Gender, Islam, and Modernity

Summer Program

  • Explore the role of gender in Turkey within the current political and cultural context.

  • Supplemental lectures by specialists, activists and community members.

  • Courses are taught in English at one of Turkey's most respected educational and cultural institutions, Kadir Has University.

  • Courses will provide opportunities to explore Istanbul, supplemented by a field study excursion to Turkey's capital city, Ankara.

  • Co-curricular activities include walking tours of the city and interaction with Turkish students and professionals, culminating in a digital story presentation created by each student.

  • Students earn six credits in six weeks.


Turkey is considered a space where there is a perfect balance of Eastern and Western cultural mores and traditions, but one can see conflicts and contradictions within various texts depicting gender and sexual identity constructions.

Despite nearly a century of reform and advancement toward equality for women, there is a disjuncture between the ideology of modernism and the implementation of it. This summer program emphasizes the importance of learning about Turkey and Turkish people, politics and culture both in an academic setting and beyond in the community. The program consists of two, three –credit, upper-level undergraduate courses.



KDAH ANPC 330S People and Culture in Turkey: Istanbul Perspective (3 Credits)

Istanbul, even though not a state capital anymore, is still the center of culture and economy of the Republic of Turkey and beyond its borders in the Balkans, Caucasus and Middle East. This course is designed to explore the complex ethnic, political, economic, and cultural dimensions of Turkish society through the perspective of Istanbul. Topics will include history, art and culture, economics, immigration, religious issues, and ethnic conflicts. During the course, the students will be exposed to the different layers of the city and its people, effectively using the city as a classroom.

KDAH SOGP 340S Gender, Sexuality and Politics in Modern Turkey (3 Credits)

This is an interdisciplinary course that will explore issues of gender and sexuality in Turkey. Turkey presents an interesting site for investigating how gender and sexuality are constructed, enacted, represented, and communicated in various contexts of contemporary culture. We will engage with issues of gender and sexuality in law, politics and culture. As Turkey is a majority Muslim country, we will also address these issues within Islam and the way that impacts their formations in Turkish society. More specifically, we will address such issues as: women's movements; the headscarf issue; reproductive rights and legal interventions regarding the body and sexuality; LGBTQ rights; Islamic women's activism; and media representations of gender and sexuality.



Students will live in Cihangir, in shared apartments a short commute from the campus, where they can prepare their own meals. Recently named as one of the top five places to live in the world by The Guardian newspaper, Cihangir is a quaint, historic neighborhood with all modern amenities and a charming old world atmosphere.


Co-Curricular Program

The co-curricular program in Istanbul is designed to engage all students in the community in a variety of enriching activities and experiences, with the possibility of earning a Co-Curricular Learning Certificate. The many activities the program will offer include: lectures by experts in the field; interviews with students and training in interview techniques; walking tours through various neighborhoods of topical interest; a visit to Ankara to meet with female parliamentarians and social ministers; attendance at Gay Pride Istanbul; and screenings of Turkish films with particular relevance to gender studies.


Mediterranean Studies Certificate

Participants in this program are eligible for The College of Global Studies' Mediterranean Studies Certificate.



  • Summer program: 6 credits.


Admission Requirements

GPA Requirement: 2.8 on a 4.0 scale.

You must be in good academic standing and not on disciplinary probation. You need to submit a complete application including a transcript, letter of recommendation and an advisor's form before your application will be considered.


Application Deadline

  • Summer: March 31