A must-read for anyone interested in Muslim cultures, this volume not only explores Muslim identities through the lens of sexuality and gender - their historical and contemporary transformations and local and global articulations - but also interrogates our understanding of what constitutes a 'Muslim' identity in selected Muslim-majority countries at this pivotal historical moment, characterized by transformative destabilizations in which national, ethnic, and religious boundaries are being re-imagined and re-made. Contributors take on the most fundamental questions at the intersections of gender, sexuality, and the body. Several overarching questions frame the volume: How does studying gender and sexuality expand and enrich our understanding of Muslim-majority countries, historically and at present? How does the embodiment of 'Muslim' identity get reconfigured in the context of twenty-first-century globalism? What analytical questions are raised about 'Islam' when its diverse meanings and multifaceted expressions are closely examined? What roles do gender and sexuality play in the construction of cultural, religious, nationalistic, communal, and militaristic identities? How have power struggles been signified in and on the bodies of women and sexuality? How have global dynamics, such as the intensification and spread of neoliberal ideologies and policies, affected changing dynamics of gender and sexuality in specific locales? Here global dynamics touch down in diverse contexts, from masculinity crises around war disabilities, transnational marriages, and fathering in Turkey, Egypt, and Pakistan; to Muslim femininity narratives around female genital cutting, sexuality in divorce proceedings, and spouse selection; to gender crossing practices as well as protesting bodies, queering voices, and claims of authenticity in literary and political discourse. This book brings exciting research on these and other topics together in one place, allowing the essays to speak to one another across time, cultural locales, and disciplines, and enables the reader to engage the volume in comparative and cross-disciplinary fashion.
Gul Ozyegin is Associate Professor of Sociology and Gender, Sexuality, and Women's Studies Program at the College of William and Mary. She is the author of Untidy Gender (Temple University Press, 2000) and New Desires, New Selves: Sex, Love, and Piety among Turkish Youth (New York University Press, forthcoming 2015).
'This book makes significant contributions to the current debates relating to the issues of gender, sexuality and the body in Muslim-majority countries. Moreover, and interestingly, it pursues even further the in-depth study of the ways gender and sexuality are rooted in the lived experiences of everyday life in several countries while providing the reader with exhaustive examples from different disciplines. This is an accessible and useful book for anyone interested in grasping the complexity and diversity of the ongoing gender and sexual processes in Muslim cultures, without leading to orientalistic assumptions and assumed polarities.' - Giulia D’Odorico, Ethnic and Racial Studies
‘Gender and Sexuality in Muslim Cultures, is a powerfully illuminating source for exploring a neglected field of study. This volume brings together articles examining how discourses and practices channelled by Muslim identities act upon bodily practices, intimacies, masculinities and femininities in Egypt, Pakistan, Turkey, Iraq, Syria and Iran … The articles in this collection bring along ethnographic and historical accounts; and taken together, they decisively draw on embodied agency, negotiations and divergences. By doing so, this volume provides an excitingly deeper insight into how sexual and gender norms are maintained or contested.’ - Haktan Ural, Masculinities- A Journal of Identity and Culture
‘Gender and Sexuality in Muslim Cultures offers the reader a fascinating journey to delve into the nuance and complexity of what is often simply understood as "Islamic" and "Muslim."’ - Amanullah de Sondy, Gender and Society
'This is a welcome collection on sexualities and gender ideologies in Muslim majority contexts by established and emerging scholars. It fills a scholarly gap on body-focused regulations, intimacies, masculinities, and queerness. Authors focus on the "crises" produced when everyday forms of sociality challenge dominant sexual and gender ideologies and regulatory practices. This is a fresh and teachable text.' - Frances S. Hasso, Duke University, USA
'All in all, this collection introduces rich sources of information and seminal approaches to formations of Muslim identities through the lens of gender and sexuality. The articles shed light on the lived experiences by avoiding vague conceptions and overgeneralizations about Muslim cultural contexts. Thus, this collection is an excellent contribution to the literatures of gender studies and Middle East and North African Studies. Besides, the collection would also be helpful for academic scholars and students from a range of disciplines that are interested in diverse implications of global socio-economic transformations, as a number of chapters eloquently debate these global dynamics.' - Masculinities