Elizabeth Bucar, “Pious Fashion: How Muslim Women Dress” (Harvard UP, 2017)


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We’ve featured a few books on fashion and the Muslim world recently, all part of an effort to re-orient the study of women in the Muslim and Arabic-speaking worlds. Elizabeth Bucar’s Pious Fashion: How Muslim Women Dress (Harvard University Press, 2017) uses three different Muslim populations, Iran, Indonesia and Turkey, to look at what Muslim women wear and how it reflects individual agency. What’s so original about Bucar’s contribution is that it emphasizes how women dress, versus simply what they wear. Bucar looks at bad style, new media, global fashion, and religious authority in an account that gives agency to the subjects. But the book isn’t simply about Muslim women, but all women and is at its best when reminding the reader how dress functions in their own society.

Elizabeth Bucar is Associate Professor of Philosophy and Religion at Northeastern University. She was previously Assistant Professor of Religious Studies at the University of North Carolina, Greensboro. She is a religious ethicist who studies sexuality, gender, and moral transformation within Islamic and Christian traditions and communities and she received her PhD in religious ethics from the University of Chicago.

Nadirah Mansour is a graduate student at Princeton Universitys Department of Near Eastern Studies working on the global intellectual history of the Arabic-language press. She tweets @NAMansour26and produces another Middle-East and North Africa-related podcast: Reintroducing.

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