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Muslim Women and the Media Training Institute


Call for 2020:

Muslim Women & Media



The media is the most powerful vehicle for representing or misrepresenting Islam, Muslims in general and Muslim women in particular. Distorted images of Muslim women and Islam circulate widely in many media outlets. The past several years has witnessed a massive escalation of Islamophobia in the U.S. and Europe. Most Islamophobic media representations have Muslim women as their central subject. Muslim women in traditional dress have also been the most frequent target of Islamophobic hate crimes in the U.S. and Europe.


This program brings together leading academic experts on women and Islamic cultures and experienced journalists from the United States, Europe, and the Middle East, to engage participants in the diverse and global histories and cultures of women and Islamic cultures. The goal is to foster accurate reporting, representation, and public discourses related to Islamic cultures and to Muslim women in a variety of media outlets. The program is committed to the principle that knowledge is power; to the recognition that media are powerful molders of public opinion; and to the deep belief that evidence/facts/accuracy, when presented by respected public agents, can generate healthy public debates and constructively transform public discourse.


By the end of the program, participants will produce a report, opinion piece, article (long form or blog post), or visual/audio presentation for publication to a media platform of their choice (these do not include research papers or academic journal articles). Participants will attend an intensive 2 day seminar in Winter 2020 and engage with mentors in between. Participants will work with faculty and journalists through lectures and discussions on the histories and cultures of Islam and women in Islamic cultures and their representation in the media in the USA and Europe. In between the two seminars, participants will be given reading and writing assignments to submit to their appointed mentors by set deadlines. Mentors will respond with comments and feedback for improving the assignments. The final assignment will be the publishable or near publishable media piece.


The trainers include experts on women and Islamic cultures – editors of the Encyclopedia of Women and Islamic Cultures:

 • Suad Joseph:  Distinguished Research Professor of Anthropology and Gender, Sexuality, and Women's Studies at the University of  California in Davis

 • Zeina Zaatari:  Lecturer and Research Associate at the University of California in Davis and an independent consultant focusing on gender and sexuality in the Middle East and North Africa.

 • Elora Shehabuddin: Associate Professor of Humanities and Political Science at Rice University.

 • Shaheen Pasha: Assistant Teaching Professor at Penn State, focused on mass incarceration and prison education.


The Institute is open to graduate students in schools of journalism and communication, and to early career professionals within five years of degree completion. To apply, submit a CV, one letter of recommendation from a professor or employer, a short writing sample, and a statement of purpose no more than 600 words addressing your interest, qualifications, and commitment to this program to Suad Joseph: ( or Indicate the level of your knowledge or training related to women and Islamic cultures and your training or experience in journalism or communication and in which media platforms. For more information, see: 

COST Travel, accommodations, and catering are funded by a grant from the Henry Luce Foundation.



Application Deadline: CLOSED

First Seminar Date: March 28th, 2020



MWM Fellows Cohort III

March 2020

MWM Conference Zoom Call Image.

Muslim Women and the Media March 28, 2020 Seminar by ZOOM.


MWM 2019 Cohort II


Muslim Women and the Media Seminar:  March 2019, University of Illinois, Chicago


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