Imagining Muslims in South Asia and the Diaspora
Secularism, Religion, Representations
Edited by Claire Chambers, Caroline Herbert
Routledge – 2014 – 256 pages
This book provides the first book-length critical evaluation of representations of Muslims from South Asia and its diaspora. It provides an analysis of literary, cultural, media, and cinematic representations of South Asian Muslims during the last few decades, and especially since September 11th, 2001.
Contributors contextualize these depictions against the burgeoning post-9/11 artistic interest in Islam, and also against cultural responses to earlier crises on the subcontinent such as the Partition, the 1971 Indo-Pakistan war and secession of Bangladesh, the 1992 Ayodhya riots and 2002 Gujarat genocide and Kashmir. Chapters analyse fiction, short stories, memoir, poetry, and film, in English as well as Hindi, Urdu, Bengali, Arabic and French.
Offering a comparative approach, the book cover the current interest in ‘new Pakistani literature’, and substantial ongoing interest in cultural representations of Indian Muslim identities, and the study of other South Asian Muslims, including Kashmir, Bangladesh, and the diaspora. It explores connections between artists’ generic experimentalism and their interpretations of life as Muslims in South Asia and its diaspora.
Surveying a broad range of up-to-date writing and cultural production, this concise and critical analysis of representations of South Asian Muslims will be of interest to students and academics of a variety of subjects including Asian studies, literary studies, media, popular culture, women’s studies, contemporary politics, sociology, migration history, film studies, and cultural studies.
1. Introduction: Contexts and Texts, Claire Chambers and Caroline Herbert Part I Surveying the Field: Comparative Approaches 2. The Making of a Muslim, Tabish Khair 3. Representations of Young Muslims in Contemporary British South Asian Fiction, Anshuman A Mondal 4. Muslim Women Writers in a Comparative Frame: (Dis)continuities and Border Crossings, Lindsey Moore 5. Lost in Translation?: Pakistani and Anglo-American Post-9/11 Fiction, Rehana Ahmed Part II Syncretism, Muslim Cosmopolitanism and Secularism 6. Secular Poesis and Nadeem Aslam, Catherine Rashid 7. Images of Andalusia in Anglophone South Asian Literature, Muneeza Shamsie 8. Syncretic Pasts, Secular Futures: Music and Muslim Identity in South Asian Fiction, Caroline Herbert 9. Islam and Secularism in the Development of Postcolonial Bangladeshi Identity, Nazneen Ahmed 10. ‘A Shrine of Words’: The Politics and Poetics of Space in Agha Shahid Ali’s The Country Without a Post Office, Rachel Farebrother 11. Hamlet in Paradise: The Politics of Indecision in Mirza Waheed’s The Collaborator, Peter Morey Part III Currents within South Asian Islam 12. Enchanted Realms, Sceptical Perspectives: Salman Rushdie’s Recent Fiction, Madeline Clements 13. Tahmima Anam’s The Good Muslim and the Tablighi Jamaat, Claire Chambers 14. The Terrorist and the (Sufi) Musician: Debating Politics through Pleasure in South Asian Films on Music, Ananya Jahanara Kabir Part IV Representations, Stereotypes, Islamophobia 15. Saving Pakistan from Brown Men: Benazir Bhutto in Post-9/11 US Media, Cara Cilano 16. South Asian Muslims, Homosexuality, and Narratives of ‘Progress’, Shamira Meghani 18. Conclusion
Claire Chambers is a Senior Lecturer at Leeds Metropolitan University, where she teaches contemporary writing in English from South Asia, the Arab world and their diasporas. She has published a book entitled British Muslim Fictions (2011) and is working on a new book on literary representations of British Muslims.
Caroline Herbert is Senior Lecturer in Postcolonial Literatures at Leeds Metropolitan University where she teaches contemporary postcolonial literature, British Literature, and South Asian literature and film. She is an expert in South Asian culture, with a particular interest in discourses of secularism, Hindu nationalism, and globalization as they impact on the city.