Umme Al-wazedi and Afrin Zeenat, "Veil Obsessed: Representations in Literature, Art, and Media" (Syracuse UP, 2024)


In their edited volume Veil Obsessed: Representations in Literature, Art, and Media (Syracuse University Press, 2024), Umme Al-wazedi and Afrin Zeenat complicate discussions of the veil and highlight the prevalent anxieties surrounding it. The edited volume is unique in its focus and engagement of the veil as it appears in various literary, artistic, and popular cultures, such as of historical Algeria and contemporary Iranian television series, Bollywood films, and street art in Europe. The book locates these critical discussions and theoretical interventions within both a postcolonial and neocolonial critique of how the veil was orientalised and fetishized historically, for example in the Victorian transmissions of the 1001 Nights, and how the veil, specifically the burka, is deployed in reductive and harmful ways in contemporary state projects today, as seen in France, and even in popular liberal discourses (such as in the United States). The essays in this collection are sharp and accessibly written and will be useful as a teaching tool in various undergraduate courses. The book will also be of interest to those who work on literature, popular culture, gender, Islam, and much more.

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Shobhana Xavier

Shobhana Xavier is an Associate Professor of Religious Studies at Queen’s University. More details about her research and scholarship may be found here. She may be reached at You can follow her on Twitter via @shobhanaxavier.

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