Engaging Modernity: Muslim Women and the Politics of Agency by Ousseina D. Alidou

By Ousseina D. Alidou

Enticing Modernity is Ousseina Alidou’s wealthy and compelling portrait of Muslim girls in Niger as they confront the demanding situations and possibilities of the 20th century. opposite to Western stereotypes of passive subordination, those girls are taking keep an eye on in their personal lives and resisting domination from indigenous traditions, westernization, and Islam alike.     according to thorough scholarly learn and huge fieldwork—including a wealth of interviews—Alidou’s paintings bargains insights into the that means of modernity for Muslim girls in Niger. blending biography with sociological information, social idea and linguistic research, it is a multilayered imaginative and prescient of political Islam, schooling, pop culture, and conflict and its aftermath. A gripping examine one of many Muslim world’s strongest untold tales. Runner-up for the Aidoo-Snyder booklet Prize, Women’s Caucus of the African stories organization

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Extra info for Engaging Modernity: Muslim Women and the Politics of Agency in Postcolonial Niger (Women in Africa and the Diaspora)

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This approach also best explains the data I collected during my ethnographic fieldwork between 1994 and 2002. Beyond Ethnicity: Brassage Sahélien One of the factors that inspired me toward a transethnic approach is the fact of brassage, that is, ethnic and cultural blending. As much as the census record—itself a product of European colonial conceptions of African identities—has categorized the population into seemingly discrete ethnic and religious units, it masks and distorts the reality of ethnocultural dynamics and composition of the nation (Kimba 1997).

A shirt without a neck, in Hausa), A qui la faute? (Whose fault is it? in French). I also visited Habsu Garba at the city hall in Niamey. At both the radio station and at the city hall, where she worked as a clerk, my visit was about exploring Habsu Garba in other professional settings where the topic was not the performing arts. Given that Habsu was my contemporary and we have so many common friends, and that her husband happened to be one of my very close friends in my teenage years, my home in Quartier Faycal became another setting for engagement not only with Habsu Garba, but also with her husband and other talk-show cohosts and coactresses.

She worked several years as a typist at the mayor’s office in Agadez City. As one of the few educated “native” women who saw themselves trapped by both sides of the conflict by virtue of their gender, Agaisha transformed her position of entrapment into that of sociopolitical agency by lending her voice to international radio stations such as the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) and Radio France International (RFI), serving as the voice of Tuareg women’s liberation. My interviews with her were conducted in Niamey during our two encounters in 1998 and 2002 and during the four days we spent together in 1998 at the conference on Women and War in Africa held in Dakar.

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