate Ibn 'Abdun' s manual in the historical context of its creation. In the relevant period Maliki jurists were increasingly able to effect a number of actions and reforms in line with their vision of the shari 'a under sympathetic Almoravid rule. At the same time, inter-confessional tensions had also peaked. My method of reading Ibn 'Abdun's passages on gender relations are informed by the questions that Judith Butler and Michel Foucault ask about discourse, subject construction and sex. Using these questions I see the numerous prescriptive interdictions regarding the regulation of gender relations as productive of gendered subjects, objects and subjects/objects. They are productive in that they continually form and re-form the subject of"women" (al-nisa ') in relation to different types of men of and for the regulatory authority of the muhtasib. I show how Ibn 'Abdun's Risa/a-written at a critical time in the development of Sunnism in al-Andalus-was a discourse in which gendered subjects/objects were constantly being articulated through of prescriptive interdictions.
School of Humanities and Social Sciences
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Calvino, Italo;Antonioni, Michelangelo
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(2002).Gender and authority in Almoravid Andalusia: Subjects/Objects of Regulation in Ibn Abdun's Risala Fi Al Qada'wa Al Hisba [Thesis, the American University in Cairo]. AUC Knowledge Fountain.
Riordan, Sean Connor. Gender and authority in Almoravid Andalusia: Subjects/Objects of Regulation in Ibn Abdun's Risala Fi Al Qada'wa Al Hisba. 2002. American University in Cairo, Thesis. AUC Knowledge Fountain.
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