• The Institute for Religion, Culture, and Public Life
  • Free and open to the public

The Institute for Religion, Culture, and Public Life at Columbia is sponsoring the 2-day conference "Intimacies I & II: Sexualities in Contemporary Muslim Societies" and "Queerness in Muslim Contexts/Communities" on Thursday and Friday, April 13 and 14.

This conference examines issues related to love, sexual identity, LGBTQ social movements, and sexual and reproductive health in diverse Muslim contexts here and abroad by bringing together academics, journalists, activists, human rights advocates, faith-based leaders, artists, and others who have contributed to expanding and diversifying knowledge about sexualities in Islam. “Intimacies I” highlights conceptual and empirical understandings of Muslim and/or Islamic sexualities, and “Intimacies II” explores queer issues in Islam and Muslim communities.

The conference features journalist and commentator Mona Eltahawy as its keynote speaker.

“Intimacies” is also delighted to exhibit the photography of artist Samra Habib whose project, “Just me and Allah: Photographs of Queer Muslims,” provided inspiration for this conference and is prominently featured throughout the two-day event. An exhibition of her work will take place during the reception.

More details on the event can also be found through this link:

Although registration is not required, it is strongly suggested. Please RSVP to this free conference at Eventbrite.


Day 1: Intimacies I: Sexualities in Contemporary Muslim Societies

(April 13th, Presidential Room at Columbia Faculty House)

Panel 1: Muslim Sexualities: Exploring Definitions and Concepts // 9:45am – 11:45am

with Homa Hoodfar, Gul Ozyegin, Sofian Merabet, Scott Kugle, and Moderator: K. Soraya Batmanghelichi

Keynote Speaker: Mona Eltahawy // 11:50am – 12:45pm

Panel 2: Let’s talk about Sex: On the Ground Perspectives of Muslim Sexuality // 2:00pm – 4:00pm

with Eman Abedelhadi, Mashuq Deen, Urooj Arshad, Mahboubeh Abbasgholizadeh, and Moderator: Samira Mohyeddin

Intimacies I Roundtable: Coming Out Muslim // 4:15pm – 5:30pm

with Leila Mouri, Shep Glennon, Hinasahar Muneeruddin, and Wahiba Abu-Ras

Reception and Samra Habib Photo Exhibition // 5:30pm – 7:00pm

Day 2: Intimacies II: Queerness in Muslim Contexts/Communities

(April 14th, Lerner 569)

Panel 1: Queer Social Movements // 10:00am – 11:45pm

with Samra Habib, Tynan Power, Faisal Alam, and Moderator: Sima Shakhsari

Panel 2: “Variant” Muslims: Gender Pluralism & Ambiguity // 1:00pm – 3:00pm

with Faris Khan, Sima Shakhsari, Asli Zengin, Ali Mian, and Moderator: Durba Mitra

Intimacies II Roundtable: Sexual Violence // 3:15pm – 4:45pm

with Leila Mouri, Ayah Eldosougi, Wahiba Abu-Ras, and K. Soraya Batmanghelichi