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Nur Amali Ibrahim
Assistant Professor, Department of Religious Studies and Department of International Studies
Sycamore Hall 201
Ph.D., New York University, 2011
- Islam in the modern world
- Theories of pedagogy and socialization
- Contests of scriptural interpretation
- Social movements
- Religion and media
I am an anthropologist of Islam who specializes on Indonesia. I am broadly interested in theories and debates concerning the acquisition of cultural practices, the formation of religious subjectivity, and the politics of defining religious orthodoxy.
My current project examines how university students in contemporary Indonesia, traditionally a powerful political body in the nation, become socialized into Muslims with divergent interpretations of their religion. I focus on two rival student groups: Islamists who hold a puritanical religious view and who demand the implementation of the sharia (Islamic law) in Indonesia; and liberal Muslims committed to pluralism and the secularization of the polity. While recent research in the anthropology of religion has cast important light on the development of rigid ascetic discipline among Islamists, what appears to be overlooked is that this religious docility comprises only one facet of contemporary piety that should not be taken as paradigmatic of Islam. I argue, in contrast, that the formation of Muslim subjectivities is contingent upon ongoing contests between rival factions over what constitutes “proper” Islam. To demonstrate this, I analyze the micro-practices of religious pedagogy, for instance, how the reading of the Quran is mediated through modern technologies of the self for the Islamists, and social sciences and humanities literatures for the liberals. These pedagogical practices allow university students to participate in Islamist and liberal Muslim networks (for example, as supporters, interns, or research assistants in NGOs, political parties, or religious institutions), which transforms these students into political actors, thus boosting each faction’s quest for religious hegemony.
- Harvard Academy for International and Area Studies Postdoctoral Fellowship, Harvard University, 2011-2013
- Dean's Dissertation Fellowship, New York University, 2010-2011
- Dissertation Fieldwork Grant, Wenner-Gren Foundation for Anthropological Research, 2008-2009
- International Dissertation Research Fellowship, Social Science Research Council, 2008-2009
- Doctoral Dissertation Improvement Grant, National Science Foundation, 2008-2009
- Graduate School of Arts and Sciences Predoctoral Fellowship, New York University, 2007
- Annette Weiner Predoctoral Fellowship, New York University, 2007
- Henry M. MacCracken Fellowship, New York University, 2004-2008
Courses Recently Taught
- REL-A 270 Introduction to Islam