Introduction

Nadje Al-Ali, Nira Yuval-Davis
2017 Feminist Dissent  
This special issue is based on a series of symposia on Gender and Fundamentalisms conducted over the last four years on different aspects of the relationship between gender and fundamentalisms. These symposia took place once a semester at SOAS and were organised by Nira Yuval-Davis from the Centre for Research on Migration, Refugees and Belonging (CMRB) of the University of East London and Nadje Al-Ali from the Centre of Gender Studies (CGS) at SOAS University of London. Each symposium included
more » ... symposium included presentations followed by discussions among the members of the panel and the audience on a range of related subjects that varied from specific regions (for example, the 'recent political development in the Middle East and North Africa'), to specific religions (e.g. Christianity), to generic themes (e.g. education), or policies (e.g. the Prevent agenda). The events brought together academics, activists, students and a general public. The united theme, which connected this series of symposia, has been that the growth of religious fundamentalisms has close relationships to gender relations, as notions of 'proper' masculinity and femininity and the relations between the sexes are fundamental to the social and political orders, which these movements attempt to construct as normative absolutes. Women's behaviour, their sexualities, appearance, their relationships and the space in which women are allowed to exercise their agency are strictly controlled as they embody symbolic border guards to the community of belonging. Furthermore, many of our contributors to the series have illustrated the close relationship between the increase in
doi:10.31273/fd.n2.2017.96 fatcat:lijkzy4asfgk7lkoh4oz7htqgu