What is “development?” And, how do women and Islam – a subject monopolizing political, media and public discourse in the U.S. for almost two decades – advance or impede development? This course introduces participants to political theories concerning social and political development. It similarly introduces the subject of Islam from a historical, theological and legal perspective. During the course of the semester, and in contemplation of the second question above, students will consider the Islamic jurisprudential position on a number of women’s human rights issues emerging in contemporary societies. These cutting-edge social, economic, political and legal issues include female leadership and decision-making roles; women countering violent extremism; global health and gender; crime and punishment; early and forced marriages; the girl child and access to education; female entrepreneurship, among others. No prior familiarity with the course subject matter is required.