K-12 Teachers Workshop

K-12 Teachers Workshop

World on Trial: Headscarf Law Teacher’s Workshop

Saturday, November 9, 2013

114 Katz Building                                           4130 Wesley W. Posvar Hall

Penn State University                                     University of Pittsburgh

University Park, PA                                         Pittsburgh, PA

Six Act 48 hours will be provided upon request

8:30 – 9:00 a.m.          Registration

                                   (Coffee, tea, and breakfast pastries will be available)

9:00 – 9:15 a.m.          Welcome and Introduction / Pre-survey

                                   Sarah Lyall-Combs, Associate Director, Penn State

                                   Veronica Dristas, Assistant Director, University of Pittsburgh

9:15 – 10:15 a.m.        Watch World on Trial: 2004 French Headscarf episode

10:15 – 10:30 a.m.      Break/ Begin webcast with Penn State/ University of Pittsburgh

10:30 – 11:30 a.m.      Ce que nous voile le voile/ Unveiling the veil

                                   Sandra Rousseau

11:30 – 12:30 p.m.      Veil (Hijab) from an Islamic Perspective

                                   Melek H. Yazici

12:30 – 1:30 p.m.         Lunch (provided)

1:30 – 2:30 p.m.          French Headscarf Law: Policy and Law

                                   Courtney J. Restemayer

2:30 – 3:30 p.m.          Bringing the Debate to the Classroom

                                   Dustin Lee Yenser

3:30 – 4:30 p.m.          Q&A with presenters


Ce que nous voile le voile/ Unveiling the veil

Sandra Rousseau

In 2004 and 2011, laws were passed in France that banned the wearing of “ostentatious” religious signs in both schools and public spaces. These two laws have been widely debated in French and international media and have been discussed in terms relative to justice, equality and ethics. Yet it seems that the historical underpinnings for these laws have been eclipsed or merged with a contemporary reading of the world that does not consider the specificity of the French Republican Tradition which emerged around the time of the French Revolution (1789). Rousseau will try to make connections between the French idea of separation of church and State and the passing of the 2004 and 2011 laws and will then address the cultural impact of the Muslim community in France, focusing on the history of North-African immigration and the renewed outbreaks of racism and discriminations from the 1980s onward.

Sandra Rousseau is a third-year doctoral student at Penn State University. She arrived at Penn State in 2007 as the exchange student from Lyon II where she completed her Master’s degree in American civilization. She then completed a Master’s in French Civilization on problems surrounding the concept of “the duty to remember.” Her dissertation research focuses on the practices and functions of humor in mediating and creating Franco-Algerian memories. This project enables the intersection of several of her fields of interest: memory, history, humor, popular culture, decolonization and equality.

Veil (Hijab) from an Islamic Perspective

Melek H. Yazici

This session will explain the Islamic perspective governing the headscarf based on the Quran and the hadith, which are two primary sources of Islamic law. The origin of the veil and different types of headscarf found in the Muslim world today will be discussed. The session will further examine the significance of the veil for Muslim women, and why these women see the headscarf ban as a form of oppression with references to real stories.

Melek H. Yazici works as a Strategic Sourcing Analyst at the University of Pittsburgh. She graduated from Pitt with a Finance degree, an Economics minor, and a Global Economy and Governance certificate from the Global Studies Center. She is currently pursuing an MBA at the Katz Graduate School of Business. She translated newspaper articles and court rulings with regards to the headscarf ban for Turkish Women’s Rights Association against Discrimination called AKDER and was one of the translators of the book “European Court of Human Rights under the Light of Leyla Sahin Decision” from Turkish to English which examines the case decision on the headscarf ban in Turkey.

French Headscarf Law:  Policy and Law

Courtney J. Restemayer

This session will explain the policies and principles of the French “headscarf ban” law, summarize the significance of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) affiliation, and discuss the human rights implications of the law.

Courtney J. Restemayer is a joint degree student pursing a Juris Doctor/Master of International Affairs degree at Penn State’s School of International Affairs (SIA) and Dickinson School of Law. She is an Executive Editor on Yearbook on Arbitration and Mediation with a forthcoming publication in its foreign decisional section. She also has worked with the American Law Institute contributing to the forthcoming Restatement Third of U.S. Domestic Law on International Arbitration.

Bringing the Debate to the Classroom

Dustin Lee Yenser

Yenser will present the curriculum and supplementary materials he developed along with the research methods used to create it. Students following his method will research the practice of covering and the motivation for the ban, view the trial-format debate between experts, analyze the arguments presented by both sides, and register their own opinion in the ongoing debate.

Dustin Yenser is a middle school social studies teacher at Young Scholars of Central Pennsylvania Charter School in State College, Pennsylvania. He has a B.S. in Secondary Education from Penn State University and holds certifications in Social Studies, Civics, and Earth & Space Science as well as Middle School Social Studies and Middle School Science. He taught in Norway and China before coming to State College.