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.