GWS Welcomes Dr. Mahruq Khan!

Gender and LGBTQ+ inclusive flags at a Toronto mosque.

The Department of Gender and Women's Studies welcomes Professor Mahruq Khan to our faculty! Professor Khan is a sociologist, working at the intersections of gender, religion, and race. In particular, her work has centered on LGBTQ+ Muslims; feminism in Islam; anti-Muslim racism; and anti-immigrant sentiment, with a focus on new religious immigrants, refugees, and asylum seekers. We asked her to give us an image or object that helps to describe her research, and to describe her teaching philosophy. You can read more about her work and courses here.

I extended my research on gender-/queer-inclusive communal worship from the U.S. to Toronto to document how the LGBTQ+ Muslim community there was melding the importance of kindness, hospitality and love in Islam with values intrinsic to the local Canadian culture, as evidenced by the pattern blend on the flag on the left. I attended an iftar gathering (i.e. breaking of the fast during the holy month of Ramadan) hosted by Salaam (the Canadian LGBTQ+ Muslim support organization), which invited city officials, community members, and other interfaith leaders to "break bread" together and hold a sermon and congregational prayer that was queer/gender-inclusive. The organization is reclaiming tradition (Quranic text) to promote social change and gender/sexual diversity of Muslims.

 

Empathy, self-reflexivity, and social awareness, which are mutually reinforcing, are primary objectives of my courses. I develop students’ understandings of how various categories of analysis, like gender, race, and class intersect, simultaneously exacerbating inequality along one axis, enhancing privilege along another, and exposing the socially constructed nature of identities and group formations. By shifting away from simplistic binaries of “oppressor” vs. “oppressed,” I highlight the multiple institutionalized “isms” and individual agency that impact group dynamics, underscoring the “danger of a single story” (Chimamanda Adichie). Not only do I want students to deeply understand that people may occupy their same social worlds and have vastly divergent encounters, but also witness the important contributions that non-dominant groups make to society, despite structural constraints. Through discussions, students situate their own experiences within these complex social arrangements, reflect on their pre-conceived notions, find deeper connections to the issues and to one another, and thus, foster empathy.

 

Affiliated Faculty

rcurryRamona
Curry
sbsSiobhan
Somerville
lcachoLisa
Cacho
jcapinoJose
Capino
dbauerDale
Bauer
jabyrdJodi
Byrd
vmahaffeVicki
Mahaffey
desmondjJane
Desmond
ajgottliAlma
Gottlieb
dfr1Fairchild
Ruggles
vhoffmanValerie
Hoffman
faranakFaranak
Miraftab
danshaoSHAO
Dan
ldelgadoLuisa-Elena
Delgado
coliverM Cynthia
Oliver
kfrescoKaren
Fresco
rbhttchrRini
Mehta
aburtonAntoinette
Burton
azeraiAssata
Zerai
bowenMerle
Bowen
clcoleCL
Cole
degoldmaDara
Goldman
hogansonKristin
Hoganson
imolinaIsabel
Molina-Guzmán
joycetJoyce
Tolliver
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Flynn
lfitzgerLouise
Fitzgerald
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Kaganovsky
mwadeMara
Wade
ptreichPaula
Treichler
rnbrownRuth
Brown
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Chaplin
valdiviaAngharad
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hilgerStephanie
Hilger
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ngoFiona
Ngô
anpaikA. Naomi
Paik
megmclauMegan
McLaughlin
lreaganLeslie
Reagan
hnevilleHelen
Neville
frostSamantha
Frost
patgillPat
Gill
nadchChantal
Nadeau
vswisherVirginia
Swisher
jskahnJacquelyn
Kahn
dowlingjJulie
Dowling
amarshllAnna-Maria
Marshall
w-hellerWendy
Heller
hvardenHelga
Varden
shetina1Michael
Shetina
carafCara
Finnegan
orlieMelissa
Orlie
edelacruElizabeth
Delacruz
greppi2Teresa
Greppi
sandruizSandra
Ruiz
tarjany2Peter
Tarjanyi
kanthonyKathryn
Anthony
nblakeNancy
Blake
cingoldCynthia
Ingold
cajenkinChristine
Jenkins
wkorrWynne
Korr
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McDonagh
roswaldRamona
Oswald
lrosenthLisa
Rosenthal
chshapirConstance
Shapiro
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Proulx
iasakaIkuko
Asaka
gargiul2Megan
Gargiulo
addixsonAdrienne
Dixson
takauch2Yuki
Takauchi
loksiJenny L
Davis
tcbToby
Beauchamp
awegmanAudrey
Ramsey
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Lira
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mkashaniMaryam
Kashani
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Grogan
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Moussawi
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Egwuatu
ctilleyCarol
Tilley
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LaBarre
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Beasley
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Kelly
dleon6Diana
Leon-Boys
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Cervantes
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Compoc
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Davis