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Beyond the Binary of the Religious and the Secular: Mobility-shaped Agency of Muslim Women in Kamila Shamsie’s Fiction
AbstractDespite plethora of feminist research on Muslim women in Pakistan, mobility as an intersectional factor in the formation of their agency and its cultural impact has lacked the focus of scholarship – and, this lack of focus is especially glaring in literary criticism of Pakistani English literature. With the aim to analyze the impact of mobility in shaping Muslim women’s agency in their performative creation of a third-space in relation to the traditional concept of modesty (sharmand haya), this article examines the female protagonists of Kamila Shamsie’s novels Broken Verses (2005) and Salt and Saffron (2000).It argues that mobility enables Muslim women to reposition themselves against and redefine the traditional understandings of modesty without affiliating themselves with secularist or conservative religious standpoints. This article invites attention of the academia to study mobile Muslim women’s subjectivity from the standpoint of the performatively created third-space which is shaped by mobility.
- Muhammad Safdar
- Ph. D Scholar, Department of English, University of Gujrat, Gujrat, Punjab, Pakistan