Guest Lecture by Professor Lara Deeb: “Leisurely Islam: Youth Negotiations of Morality in Shi'ite South Beirut”

January 28, 2011

Lecture: Lara Deeb’s “Leisurely Islam: Youth Negotiations of Morality in Shi’ite South Beirut”

Lara Deeb is Associate Professor of Anthropology at Scripps College. She is the author of An Enchanted Modern: Gender and Public Piety in Shi‘i Lebanon (Princeton University Press 2006), as well as of articles on Muslim women’s participation in the public sphere, the transformation of religious ritual, and Hizbullah in Lebanon. In addition to serving as Co-Editor for Book Reviews for American Ethnologist, Professor Deeb is a member of the editorial committee for Middle East Report and the editorial board for the International Journal of Middle East Studies.

Professor Deeb will discuss part of her new book-in-process, co-authored with Mona Harb and tentatively titled Leisurely Islam: Negotiating Place and Morality in Shi’ite South Beirut. She will focus on pious Shi’i youth’s negotiations of morality in relation to leisure. New cafes in the predominantly Shi’i Muslim southern suburb of Beirut, as well as a new focus on leisure in the community, are promoting the flexibility of moral norms and new tensions between norms understood as “religious” and those understood as “social.”

Sponsor: Middle Eastern Studies Program

Co-sponsors: the Department of Anthropology and the Department of Comparative World Literature & Classics

Contact: Professor Berberian ( or Professor İğmen (