Pious Practices and Secular Constraints: Muslim Women and the Dilemmas of Citizenship in France

10 Feb 2015


Jeanette S. Jouili, Visiting Assistant Professor of International & Cultural Studies, College of Charleston to Present

The visible increase in religious practice among young European-born Muslims has provoked public anxiety. New government regulations seek not only to restrict Islamic practices within the public sphere, but also to shape Muslims', and especially women's, personal conduct. This presentation, based on Dr. Jouili’s forthcoming book, Pious Practice and Secular Constraints (Stanford, 2015), chronicles the everyday ethical struggles of women active in orthodox and socially conservative Islamic revival circles as they are torn between their quest for a pious lifestyle and their aspirations to counter negative representations of Muslims within the mainstream society. The talk investigates how pious Muslim women in France grapple with religious expression: for example, when to wear a headscarf, where to pray throughout the day, and how to maintain modest interactions between men and women. By teasing out the important ethical-political implications of these struggles, the presentation encourages us to think about the contribution of non-secular civic virtues for shaping a pluralist Europe.
Jeanette S. Jouili earned her doctorate in Sociology/Anthropology from École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales, Paris, and University Frankfurt/Oder in 2007. She is author of numerous articles and book chapters on Islam, women, and art culture in France and Germany, and coeditor of a special issue of Anthropology Quarterly on “Islamic Sounds, Secular Sounds and the Politics of Listening.” Prior to taking up her current appointment at the College of Charleston in 2013, Dr. Jouili held four postdoctoral fellowships: Duke University (in Women’s Studies, 2012-13), Cornell University (Society for the Humanities, 2011-12), Amsterdam Institute for Social Science, 2009-11), and International Institute for the Study of Islam in the Modern World (Leiden, 2007-08). Dr. Jouili ‘s current book project is tentatively titled “The Islamic Artistic Scene in Post 7/7 UK: Between Religious Ethics and State Discipline.” She is a finalist for a position in Islam in the Department of Religious Studies.

Event Date: 
Tuesday, February 10, 2015 - 2:30pm to 4:00pm
Sponsored By: 
SSponsored by the Department of Religious Studies, Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences, University of Pittsburgh
602 Cathedral of Learning (Humanities Center)