Muslim Women, Mobility, and Subjectivity (NeMLA's 54th Annual Convention 2023, Niagara Falls, NY, USA)

deadline for submissions: 
September 30, 2022
full name / name of organization: 
Northeast Modern Language Association (NeMLA)
contact email: 

The 2023 NeMLA conference theme is RESILIENCE, an anchor term for critical and creative work that explores how we bear up under trauma, counter ableism, redress social and racial marginalization, environmental destruction, and how we celebrate bodily, cognitive, and neurological difference, access silenced voices, recover from the pandemic, and struggle to save the humanities, and humanity itself from the maw of neoliberalism.  

Mulsim Women, Mobility, and Subjectivity is one of the sessions in the 54th Annual Convention of NeMLA to be held in Niagara Falls, New York, USA from March 23-26, 2023. Abstract proposals may be submitted here  by 30th September 2022. 

Muslim women have been a focus of heated academic, political and cultural discourses, especially after the cataclysmic incident of 9/11 and the global war on terror in which the universalist secular feminist narrative of emancipation of Muslim women played a key role. Public embodied display of Islam by Muslim women is harshly criticized and taken as patriarchal, suppressive and a cultural and political threat in the West; there are counter discourses, too, from those situated in the Western academia. In the debate between the secular and the religious regarding Muslim women’s gender, negotiated non-binary political subjectivity shaped by spatial mobility has received less scholarly attention and remained under-researched. English literature by Muslim women has presented artistic portrayals of a range of struggles, negotiations, agency and enunciation of Muslim female characters resonating with lived experiences. They depict gender struggle between the universalist secular and the conservative religio-local, and a social transformation intensified by increased spatial mobility. This session proposes to study literature in English by Muslim women from across the world and examine how Muslim female subjectivity has been inclusive rather than either secular or religious. Through the literary studies in the session, it would contribute to challenge the binaristic frames to view the gender of Muslim women and foreground the approach which is inclusive, dynamic and interstitial.