In this talk, WGSS Visiting Scholar Anna Piela discusses themes arising from research she has conducted with 35 niqab-wearing women in the UK and US. Beyond the central question of the research – why do they wear the niqab? – she considers other issues that emerged as meaningful in their narratives, including how Islamophobia plays out differently in the US and the UK. The rise of global anti-immigrant sentiment – signaled by both Brexit and the 2016 Presidential US Elections – have prompted a rise in hostility towards these visibly Muslim women. Despite these often violent attacks, women continue to emphasize the centrality of religious practice to their sense of subjectivity and identity. This talk will focus on the strategies they adopt to navigate this difficult sociopolitical terrain.
Lunch will be provided.