by Shabana Mir
(University of North Carolina Press; 224 pages; Jan. 2014).
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. The book 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. Audio interview with the author
The Art of Symbolic Resistance: Uyghur Identities and Uyghur-Han Relations in Contemporary Xinjiang by Joanne Smith Finley (Brill; 454 pages; Sept. 2013). Smith Finley rejects assertions that the Uyghur ethnic group is a ‘creation of the Chinese state’, suggesting that contemporary Uyghur identities involve a complex interplay between long-standing intra-group socio-cultural commonalities and a recently evolved sense of common enmity towards the Han.
The Construction of Muslim Identities in Contemporary Brazil by Cristina Maria de Castro (Lexington Books; April 2013). The author studies the construction of identities of minority Muslim immigrants in São Paulo and Campinas in relation to the pressures of a strongly Catholic Brazilian society, the impact of globalization, and the internal negotiations between different groups in the communities, such as men and women.
Debating Islam: Negotiating Religion, Europe, and the Self edited by Samuel M. Behloul, Susanne Leuenberger, and Andreas Tunger-Zanetti (Columbia University Press; 350 pages; Oct. 2013). This volume offers a fresh perspective on the myriad debates surrounding Muslim minorities in Europe by putting recent case studies from diverse national contexts into comparative perspective.
Electronic Iran: The Cultural Politics of an Online Evolution by Niki Akhavan (Rutgers University Press; 147 pages; Dec. 2013). Discusses the “Iranian Internet” as a transnational and contested online and offline network.
From Symbolic Exile to Physical Exile: Turkey’s Imam Hatip Schools, the Emergence of a Conservative Counter-Elite, and Its Knowledge Migration to Europe by Ismail Caglar (Amsterdam University Press, distributed by University of Chicago Press; 146 pages; Aug. 2013). Discusses a network of religious schools whose students, prevented from study in Turkish universities, have pursued higher education in the West and now form a potential, pious “counter-elite” for Turkey.
The Headscarf Debates: Conflicts of National Belonging by Anna C. Korteweg and Gokce Yurdakul (Stanford University Press; 257 pages; 2014). Pays particular attention to Muslim women’s agency and voice in wearing or not wearing a headscarf.
Islam and the Politics of Culture in Europe: Memory, Aesthetics, and Art edited by Frank Peter, Sarah Dornhof, and Elena Arigita (Columbia University Press; 280 pages; May 2013). In the past decade, multiple images of Islam and Muslims have become part of the processes shaping the cultural particularities and sensibilities that define European identities. This volume examines these developments in the fields of memory politics, cultural production and Islamic art.
Islam in Indonesia: Contrasting images and interpretations edited by Jajat Burhanudin and Kees van Dijk (Amsterdam University Press, distributed by University of Chicago Press; 279 pages; Aug. 2013). Topics include Indonesian Muslim feminist reinterpretations of inheritance, and the construction of the country’s Islamic identity.
Jews and Muslims in the Islamic World edited by B.D. Cooperman and Z. Zohar (University of Maryland Press; Sept. 2013). A collection of essays on the symbiotic relationship between Jews and Muslims, including their history, social life, architecture, religion, music, and literature.
Law, State, and Society in Modern Iran: Constitutionalism, Autocracy, and Legal Reform, 1906-1941 by Hadi Enayat (Palgrave Macmillan; 256 pages; $90; July 2013). Incorporating history, sociology, and rule of law studies, this book sheds light on the emergence of a new legal system between the 1906 Constitutional Revolution and the end of Reza Shah’s rule in 1941.
Moroccan Noir: Police, Crime, and Politics in Popular Culture by Jonathan Smolin (Indiana University Press; 308 pages; $80 hardcover, $30 paperback). Draws on true-crime journalism, television movies, police advertising, and other sources to examine changes in Moroccan authoritarianism in the past two decades.
NEW A Society of Young Women: Opportunities of Place, Power, and Reform in Saudi Arabia by Amelie Le Renard (Stanford University Press; 224 pages; $24.95 paperback). This book joins young urban women in their daily lives—in the workplace, on the female university campus, at the mall—to show how these women are transforming Saudi cities from within and creating their own urban, professional, consumerist lifestyles.
The Sun Never Sets: South Asian Migrants in an Age of U.S. Power edited by Vivek Bald and others (New York University Press; July 2013). Tracking the changes in global power that have influenced the paths and experiences of migrants, these essays reveal how the South Asian diaspora has been shaped by the contours of U.S. imperialism.
Writing Religion: The Making of Turkish Alevi Islam by Markus Dressler (Oxford University Press; 352 pages; June 2013). In the late 1980s, the Alevis, at that time thought to be largely assimilated into the secular Turkish mainstream, began to assert their difference as they never had before. Dressler argues that Alevis’ demarcation as “heterodox” but Muslim and their status as carriers of Turkish culture are in fact of rather recent origins.
Young American Muslims: Dynamics of Identity by Nahid Afrose Kabir (Edinburgh University Press; 248 pages; Dec. 2012). Based on around 400 in-depth interviews with young Muslims from Florida, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, New York and Virginia, all the richness and nuance of these minority voices can be heard.