This panel is interested in the gendering of the debate on 'everyday Islam' that recently took place in HAU: Journal of Ethnographic Theory. By this, we seek to renew a discussion that is of timely relevance, critically reviewing the legacies of the anthropology of Islam and the Middle East.
In a recent debate in HAU: Journal of Ethnographic Theory (2015, 5: 2), Nadia Fadil and Mayanthi Fernando observe that the question of the 'everyday' has become a prominent focus for the study of Islam in social anthropology and related disciplines. Taking up Lara Deeb's comment on their intervention, we consider the everyday a useful analytical category for anthropology, not in contrast to studies of Islamic piety and normativity, but as co-constituted with (Islamic) morality. Interestingly, gender has not been a part of this discussion, even though it plays a major role in many of the studies discussed by Fadil and Fernando. This is even more surprising given the fact that apart from being a methodological focus for the entire discipline, the everyday, especially the repercussions of power in the daily lives of women, have been a key theme of analysis and critique in feminist anthropology and in anthropological studies of the Middle East. Lila Abu-Lughod especially has been leading the way 'to convey a sense of the common everyday humanity' (1991) of the community she studied, showing how the 'dailiness' of women's poetry was capable of breaking coherence and introducing a world full of 'flux and contradiction'. Hence, this panel is interested in the gendering of the debate on 'everyday Islam.' By this, we seek to renew a discussion that is of timely relevance, critically reviewing the legacies of the anthropology of Islam and the Middle East.