Bengal’s Muslims and the Global Politics of Feminism - by Elora Shehabuddin

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Bengal’s Muslims and the Global Politics of Feminism By Elora Shehabuddin Saturday 9 October 2021, 4 – 6 pm Bengal History Week 2021

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Bengal’s Muslims and the Global Politics of Feminism

By Elora Shehabuddin

Saturday 9 October 2021, 4 – 6 pm

Bengal History Week October 2021

Brick Lane Circle

Stretching from the eighteenth-century Enlightenment era to the War on Terror present, Shehabuddin’s new book Sisters in the Mirror shows how changes in women’s lives and feminist strategies have consistently reflected wider changes in national and global politics and economics. Muslim women, like non-Muslim women in various colonized societies and non-white and poor women in the West, have found themselves having to negotiate their demands for rights within other forms of struggle—for national independence or against occupation, racism, and economic inequality. Sisters in the Mirror is organized around stories of encounters between women and men from Bengal, Britain, and the United States that led them, as if they were looking in a mirror, to pause and reconsider norms in their own society, including cherished ideas about women’s roles and rights. These intertwined stories confirm that nowhere, in either Western or Muslim societies, has had a material change in girls’ and women’s lives come easily or without protracted struggle.

Elora Shehabuddin is Professor of Transnational Asian Studies and Core Faculty, Center for the Study of Women, Gender, and Sexuality, at Rice University. In addition to Sisters in the Mirror, she is author of Reshaping the Holy: Democracy, Development, and Muslim Women in Bangladesh and numerous articles and book chapters, co-editor of Gender and Economics in Muslim Communities, and associate editor of the Encyclopedia of Women and Islamic Cultures

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Organiser Brick Lane Circle (BLC)

Organiser of Bengal’s Muslims and the Global Politics of Feminism - by Elora Shehabuddin

BLC is a voluntary organisation (company limited by guarantee, founded in 2006) set up to help transform the intellectual landscape of the Bangladeshi community in the UK and take it to a new level of confidence and critical engagement with everything relevant for the community's progress and development.

The organisation hopes to achieve this by developing and facilitating better connections between people who are engaged in research and intellectual pursuits involving Bangladesh or Bangladeshis abroad; encouraging more people to get involved in objective knowledge seeking and creating opportunities for debates and intellectual exchanges.

The Circle believes that one important element necessary for making breakthroughs and solving long standing problems in our community, or any community, is to bring people from different backgrounds and political divides to talk to each other, discuss rival perspectives and debate over different narratives and ideas. The result is likely to be greater levels of empathy between people; better understanding of the problems and issues faced by Bangladesh and Bangladeshis at home and abroad; and an increased ability for finding better quality solutions.


1. Organise seminars, exhibitions, events and activities in the UK to encourage and facilitate research and knowledge generation / dissemination with respect to Bangladesh and Bangladeshis abroad

2. Consider, learn lessons and explore the potentials of the long historical links between Bangladesh and Britain

3. Explore and develop innovative ways of promoting better understanding between the UK Bangladeshi community and the wider diverse multi-faith / multi-cultural communities in Britain

4. Encourage and facilitate better connections between Bangladesh and the UK with respect to education, economics, social, culture and tourism

5. Engage young people in the UK from diverse backgrounds and generate interest among them to learn more about Bangladesh and Bangladeshis abroad and undertake innovative and exciting projects / activities for mutual benefits

6. Help develop deeper and shared common roots among the UK’s diverse population through research, knowledge sharing and learning about each other’s history, country of origin and experiences in the UK.

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