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Images of the Muslim Woman and the Construction of Muslim Identity: The Essentialist Paradigm (Book chapter)

Book title: "I Sing the body electric". Body, Voice, Technology and Religion

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Book Series: Journal for Religion, Film and Media ISSN: 2414-0201 ISBN: 9783741000461 Year: Volume: 2/1 Pages: 91-110 Language: english
Publisher: Schüren Verlag
Added to DOAB on : 2020-09-08 08:49:13
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Abstract

This article argues that much of the postmodern discourse on the Muslim woman and her veil is symptomatic of what I call the “essentialist paradigm”. The world is seen through the prism of a group’s religious/cultural identity and eventually constructs a Muslim identity – and with it an image of the Muslim Woman. The image of the oppressed veiled Muslim Woman and the treatment of a piece of cloth as synonymous with her whole identity and being are products of this paradigm of thought. Using an interdisciplinary approach that combines discourse analysis and a case study of the construction of the British Muslim community, this article argues that the essentialist paradigm ignores the context of its subject matter with all its accompanying power structures, political and social factors, and the roles played by both the state and fundamentalist Islam in constructing a Muslim identity and with it the Muslim Woman and her dress code.

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"I Sing the body electric". Body, Voice, Technology and Religion

Authors: --- --- --- --- et al.
Book Series: Journal for Religion, Film and Media ISSN: 2414-0201 ISBN: 9783741000461 Year: Volume: 2/1 Pages: 130 Language: english
Publisher: Schüren Verlag
Subject: Visual Arts --- Religion
Added to DOAB on : 2020-08-27 11:16:23
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In his controversial poem “I Sing the Body Electric”, Walt Whitman glorified the human body in all its forms. The world according to Whitman is physical and sensual. Bodies are our fundamental way of being – being in the here and now, being in time and space. Bodies we have and bodies we are are as much sensed, felt, experienced, seen, or heard as they are material objects.2 As bodies, we are in space, and through our bodies, their processes, their practices, their skills, we leave traces in space and time and extend ourselves in space. Bodies that extend and reach out and communicate through voice, as well as how voice materialises the immaterial, was the topic of a colloquium, “I Sing the Body Electric”, held at the University of Hull, United Kingdom, in 2014, which in turn inspired the following special issue of the Journal for Religion, Film and Media (JRFM).Following on from the colloquium’s inspiration, this JRFM issue is dedicated to the interrelation between religion, body, technology, and voice and its analysis from an interdisciplinary perspective using approaches from musicology, philosophy, and religious studies.

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2016 (2)