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Speaker(s): Elif Shafak
Chair: Professor Mary Evans

Recorded on 25 February 2017 at Sheikh Zayed Theatre, New Academic Building

Today all across the Middle East we observe a backlash of patriarchy. Women are being pushed back into the private space, reminded of their roles as mothers and wives. Even the fundamental rights that we thought we had can be lost easily. In truth, not only the Middle East but all over the world, women, especially Muslim women, are increasingly asking the most difficult questions and having the most engaging discussions on identity, religion, faith, freedom and sexuality. Join us for a thought-provoking discussion about some of the most compelling issues of our times.

Elif Shafak (@Elif_Safak) is an award-winning novelist and the most widely read female writer in Turkey. She is also a political commentator and an inspirational public speaker. She writes in both Turkish and English, and has published 15 books, 10 of which are novels, including the bestselling The Bastard of Istanbul and The Forty Rules of Love. Her latest novel is Three Daughters of Eve. Her books have been translated into more than forty languages. She has been longlisted for the Orange Prize, MAN Asian Prize; the Baileys Prize and the IMPAC Dublin Award, and shortlisted for the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize and RSL Ondaatje Prize.

Elif is a TED Global speaker, a member of Weforum Global Agenda Council on Creative Economy in Davos and a founding member of ECFR (European Council on Foreign Relations). She has been awarded the title of Chevalier de l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres in 2010 by the French government. Elif has taught at various universities in Turkey, UK and USA. She holds a degree in International Relations, a masters degree in Gender and Women’s Studies and a PhD in Political Science. She is known as a women’s rights, minority rights and LGBT rights advocate.

Mary Evans is Centennial Professor in the Gender Institute at LSE. Prior to coming to the LSE as a Visiting Fellow she taught Women's Studies and Sociology at the University of Kent. The primary focus of Professor Evans' work is those narratives (be they fictional or otherwise) through which we construct our social identity. Professor Evans is particularly interested in the part that gender and class play in these narratives and the ways in which narratives of ourselves are a essential part of what we define as the modern.

LSE’s Gender Institute (@LSEGenderTweet) is the largest gender studies centre in Europe. With a global perspective, the Gender Institute’s research and teaching intersects with other categories of analysis such as race, ethnicity, class and sexuality; because gender relations work in all spheres of life, interdisciplinarity is key to our approach.

The LSE Middle East Centre (@LSEMiddleEast) builds on LSE's long engagement with the Middle East and North Africa and provides a central hub for the wide range of research on the region carried out at LSE.

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