Book Talk | Rebuilding Community: Displaced Women and the Making of a Shia Ismaili Muslim Sociality (Oxford University Press)

25 Apr 2023


Announced by the University of Pittsburgh:

Over the course of the twentieth century, Shia Ismaili Muslim communities were repeatedly displaced. How, in the aftermath of these displacements, did they remake their communities? Professor Khoja-Moolji highlights women’s critical role in this rebuilding process and breaks new ground by writing women into modern Ismaili history. Rebuilding Community draws on oral histories of displaced Ismaili women who fled East Pakistan and East Africa in the 1970s and resettled in North America, to outline their minor, ordinary acts of care for coreligionists during flight and early settlement. The book narrativizes their struggles during flight but importantly tracks their stories of resilience and resourcefulness during settlement in the cities of Atlanta, Toronto, Chicago, Calgary, and Vancouver. The book shows how women drew on their faith of Islam to practice ethical subjectivities and theorizes an ethics of care that is tied closely to their religion. By emphasizing women's care work in producing relationality and repairing trauma, the author disrupts the conventional articulation of displaced people as dependent subjects.


Professor Shenila Khoja-Moolji is the Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani Associate Professor of Muslim Societies at Georgetown University. She researches and writes about the interplay of gender, race, religion, and power in relation to Muslim populations in South Asia and in the North American diaspora. Professor Khoja-Moolji is the author of award-winning books which include Forging the Ideal Educated Girl: The Production of Desirable Subjects in Muslim South Asia and Sovereign Attachments: Masculinity, Muslimness, and Affective Politics in Pakistan.


Dr. John L. Esposito is a Professor of Religion and International Affairs and of Islamic Studies at Georgetown University. He is the Director of the Alwaleed Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding in the Walsh School of Foreign Service.

Event Date: 
Tuesday, April 25, 2023 - 2:30pm to 3:30pm
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