The Two Year Initiative on Islam and Other Religions
View Event Poster (soon!)
- February 2, 2011
- 4:00 pm in Lane's Center for Meeting and Learning
- CML 104 (capacity of 200)
- Free and open to the entire community.
Black Muslim Feminism: Sunni Muslim Women and the Nation of Islam
To understand the legacy of black feminism, or womanism, in Islam, one must begin with the Nation of Islam (NOI). Karim provides fresh ethnographic accounts of Sunni, or Orthodox, Muslim converts who explain why the Nation of Islam appealed to them, what it meant to be a woman in a patriarchal black nationalist group, and how their beginnings in the NOI continue to impact their Sunni Muslim identity. Karim's research particularly embraces the call for new methodologies in the field of womanist philosophy, ones that open womanist traditions beyond Christianity. The Nation of Islam, Karim argues, engaged race and gender as much as, if not more than, other movements that black women participated in the last century. The women who left Christianity for the Nation of Islam shared the same web of religious, educational, class, and racial experiences as the scholars and subjects of womanist theologies. Muslim women, therefore, fully embody the black feminist legacy,on ly channelling it in new directions.
Jamillah Karim is author of the award-winning book American Muslim Women: Negotiating Race, Class, and Gender within the Ummah. She obtained her Ph.D. in Islamic Studies at Duke University. Karim specializes in Islam in America, women and Islam, and race and immigration. Her most recent academic appointment was as associate professor in the Department of Religious Studies at Spelman College where she taught courses in the study of Islam for six years. In 2010 Karim moved with her family to Malaysia where she began her blog "Race+Gender+Faith." As an independent scholar currently residing in Atlanta, GA, she is writing her second book in collaboration with an American history scholar in the UK. Due out in 2013 by New York University Press, the book explores women's experiences and contributions in the Nation of Islam from the 1930s to the present.