Prof. Dr. Irene Schneider

Göttingen University

Curriculum VitaeProf. Dr. Irene Schneider

Irene Schneider studied Islamic Studies, History and Sociology at the Universities of Freiburg, Göttingen and Tübingen, where she graduated with a thesis on „Beamte und Würdenträger der Fạ̄timiden in Ifrîqiyâ” (“Officials and Dignitaries of the Fâtimides in Ifrîqyâ”) in 1983. In 1989, she received her doctoral degree from the University of Tübingen on „Das Bild des Richters in der adab al-qạ̄dî-Literatur“ (“The Image of Judges in Adab al Qạ̄dî Literature”). She published her habilitation for the field of Islamic Studies at the University of Cologne in 1996 with a treatise on „Kinderverkauf und Schuldknechtschaft. Untersuchungen zur frühen Phase des islamischen Rechts“ (“Sale of Children and Indentured Servitude. An investigation into the early phase of Islamic law”). Between 1986 and 1997, she was research associate and researcher at the Universities of Frankfurt and Cologne. Irene Schneider was, inter alia, research associate at the State University of New York from 1997 to 1998 and was interim professor for Islamic Studies at the University of Kiel in 1998. From 1999 to 2001 she received a stipend from the DFG for her project „Petitionen an Nạ̄ sir al-Dīn Shāh (1848-1896) – ein Beitrag zur Rechtsgeschichte des Iran im 19. Jh.“ (“Petitions to Nạ̄ sir al-Dīn Shāh (1848-1896) – A contribution on the legal history of 19thCentury Iran”). Since the Winter Semester 2003/04, Irene Schneider is professor for Arab Studies/Islamic Studies at the University of Göttingen, where she headed the working group on Gender Studies from 2011 to 2013.

Professor Schneider’s research and teaching focuses particularly on the fields of legal history and Islamic law, with special consideration given to gender studies. She further researches the relationship between state and society in the contemporary Islamic world as well as Islam in Germany. Her book “Der Islam und die Frauen” was selected for translation by “Geisteswissenschaften International” in 2012 – a program supporting translations of scholarship – and will be released in English in 2014 (“Women in the Islamic World”). Since March 2014, Irene Schneider is fellow at the Käte Hamburger Center for Advanced Study in the Humanities “Law as Culture”.

Research Project

National Identity, Law and Gender in Contemporary Palestine

Departing from the notion that gender relations are not merely produced and reproduced in legal, social or political discourse, but fundamentally define political discussions about national identity, my project deals with the question of which gender roles, gender concepts and constructs of masculinity/femininity/sexuality can be found in present-day Palestine. Towards this end, I will analyze legal discussions which – following S. Benhabib – I shall call “iterations” (Benhabib, 2008). On the one hand, I will analyze discourse taking place on the macro level concerning the development of legislation and particularly the legal domain of family law. On the other hand, I will also address the micro-level question of which terminology (e.g. with origins in Islamic law) is used in these iterations, which new and re-interpretations occur and which gender constructs and relations are conceptually expressed through these. For sources, I will draw on law in force as well as draft laws, jurisprudence from the years 2012-2013, scholarly material as well as newspaper and media reports.

Selected Publications

  • Women in the Islamic World: From Earliest Times to the Arab Spring, Princeton: Markus Wiener 2014.
  • Der Islam und die Frauen, München: C.H. Beck Verlag 2011.
  • The Petitioning System in Iran: State, Society and Power Relations in the late 19th Century, Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz 2006 (Iranica; 11).
  • Kinderverkauf und Schuldknechtschaft, Untersuchungen zur frühen Phase des islamischen Rechts, Stuttgart: Steiner 1999 (AKM; 52,1).
  • Das Bild des Richters in der adab al-qạ̄ dī-Literatur, Frankfurt a.M.: Lang 1990 (Islam und Abendland; 4).