Free hair as critical subjectivity

Something exciting is afoot in Iran. Since 2014, women have been wanting to throw off their hijab and live more authentic lives. Led by journalist Masih Alinejad, many have taken to social media to protest against compulsory hijab. Using the slogan ‘My stealthy freedom’, they post photos and videos of themselves defiantly unveiled. In response… Continue reading Free hair as critical subjectivity

My first book: Gender and Islam in Indonesian Cinema

I feel pleased and humbled to announce the publication of my first book, Gender and Islam in Indonesian Cinema (2017 Palgrave Macmillan. Chapters can purchased separately here) based on my field research between 2011 and 2012 in Jakarta and Yogyakarta where I was privileged to interview film directors, film producers, festival organisers, film critics and enthusiasts in… Continue reading My first book: Gender and Islam in Indonesian Cinema

Post-liberal jihad: Muslim feminism during a time of cruelty and despair

I’ve written a commissioned article for The G-Blog on the present challenges of Muslim feminism in Malaysia and globally, linking it to wider structures of war, (post)-neoliberal economics, and the rise of alt-right political narratives. Excerpt: Situating Muslim feminism in the bigger picture Let’s face it, times are bad. Full-time and secure paid work are… Continue reading Post-liberal jihad: Muslim feminism during a time of cruelty and despair

What is Islamic about Islamic cinema?

I’ve written a short essay for the Indonesian film journal, Cinema Poetica, ahead of my forthcoming book, Gender and Islam in Indonesian Cinema (2017), published by Palgrave Macmillan: There is perhaps a queasiness on the part of filmmakers, critics, and audiences alike about the label ‘Islamic cinema’. Such feelings are understandable because the creation of… Continue reading What is Islamic about Islamic cinema?

Ambivalent Malay-Muslim Women: Why They Reject the Hijab

I’ve been asked to write a blog post for The G-Blog on women who do not wear the hijab as a ‘counter’ opinion to other pieces on women who wear it. During the editorial process of the blog post, I was reminded again how sensitive the topic of the hijab is and that ‘strong’ views… Continue reading Ambivalent Malay-Muslim Women: Why They Reject the Hijab

What it means to be a ‘free hair’ in a predominantly Muslim society

This is an edited version of a conference and seminar paper presented at the National University of Singapore in March 2016 and Australian National University in April 2016: Women who decide to remain un-veiled or ‘free hair’ (colloquial, noun) are a significant minority within predominantly Muslim societies. Their sartorial decisions are often couched in a… Continue reading What it means to be a ‘free hair’ in a predominantly Muslim society

Public seminar at National University of Singapore this month

My dear followers and readers of this blog, I will be presenting my early findings of my new research project on non-veiling in Malaysia in the Department of Southeast Asian Studies, National University of Singapore (NUS) on Wednesday 23rd March 2016. This is going quite exciting for me as it’s the debut of my first… Continue reading Public seminar at National University of Singapore this month

Non-veiling and down-veiling narratives in Malaysia

  Project statement in English It would be wise to establish that, in Malaysia, the dichotomy between the unveiled and veiled woman as oppositional and mutually exclusive is a reductive one, masking the shifting subjectivities of women who wish to unveil but cannot, women who remove the veil but choose to eventually re-veil, women who… Continue reading Non-veiling and down-veiling narratives in Malaysia