Elizabeth M. Bucar
Pious Fashion: Women’s Ethical Negotiations of Aesthetic Authorities in Tehran
Monday, April 6th at 4pm
121 Bay State Rd. 1st Floor
For the study of religious ethics, hijabi fashionistas raise a number of questions, such as how does a woman seeking to enhance her appearance still embody the Islamic virtue of modesty and in which ways does fashion-veiling have tangible political, epistemological, or theological affects? In this talk I frame Muslim women’s dress as the ethical negotiation of multiple aesthetic authorities. I argue that through specific clothing choices Muslim women are leveraging the attention put on the public presentation of their bodies to become important local creators, arbiters, and critics of norms and values.
Elizabeth Bucar works within the Islamic and Christian traditions on issues of gender, politics, and emergent technologies (new media and medical advances). Her books include Does Human Rights Need God? Co-edited with Barbra Barnett (Eerdmans, 2005), Creative Conformity: The Feminist Politics of U.S. Catholic and Iranian Shi’I Women (Georgetown University Press, 2011), and The Islamic Veil: A Beginner’s Guide (Oneworld Publications, 2012). She is currently working on two new comparative projects tentatively titled The Good of Ambiguous Bodies: The Comparative Ethics of Transsexuality and Pious Fashion: The Virtues of Hijabi Fashionistas. She co-chairs the Comparative Religious Ethics Group at the American Academy of Religion and serves on the board of the Society for the Study of Muslim Ethics.
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