In Forging the Ideal Educated Girl, Shenila Khoja-Moolji traces the figure of the ‘educated girl’ to examine the evolving politics of educational reform and development campaigns in colonial India and Pakistan. She challenges the prevailing common sense associated with calls for women’s and girls’ education and argues that such advocacy is not simply about access to education but, more crucially, concerned with producing ideal Muslim woman-/girl-subjects with specific relationships to the patriarchal family, paid work, Islam, and the nation-state. Thus, discourses on girls’/women’s education are sites for the construction of not only gender but also class relations, religion, and the nation.
“This ambitious and pathbreaking genealogical study of the circulation and political uses of the dense figure of the educated South Asian Muslim woman/girl is brilliantly executed and utterly timely. Khoja-Moolji has written an exemplary book destined to become a classic.” LILA ABU-LUGHOD, Joseph L. Buttenwieser Professor of Social Science, Columbia University
“A brilliant and unprecedented study . . . essential reading for anyone interested in the history of Muslims in South Asia and the gendered complexities of education.” JAMAL J. ELIAS, Walter H. Annenberg Professor in the Humanities, University of Pennsylvania
“Through careful sifting of archival material and interview data as well as analysis of important Urdu literary works, Khoja-Moolji highlights the historically, sociologically and politically contingent nature of discourses about women/girls education.” ALI S. ASANI, Professor of Indo-Muslim and Islamic Religion and Cultures, Harvard University
“A stunning genealogy of the Pakistani Muslim girl and her connections to educational, social, and national development from the colonial to the neoliberal state.” NANCY LESKO, Maxine Greene Professor, Teachers College, Columbia University
SHENILA KHOJA-MOOLJI is Assistant Professor of Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s Studies at Bowdoin College.
Khoja-Moolji, S. 2018. Forging the Ideal Educated Girl: The Production of Desirable Subjects in Muslim South Asia. California: University of California Press. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1525/luminos.52
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