17/01/2012 09:55 GMT | Updated 19/03/2013 07:28 GMT

UEA Introduces Women, Islam And Media Course, First In The UK

A new university course focusing on women, Islam and media has become the first module in the UK to explore honour crimes and arranged marriage.

The lectures, offered by the University of East Anglia (UEA), will begin this week, with 15 students having already enrolled. The syllabus also offers to cover veil wearing and how such Islamic traditions are portrayed across film, TV, advertising and other media.

UEA claim the module, which will teach students about the work of women film-makers in countries where Islam is the dominant religion, is the first of its kind in the UK.

The module is the brainchild of Dr Eylem Atakav, a lecturer in the university's school of Film and Television Studies and a blogger for The Huffington Post UK.

"Women's place in Islam has been widely discussed," she said. "But the relationship between women, Islam and the media has only recently been picked up - particularly in relation to the Arab Spring and new forms of political activism by women.

"This module seeks to explore the role of media in understanding women's place in Islam, and the challenges of representing women and Islam in contemporary media - particularly in film and television - from around the world.

"It will cover different aspects of the relationship between women and Islam - for example, the political and religious resonance of the veil, representation of women as terrorists in films, and the consequences of arranged marriage in television programmes."

Dr Brett Mills, head of the school of Film and Television Studies at UEA, said: “Dr Atakav's module follows others on celebrity, crime television, new media and creativity, which draw on our staff's expertise, as shown by their wealth of publications. We remain committed to trying out the new - and exploring those topics being debated in wider contemporary society.”

Dr Eylem Atakav is also the author of a new book Women and Turkish Cinema: Gender Politics, Cultural Identity and Representation which will be published this year.