Current Institutional Affiliation
Associate Professor, Department of Anthropology, University of California / Santa Cruz

Award Information

International Dissertation Research Fellowship 2003
Institutional Affiliation (at time of award):
Anthropology, University of Chicago
The Politics of Faith: Recognizing the New Islamic Subject in Contemporary France

The proposed research will attempt to understand the relation between the intersection of French republican and humanist principles and practice and Islamic principles and practices in the lives of young Muslims in France. How does the intertwining of these different traditions reconfigure the concepts, principles, and practices drawn from them in a process of subject- and identity-formation? In particular, I plan to analyze the nature of three elements crucial to the Islamic revival in Europe: the reconfiguration of the humanist principle of personal autonomy; the reconfiguration of authority through a reliance on religious texts and 'lay' intellectuals; and a refashioning of the relation between religious belief and practice and politics. To that end, I will conduct 12 months of ethnographic fieldwork in mosques, Islamic bookstores, Islamic organizations, an c lectures in Paris and its working-class suburbs. I will also conduct in-depth interviews with practicing Muslims (both men and women) of North African descent.