Title page for ETD etd-08222012-121838

Type of Document Dissertation
Author Taylor, Reed W
Author's Email Address rtaylor2@vt.edu
URN etd-08222012-121838
Title A Postcolonial Inquiry of Women’s Political Agency in Aceh, Indonesia: Towards a Muslim Feminist Approach?
Degree PhD
Department Alliance for Social, Political, Ethical, and Cultural Thought
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Schmitthenner, Peter L. Committee Co-Chair
Scott, Rachel M. Committee Co-Chair
Gillman, Laura J. Committee Member
Smith, Barbara Ellen Committee Member
  • feminism
  • post-colonial
  • subjectivity
  • Islam
  • Southeast Asia
Date of Defense 2012-08-13
Availability restricted
In this dissertation, I develop a postcolonial theoretical approach to localized Muslim feminism(s) in Aceh, Indonesia, based on interviews with women in Aceh in 2009 and 2010. One of the central aims of this study is to challenge the dominant exclusivist discourse of ‘Islamic’ feminism by providing a viable alternative for ‘Muslim’ feminism(s), derived from collaborative, indigenous, and post-secular politics. I address the need for a religious feminist model of subjectivity that incorporates both the political and ethical dimensions of agency in potentially non-patriarchal and non-state-centric formations. I suggest a communal understanding of religious law as an alternative to conceptualizing religious law (syariah) in terms of a personal ethical code or a system of laws emanating from a state. I propose an alternative discourse of feminist agency and religious identity, one that reaches beyond a secular-liberal epistemology and challenges the hegemonic discourse of state-centrism within a privatized religious identity.
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