“Being Muslim” Lecture to Shed New Light on the Cultural History of Women of Color in American Islam

“Being Muslim” Lecture to Shed New Light on the Cultural History of Women of Color in American Islam

Author and Rutgers University Professor of American and Women's Gender Studies, Sylvia Chan-Malik, PhD

Sylvia Chan-Malik, PhD, will examine the critical role and historical impact of women of color in 21st century American Islam at Fairfield University, Feb. 21.

A critical and nuanced understanding of Islam and Muslims is unquestionably important for those of us committed to engaging and bettering the world in which we live.

— Martin Nguyen, PhD, associate professor of religious studies and director of the Islamic World Studies program

Distinguished scholar and author Sylvia Chan-Malik, PhD, will share fascinating insights and inspirational stories of American Muslim womanhood in an upcoming lecture at Fairfield University based on her book, Being Muslim: A Cultural History of Women of Color in American Islam. The lecture is free and open to the public and will be presented by the College of Arts and Sciences’ program in Islamic world studies on Thursday, February 21, at 7:30 p.m. in the Kelley Center presentation room.

In her book, Dr. Chan-Malik offers an alternative narrative of American Islam in the 20-21st century that centers on the lives and voices of women of color. From the stories she gathers, she demonstrates the diversity and similarities of Black, Arab, South Asian, Latina, and multiracial Muslim women, and how Muslim womanhood has been constructed as a means of political resistance, social activism, and spiritual engagement in the shifting American context. During her lecture, Dr. Chan-Malik will shed new light on the long, but often overlooked history of Islam in America and the powerful ways that the work of Muslim women of color has influenced and continues to inflect our discussions and debates over race, religion, and gender.

“A critical and nuanced understanding of Islam and Muslims is unquestionably important for those of us committed to engaging and bettering the world in which we live,” said Martin Nguyen, PhD, associate professor of religious studies and director of the Islamic World Studies program. “Dr. Chan-Malik’s groundbreaking work is a perfect fit for our Islamic World Studies program’s overall scholarly concerns. It not only unearths the many stories of Islam in America, but it also carefully explores how those stories intersect with issues of gender, feminism, and the American racial discourse.”

Dr. Chan-Malik is an associate professor of American and women’s gender studies at Rutgers University, where she teaches courses on race and ethnicity in the United States, Islam in America, social justice movements, feminist methodologies, multiethnic literature and culture in the U.S., and U.S. history. While her current research focuses on the history of Islam in the U.S., she more broadly studies the intersections of race, gender, and religion, and how these categories interact in struggles for social justice. Her upcoming lecture is co-sponsored by Fairfield's Islamic world studies program, religious students program, and the Center for Catholic Studies.

Fairfield University’s new Islamic World Studies program launched in the Fall of 2018 with an academic mission to explore the historical, political, and religious aspects of Muslim societies, as well as the artistic, literary, and cultural achievements of Islamic civilization. For more information on the program or Dr. Chan-Malik’s lecture, contact Dr. Nguyen at mnyguen@fairfield.edu.

Being Muslim: A Cultural History of Women of Color in American Islam

Date: Thursday, February 21, 2019
Time: 7:30 p.m.
Location: Kelley Center Presentation Room | Fairfield University

Additional Details:

Distinguished scholar and author Sylvia Chan-Malik, PhD, will share fascinating insights and inspirational stories of American Muslim womanhood in an upcoming lecture  based on her book, Being Muslim: A Cultural History of Women of Color in American Islam

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Last modified: 02-14-19 12:00 AM

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