Sex and Desire in Muslim Cultures. Beyond Norms and Transgression from the Abbasids to the Present Day

Kreil, Aymon; Sorbera, Lucia; Tolino, Serena (eds.) (2021). Sex and Desire in Muslim Cultures. Beyond Norms and Transgression from the Abbasids to the Present Day. Gender and Islam. 2021: I.B. Tauris

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This book traces sex and desire in Muslim cultures through a collection of chapters that span the 9th to the 21st centuries. Looking at spaces and periods where sexual norms and the categories underpinning them emerge out of multiple subjectivities, the book shows how people constantly negotiate the formulation of norms, their boundaries and their subversion. It demonstrates that the cultural and political meanings of sexualities in Muslim cultures - as elsewhere - emerge from the very specific social and historical contexts.
The first part of the book examines how people constructed, discussed and challenged sexual norms from the Abbasid to the Ottoman period. The second part looks at literary and cinematic Arab cultural production as a site for the construction and transgression of gender norms. The third part builds on feminist historiography and social anthropology to question simplistic dichotomies and binaries. Each of the contributions shows how understanding of sexualities and the subjectivities that evolve from them are rooted in the mutually-constitutive relationships between gender and political power. In identifying the plurality of discourses on desires, the book goes beyond the dichotomy of norm and transgression to glimpse what different sexual norms have meant at different times across the Middle East.

Item Type:

Book (Edited Volume)


06 Faculty of Humanities > Department of Art and Cultural Studies > Institute for Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies

UniBE Contributor:

Tolino, Serena


200 Religion > 290 Other religions
900 History > 950 History of Asia
900 History > 960 History of Africa




Gender and Islam


I.B. Tauris




Serena Tolino

Date Deposited:

08 Apr 2021 17:04

Last Modified:

05 Dec 2022 15:46


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