Call for papers | Conference “International conference on Law, Empire, and Gender in Muslim Societies”, 19-20 December 2024, University of Amsterdam — LIMITE : 01/07/2024

This conference aims to bring together scholars working on colonial law in Muslim contexts who are interested in ‘gender-coded law’ (i.e. all legal domains that automatically invoke connotations of gender).

Several scholars have implied that imperialism did not affect gender relations in the Muslim world, since family law remained relatively untouched by the colonial powers (Anderson, Buskens, Peters). There are, however, several examples in colonial legal history that point to the influence of imperial powers on gender relations through law. The interdiction of homosexuality in British India (Radics) and the ban on interreligious marriage in the Dutch East-Indies (De Hart) are only two examples of the imperial footprint on gender laws. Moreover, nineteenth-century Western imperialism affected the thinking about gender in the Muslim world (Massad, Cuno, Khouloussy, Surkis). This suggests that contemporary gender-coded laws in Muslim-majority countries cannot be understood without studying the legislation issued by the imperial powers.

Academics who work in the field of legal history, gender history and/or social history (or a combination of these) are invited to share their research on the laws that were introduced in the Muslim territories during French, Dutch, British, Russian, or other colonial rule that touch upon gender. 

The conference will be held at the University of Amsterdam on December 19 and 20, 2024. Itwill be a small (max. 15 participants) research seminar/workshop. Applications for participation, including 250-word abstracts and a 100-word brief biography should be sent to m.voorhoeve[at] by July 1, 2024. If selected, the conference organization provides for travel and accommodation. The conference will be held at the historical building of the Allard Pierson Museum in the city centre of Amsterdam, which is close to Central Station.

Suggested paper topics include, but are not limited to:

  • The participation of colonial bureaucrats and local (religious) elites to the formation of colonial gender-coded law
  • Debates on gender-coded law in the press and other sources such as colonial law magazines
  • The circulation of law between the ‘homeland’ and the colonies as between various colonies and empires
  • Crosspollination and circulation of ideas about law and gender within the Muslim world during the Age of Empire/Nahda period


Dr. Maaike Voorhoeve, assistant professor at the Department of History, European Studies and Religious Studies at the University of Amsterdam, Amsterdam School of Historical Studies (ASH)

À retrouver sur le site de la Amsterdam School of Historical Studies de l’Université d’Amsterdam

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Chargé de diffusion scientifique (24 juin 2024). Call for papers | Conference “International conference on Law, Empire, and Gender in Muslim Societies”, 19-20 December 2024, University of Amsterdam — LIMITE : 01/07/2024. IISMM. Consulté le 18 juillet 2024 à l’adresse

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