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Public Lecture: “Muslim Women in the Balkans between Nationalism and Transnationalism” with Ina Merdjanova (Trinity College, Dublin)
March 28, 2017 | 6:00 pm - 7:30 pm
Ina Merdjanova (Trinity College, Dublin) introduces her book Muslims in the Balkans Between Nationalism and Transnationalism (OUP USA, 2013).
With the newly-gained religious freedom, and in the context of multiple structural and cultural transitions, Muslim communities underwent remarkable transformations. They sought to renegotiate their place in formally secular legal and normative environments, mostly as minorities in majority-Christian societies. They reclaimed their Islamic faith, practices, and identities in a complex geopolitical situation dominated (particularly after 9/11) by anti-Muslim sentiments. The rising political and cultural self-awareness of Muslims in Southeast Europe was frequently expressed by recourse to two frames of reference: the national and the transnational. Despite a certain level of tension between those two perspectives, they were closely intertwined. Transnational Islamic influences often reinforced Muslim ethnonational identities rather than prompting a radical redefinition of religious allegiances in the key of a “universalist” Islam. Merdjanova explores the transformations of Muslim identities in the region under the influence of various national and transnational, domestic and global factors, while also looking at the historical legacies that inform present complexities.
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