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SIEF2011 10th Congress: Lisbon, Portugal.
17-21 April 2011

(P122)

Islam in the making and unmaking of places

Location Tower A, Piso 0, Room 4
Date and Start Time 18 Apr, 2011 at 14:30

Convenors

Maria Cardeira da Silva (CRIA / NOVA FCSH) email
José Mapril (Center for Research in Anthropology (CRIA), Universidade Nova de Lisboa) email
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Short Abstract

There's a gap between research in Islamic contexts and research in contexts with Muslim minorities. Assuming that it is heuristically important to seek the ethnographic continuities between what has been called the center and periphery of Islamic and Arab we invite contributions that testify to that.

Long Abstract

In the current anthropological literature, a gap seems to persist between ethnographic research carried out in Islamic contexts and that undertaken in contexts in which Muslims are minorities. This is clearly visible in theoretical terms, namely because the debates and issues raised in one context differ significantly from those in the other. In this panel, though, we assume that regardless of the specificity of each context, it is heuristically important to seek the theoretical and ethnographic continuities between what has been sometimes called the center and periphery of Islamic and Arab contexts. Themes such as translocal Islam, revivalist movements, the place of religion in the public space, Islamic education and governmentality efforts, secularism, (liberal) citizenship, consumption, ‘modernity’, ethical self fashioning, gender negotiations, political Islam, ‘correct’ Islamic practices, etc, are some of the topics that continuously affect Muslims wherever they are. In this panel we invite contributions that address such or other issues, in a way that, from an ethnographic or theoretical point of view, can give evidence for and testify to our assumption.

This panel is closed to new paper proposals.

Papers

Pious living spaces: religiosity and gender in a Turkish-Dutch student dorm

Author: Deniz Batum (Radboud University)  email
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Short Abstract

This article looks at how an Islamic student dorm for females shapes gender identities in the case of minority Turkish-Dutch youngsters in higher education in the Netherlands.

Long Abstract

This article looks at gender practices at an Islamic student dorm in the Netherlands, for Turkish female students. Following Scott's theory of reinventive institutions, we argue the dorm is a reinventive social institution: reinventing and claiming the identities of its members, with the promise of Islamic self-development and ethical fulfillment. Gender practices become all the more stringent when people are held accountable by an institution.

Muslim migrant women building a home

Author: Rita Gomes Faria (Univ. Autonoma de Madrid)  email
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Short Abstract

Drawing on the parallel experiences of two sisters, this paper will approach the construction of a "home" as a moment to display family solidarity but also struggling contestations of belonging.

Long Abstract

In this paper we will try to understand what strategies women use to gain emotional and social recognition across the migration borders. Drawing on the experiences of two sisters - one who remained in the family household in Morocco, and one who migrated, against the fathers wish, to a country on the periphery of Europe, Portugal - we will try to understand the transformations in the gender roles and relations established both with the family who "stayed behind" as with the family that "moved on". In the process, issues as decisions on motherhood are put forward. We will draw on the work of female ethnographers as Homa Hoodfar and Ruba Salih to try to find how these Muslim women - migrant and non-migrant - strategically display family solidarity and also contestations of belonging across borders in the process of constructing a home.

A naked veiled woman: examining pornography, desire and ambivalence in Cairo

Author: Sarah Michelle Leonard (The American University in Cairo)  email
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Short Abstract

The paper explorers the actions and articulations of a group of men in Cairo who consume locally created pornography featuring veiled women.

Long Abstract

Drawing on a long term fieldwork project this paper explores the consumption of locally produced pornography featuring veiled (muhajabat) women in Cairo, Egypt. Seen as part of the complex and ongoing interweaving of the everyday and the extraordinary, rather than as something extraordinary in and of itself, my work presents and analyzes Cairene men's conflicting and often ambivalent moral and social stances surrounding pornography, desire and sexuality.

For many of my informants, pornography, masculinity and sexuality are closely connected; pornographic material holds value beyond the obvious outlet for sexual desire. It can serve as sexual education and initiation, as way to confirm and conform to hyper-masculine ideals, or even function as social capital. However as the popular, governmental and religious treatments of pornography unequivocally characterize it as haram (forbidden) or even as zina al-'ayn (adulterous, lit. adultery of eye) the consumption of such material places the men in a moral and social bind. Following Samuli Schielke (2008, 2009) among others, I hope to depart from the current approach to the anthropology of Muslim societies that focuses on idealized forms of subjectivity, religiosity, and morality. Rather, I am interested in how ambivalence and ambiguity in the everyday allows for a seemingly contradictory bricolage of practices to take place.

Placing Islam: vernacular architecture and the technologies of belief

Author: Rolando Melo da Rosa (Instituição João Tomás Nunes)  email
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Short Abstract

Dwelling on vernacular architecture and its implied devices, this paper attempts to translate constructed assemblages in Islamic terms, eliciting ethnographical and technological issues of compared relevance and belief.

Long Abstract

Considering some supposedly non-Islamic settings, this paper aims to unsettle modern paradigms and geopolitical presumptions of, precisely, Islamic attachment - and detachment. Following vernacular architecture trajectories in present-day Portugal and in an actor-network-theory mood, I'll try to critically expose technological constructing continuities remounting to the former so-called Islamic occupation period. What stands for vernacular being also a matter of concern, particular emphasis will be given to everyday alignments, boundaries and propositions. Moreover, extending belief concepts to non-humans in accordance with Quranic and Prophetic standards, the very methodological interface (anthropology itself?) should be tested for connectivity instances on housing, ownership, work, value and scale.

Looking for the feminine in circulation: about ethnographical researchers of Islam and the research participants

Author: Francirosy Ferreira (USP)  email
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Short Abstract

This paper wants to point some ethnographics notes of women researches of Islam communities who are interested in transnational mobility, immigration, diaspora etc. In this sense, I would like to present a map about the works and the circulation of the women researchers and their respondents. One of the results of this work could open is to show similarities and differences between the reasons of this mobility as well the reasons to stay at the same place. Another important point is the way how these Islamic communities are coming and going to your original countries and, in consequence, the women researches needs to follow the same dynamic. Available to researcher and researched has been the interest of broadening the discussion regarding the dynamics (over) put into the field.

Long Abstract

This paper wants to point some ethnographics notes of women researches of Islam communities who are interested in transnational mobility, immigration, diaspora etc. In this sense, I would like to present a map about the works and the circulation of the women researchers and their respondents. One of the results of this work could open is to show similarities and differences between the reasons of this mobility as well the reasons to stay at the same place. Another important point is the way how these Islamic communities are coming and going to your original countries and, in consequence, the women researches needs to follow the same dynamic. Available to researcher and researched has been the interest of broadening the discussion regarding the dynamics (over) put into the field.

This panel is closed to new paper proposals.