Synopses & Reviews
Shabana Mir's powerful ethnographic study of women on Washington, D.C., college campuses reveals that being a young female Muslim in post-9/11 America means experiencing double scrutiny—scrutiny from the Muslim community as well as from the dominant non-Muslim community. Muslim American Women on Campus
illuminates the processes by which a group of ethnically diverse American college women, all identifying as Muslim and all raised in the United States, construct their identities during one of the most formative times in their lives.
Mir, an anthropologist of education, focuses on key leisure practices--drinking, dating, and fashion--to probe how Muslim American students adapt to campus life and build social networks that are seamlessly American, Muslim, and youthful. In this lively and highly accessible book, we hear the women's own often poignant voices as they articulate how they find spaces within campus culture as well as their Muslim student communities to grow and assert themselves as individuals, women, and Americans. Mir concludes, however, that institutions of higher learning continue to have much to learn about fostering religious diversity on campus.
"In this thought-provoking and timely study, Mir, a Millikin University assistant professor in global studies, investigates how Muslim women on Washington, D.C. college campuses navigate their social lives through the complicated religious and cultural expectations of families, peers, friends, and themselves. Mir interviews a wide range of women: Asian, Middle Eastern, and African immigrants; American converts, both black and white; strictly conservative, teetotaling 'hijabis' (women who wear the headscarf); feminists, drinkers, and daters; and many practicing a myriad of permutations in between. Focusing on choices around drinking, modest dress, wearing the hijab, and dating, Mir, who as a progressive Muslim woman appears to struggle with these issues herself, reveals the constant balancing act these women perform, using strategies 'oriented both toward teaching others about Islam, Muslims, and Muslim women and toward dodging the stereotypes and assumptions that majority American peers inscribed on them.' Despite some academic lingo, the book offers a nuanced, frank voice to issues seldom discussed so openly, and a bracing challenge to academic communities, especially multicultural, religious, and women's studies scholars, as well as general readers." Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
"Important, timely, and provocative. Mir reveals the struggle of Muslim American women to negotiate identities in the gaze of both the dominant and Muslim communities."--Michelle Fine, The Graduate Center of the City University of New York
About the Author
Shabana Mir is assistant professor of global studies and anthropology at Millikin University.