Muslim American Women on Campus

Undergraduate Social Life and Identity

By Shabana Mir

224 pp., 6.125 x 9.25, 1 table, appends., bibl., index, glossary

  • Paperback ISBN: 978-1-4696-2996-4
    Published: August 2016
  • E-book EPUB ISBN: 978-1-4696-1080-1
    Published: January 2014
  • E-book PDF ISBN: 979-8-8908-8415-2
    Published: January 2014

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Awards & distinctions

Outstanding Book Award, National Association for Ethnic Studies

2014 Critics Choice Book Award, American Educational Studies Association

Shabana Mir's powerful ethnographic study of women on Washington, D.C., college campuses reveals that being a young female Muslim in post-9/11 America means experiencing double scrutiny—scrutiny from the Muslim community as well as from the dominant non-Muslim community. Muslim American Women on Campus illuminates the processes by which a group of ethnically diverse American college women, all identifying as Muslim and all raised in the United States, construct their identities during one of the most formative times in their lives.

Mir, an anthropologist of education, focuses on key leisure practices--drinking, dating, and fashion--to probe how Muslim American students adapt to campus life and build social networks that are seamlessly American, Muslim, and youthful. In this lively and highly accessible book, we hear the women’s own often poignant voices as they articulate how they find spaces within campus culture as well as their Muslim student communities to grow and assert themselves as individuals, women, and Americans. Mir concludes, however, that institutions of higher learning continue to have much to learn about fostering religious diversity on campus.

About the Author

Shabana Mir is assistant professor of anthropology at American Islamic College.
For more information about Shabana Mir, visit the Author Page.


"Thought-provoking and timely . . . the book offers a nuanced, frank voice to issues seldom discussed so openly and a bracing challenge to academic communities, especially multicultural, religious, and women’s studies scholars, as well as general readers."--Publishers Weekly

"The reticence Mir found on both campuses is unfortunate in a university setting, where dialogue and mutual understanding should be the norm."--Washington Post

“Extremely accessible. . . . Highly recommended. All levels/libraries.”--Choice

“The social insights of Mir’s work - especially the reflections of a minority group on majority campus culture - and the approachable writing style make this text particularly useful to scholars of education and policy makers.”--Anthropology & Education Quarterly

"Important, timely, and provocative. Mir reveals the struggle of Muslim American women to negotiate identities in the gaze of both the dominant and Muslim communities."--Michelle Fine, The Graduate Center of the City University of New York

"A delightful and powerful read. Mir explores Muslim women's navigation of identity in the higher education context and finds that it is rich and generative, as well as troubling and alienating. The diverse perspectives of these women illuminate the many ways in which concepts of agency, modesty, normalcy, and practice are framed in contemporary society."--Sally Campbell Galman, University of Massachusetts, Amherst

Multimedia & Links

Follow the author on Twitter @ShabanaMir1.

Listen: In this interview, Mir talks to Sherali Tareen for the New Books in Islamic Studies podcast. (8/4/2014, running time 52:00)