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Title: "You're Othered here and you're Othered there" : centring the clothing practices of Black Muslim women in Britain
Author: Johnson, Azeezat
ISNI:       0000 0001 2449 2650
Awarding Body: University of Sheffield
Current Institution: University of Sheffield
Date of Award: 2017
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By using clothing practices, the thesis illustrates how we become Black Muslim women in relation to a multitude of objects, bodies, gazes and spaces. This contributes to research within critical race studies on the performance and production of racialised bodies across different spaces. Specifically, the thesis asks what analytical tools can be developed to understand how Black Muslim women negotiate presentations beyond a fixed categorisation of our beings and how clothing practices highlight different experiences of being Black Muslim women across a multitude of spaces. This extends work on the territorialisation of the body, emotional and affective geographies, performativity and material culture, as well as visual studies through phenomenological readings of race. Building these fields through the lens of Black Muslim stylisation illustrates how centring Black Muslim women in Britain provides the opportunity to develop new and critical knowledges on the co-production of different bodies, gazes and spaces within Social Geography. I explore how we perform our beings through the use of clothes journals and semi-structured interviews (based on Black feminist dialogue) with 21 Black Muslim women in Manchester and Sheffield. These methods (along with the research design and analysis) speak from and build upon a wider ethical commitment to reflexively build knowledge with Black Muslim women, and to challenge spaces of knowledge production and legitimisation that have excluded and/or objectified this diversity of beings across different spaces. To highlight these experiences of being, there are three analytical tools that come in and out of focus throughout the project; comfort, layering and visibility are developed within the interludes running between the empirical chapters. Meanwhile, the empirical chapters expand on our beings as shifting in relation to our presentations across three spaces (home, prayer and work). Home clothing illustrates how boundaries around the body shifts as we interact with different bodies (and boundaries) in and around the home. The clothes used for prayer speaks to the relationship between layering and prayer’s brief (and racialised) temporality: even after the material layer used for prayer is removed, the performance of prayer remains part of our overarching beings. Finally, I use work outfits to think through the clothing practices used to ‘fit’ into (i.e. negotiate visibility within) different spaces. By framing this thesis through the geographies of Black Muslim women, I extend research on how bodies are produced and shift across different spaces. This highlights different experiences of being across a multitude of spaces, and challenges a homogeneous and static reading of Black (and) Muslim women as Other to a white Self.
Supervisor: Phillips, Richard ; Olund, Eric ; Hussain, Yasmin Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available