A new course exploring the relationship between women, Islam and the media starts this week at the University of East Anglia.
The module, thought to be the first of its kind in the UK, will cover topics such as veil wearing, arranged marriage and ‘honour’ crimes – looking specifically at how they are portrayed across film, TV, advertising and other media.
Students will also learn about the work of women film-makers in countries where Islam is the dominant religion.
The module is the brainchild of Dr Eylem Atakav, a lecturer in the university’s school of Film and Television Studies
She said: “Women's place in Islam has been widely discussed. But the relationship between women, Islam and the media has only recently been picked up - particularly in relation to the Arab Spring and new forms of political activism by women.
“This module seeks to explore the role of media in understanding women's place in Islam, and the challenges of representing women and Islam in contemporary media - particularly in film and television - from around the world.
“It will cover different aspects of the relationship between women and Islam - for example, the political and religious resonance of the veil, representation of women as terrorists in films, and the consequences of arranged marriage in television programmes.”
The module launches this week and 15 third-year students are enrolled.
Dr Brett Mills, head of the school of Film and Television Studies at UEA, said: “As one of the longest established Film and Television departments in the UK, we have a long and successful tradition of innovative teaching content and being at the forefront of the subject area internationally.
“Dr Atakav's Women, Islam and Media module follows others on celebrity, crime television, new media, creativity, documentary, animation, and production, which draw on our staff's expertise, as shown by their wealth of publications. We remain committed to trying out the new - and exploring those topics being debated in wider contemporary society.”
Dr Eylem Atakav is the author of a new book Women and Turkish Cinema: Gender Politics, Cultural Identity and Representation
which will be published by Routledge this year.
Her research interests include the representation of women in contemporary film and television, the implications of the representation of Muslim women in the media, the concept of violence against women, the relationship between women and media, and women and religion.