UCLA professor to lecture on veils, East and West

By | March 25, 2009 | News (2)

An award-winning scholar from UCLA will speak tonight on the practice of veiling women prior to Islam in the Engineering East building room 191.

Sponsored by the College of Social Sciences in association with the Gender and History Lecture series. Amy Richlin, a Classics professor from UCLA will be speaking in a lecture titled “The Veil Before Islam.”

“I will be talking about one big way in which people now living in what we think of as the ‘West,’ have defined what we think of as the ‘East’ — the veiling of women,” Richlin said.

Richlin will touch on the cultures, who also practiced Western traditions, that practiced veiling before Islam did.

“You can see the whole idea of West and East shaping up in classical antiquity. There was a point at which the West was considered strange, hostile, and threatening by the same Greeks we think of as at the origin of Western civilization,” Richlin said.

Overall Richlin will discuss topics such as Orientalism not originally being about Islam at all, and how Islamic traditions are in fact akin to Western traditions in the practice of the veiling of women.

In that the traditions one may practice is similar to that of Islamic traditions.

Richlin has published numerous articles on sex and gender in antiquity, the history of sexuality, and feminist theory.

Richlin has a bachelor’s degree from Princeton and then her master’s from Yale.

She also won awards from National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowship and the Women’s Classical Caucus article prize.

Richlin teaches undergraduate courses such as comedy, Roman law, women’s history, Roman civilization and Latin language and literature.

Her graduate courses include “Roman History and the Theory of History” and “Sex and Gender in the Ancient Mediterranean.”

Richlin also serves as the graduate director at UCLA.

The lecture, “The Veil Before Islam,” takes place on Weds., March 25, at 4 p.m.

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