Note: This is a student project from a course affiliated with the Ethnography of the University Initiative. EUI supports faculty development of courses in which students conduct original research on their university, and encourages students to think about colleges and universities in relation to their communities and within larger national and global contexts.

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Title:Academic Attitudes Towards Islamic Feminism
Author(s):Kumars Salehi
Subject(s):Gender, feminism, Islam, secular, transnational
Abstract:The realization of a transnational feminist paradigm has been a fundamental project of recent Western feminist theory and activity. Despite the wish to engage constructively and respectfully with the discourse of Islamic feminism, there is a secular tendency within Western academic feminism to attack the ideological construction of gender and sexuality as concrete social divisions. I conducted interviews with students, educators, and activists at UIUC whose work and other interests engage critically with gender issues about their personal notions about what ideological divisions exist within the umbrella of “feminism”. My aim was to ask participants what possibilities are apparent for a feminist discourse that simultaneously affirms gender equality in a religious context while reifying social divisions based on gender. I addressed the potentially problematic intersections between two feminist projects: that of destabilizing binary gender identity, and that of understanding the relationships between feminisms in a transnational context.
Issue Date:2011-08
Course / Semester:AAS258 Spring 2011 Muslims in America
Professor Junaid Rana
Introduction to the study of Muslims in the United States and broadly the history of Islam in the Americas. Using a comparative approach, we study how the historical narrative of African American and Latino Muslims relates to newer immigrant populations, primarily Arab American and South Asian American Muslim communities.
Date Available in IDEALS:2011-08-03

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  • Diversity on Campus/Equity and Access
    This collection examines ways in which the U.S. university and the American college experience are affected by diversity, and difference. In particular, these student projects examine experiences of diversity on campus, including important contemporary social, cultural, and political debates on equity and access to university resources.

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