shopping_cart

Gendered Lives in the Western Indian Ocean
Islam, Marriage, and Sexuality on the Swahili Coast

Edited by Erin E. Stiles and Katrina Daly Thompson
Afterword by Susan F. Hirsch

Muslim communities throughout the Indian Ocean have long questioned what it means to be a “good Muslim.” Much recent scholarship on Islam in the Indian Ocean considers debates among Muslims about authenticity, authority, and propriety. Despite the centrality of this topic within studies of Indian Ocean, African, and other Muslim communities, little of the existing scholarship has addressed such debates in relation to women, gender, or sexuality. Yet women are deeply involved with ideas about what it means to be a “good Muslim.”

In Gendered Lives in the Western Indian Ocean, anthropologists, historians, linguists, and gender studies scholars examine Islam, sexuality, gender, and marriage on the Swahili coast and elsewhere in the Indian Ocean. The book examines diverse sites of empowerment, contradiction, and resistance affecting cultural norms, Islam and ideas of Islamic authenticity, gender expectations, ideologies of modernity, and British education. The book’s attention to both masculinity and femininity, broad examination of the transnational space of the Swahili coast, and inclusion of research on non-Swahili groups on the East African coast makes it a unique and indispensable resource.

Contributors: Nadine Beckmann, Pat Caplan, Corrie Decker, Rebecca Gearhart, Linda Giles, Meghan Halley, Susan Hirsch, Susi Keefe, Kjersti Larsen, Elisabeth McMahon, Erin Stiles, and Katrina Daly Thompson

Erin E. Stiles is an associate professor of anthropology at the University of Nevada, Reno, where she chairs the minor program in religious studies. Her research interests include Islam and law in East Africa.

Katrina Daly Thompson is associate professor in the Department of African Languages and Literature at the University of Wisconsin Madison. She specializes in African languages and identities, with a focus on ethnicity, gender, and sexuality.

Table of Contents

  • Glossary
  • Introduction
    Katrina Daly Thompson and Erin Stiles
  • Part One: Historical Transformations of Gender, Sexuality and Marriage
  • 1: Schoolgirls and Women Teachers: Colonial Education and the Shifting Boundaries between Girls and Women in Zanzibar
    Corrie Decker
  • 2: The Value of a Marriage: Missionaries, Ex-slaves, and the Legal Debates over Marriage in Colonial Pemba Island
    Elisabeth McMahon
  • 3: Two Weddings in northern Mafia: Changes in Women’s Lives in the 1960s
    Pat Caplan
  • Part Two: Contemporary Expressions of Coastal Femininity and Womanhood
  • 4: Pleasure and Danger: Muslim Views on Sex and Gender in Zanzibar
    Nadine Beckmann
  • 5: Sex and School on the Southern Swahili Coast: Adolescent Sexuality in the Context of Expanding Education in Rural Mtwara, Tanzania
    Meghan Halley
  • 6: Learning to use Swahili Profanity and Sacred Speech: The Embodied Socialization of a Muslim Bride in Zanzibar Town
    Katrina Daly Thompson
  • 7: Pleasure and Prohibitions: Reflections on Gender, Knowledge and Sexuality in Zanzibar Town
    Kjersti Larsen
  • Part Three: Defining Masculinity in Ritual and Marriage
  • 8: Unsuitable Husbands: Allegations of Impotence in Zanzibari Divorce Suits
    Erin Stiles
  • 9: Forming and Performing Swahili Manhood: Wedding Rituals of a Lamu Town Groom
    Rebecca Gearhart
  • 10: Spirit Possession and Masculinity in Swahili Society
    Linda Giles
  • 11: Being “A Good Muslim Man”: Modern Aspirations and Polygynous Intentions in a Swahili Muslim Village
    Susi Keefe
  • Afterword
    Susan Hirsch
  • Notes
  • Bibliography
  • Index

Order a print copy

Paperback · $27.96 ·
Add to Cart

Retail price: $34.95 · Save 20% ($27.96)

Hardcover · $72 ·
Add to Cart

Retail price: $90.00 · Save 20% ($72)

Buy from a local bookstore

IndieBound

US and Canada only

Download an electronic copy

Amazon Kindle Store Barnes & Noble NOOK Google Play iBooks Store

Availability and price vary according to vendor.

Cover of Gendered Lives in the Western Indian Ocean

Share    Facebook icon  Email icon

Requests

Desk Copy Examination Copy Review Copy

Permission to reprint
Permission to photocopy or include in a course pack via Copyright Clearance Center

Downloads & Links

Formats

Paperback
978-0-8214-2187-1
Retail price: $34.95, S.
Release date: October 2015
2 illus. · 400 pages · 6 × 9 in.
Rights:  World

Hardcover
978-0-8214-2186-4
Retail price: $90.00, S.
Release date: October 2015
2 illus. · 400 pages · 6 × 9 in.
Rights:  World

Electronic
978-0-8214-4543-3
Release date: October 2015
2 illus. · 400 pages
Rights:  World

Related Titles

Cover of 'States of Marriage'

States of Marriage
Gender, Justice, and Rights in Colonial Mali
By Emily S. Burrill

States of Marriage shows how throughout the colonial period in French Sudan (present-day Mali) the institution of marriage played a central role in how the empire defined its colonial subjects as gendered persons with certain attendant rights and privileges. The book is a modern history of the ideological debates surrounding the meaning of marriage, as well as the associated legal and sociopolitical practices in colonial and postcolonial Mali.

Gender Studies · African History · History · Mali · African Studies

Cover of 'The Gender of Piety'

The Gender of Piety
Family, Faith, and Colonial Rule in Matabeleland, Zimbabwe
By Wendy Urban-Mead

The Gender of Piety is an intimate history of the Brethren in Christ Church in Zimbabwe, or BICC, as related through six individual life histories that extend from the early colonial years through the first decade after independence. Taken together, these six lives show how men and women of the BICC experienced and sequenced their piety in different ways. Women usually remained tied to the church throughout their lives, while men often had a more strained relationship with it.

African History · Gender Studies · Christianity · Zimbabwe · African Studies

Cover of 'Heterosexual Africa?'

Heterosexual Africa?
The History of an Idea from the Age of Exploration to the Age of AIDS
By Marc Epprecht

Heterosexual Africa? The History of an Idea from the Age of Exploration to the Age of AIDS builds from Marc Epprecht’s previous book, Hungochani (which focuses explicitly on same-sex desire in southern Africa), to explore the historical processes by which a singular, heterosexual identity for Africa was constructed—by anthropologists, ethnopsychologists, colonial officials, African elites, and most recently, health care workers seeking to address the HIV/AIDS pandemic.

History · African Studies · African History · HIV-AIDS · Africa · Public Health · Gender Studies