Saba Mahmood’s Transnational Feminist Framing of The Women’s Mosque Movement

Emma Loftis ’20

Peace Studies Major
Faculty Sponsor: Irline François

Julia Rogers Research Prize: Senior Honorable Mention


In Politics of Piety: The Islamic Revival and the Feminist Subject, Saba Mahmood provides an ethnographic account of the Women’s Mosque Movement in Cairo, Egypt: a movement which, Mahmood notes, makes Western feminists uncomfortable. This paper seeks to identify the origins of that discomfort by providing a historical analysis of the dove-tailing imperatives of the neo-imperial state and the politically prescriptive project of secular-liberal feminism. Aided by the theories of Jacqui Alexander, Leila Ahmed, and Lila Abu-Lughod, I advocate for a radical transformation of the supposed analytical certainties of secular-liberal feminism through a transnational feminist reading of the piety movement.

Read Paper

View Slides

More Info