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Faith and Fashion – Embodiment, Gender and Religious Visibility

30th January, 2019 @ 17:00 - 19:00

Woolf Institute


Faith and Fashion from London College of Fashion, UAL joins the Woolf Institute in Cambridge to explore the interplay of body management, gender, and religious cultures from a comparative perspective.

Professor Reina Lewis will discuss the politics of religious visibility through dress in the interfaith context. She will reflect on how dress and body management, as expressions of religious and ethnic identities, are variably legible in particular contexts for different audiences. Dr Kristin Aune will speak about her research on how UK feminists approach religion and spirituality, showing what their experiences reveal about the lived, embodied and relational nature of religio-spirituality. Based on ethnographic research conducted among ultra-Orthodox female teenagers in Israel, Dr Lea Taragin-Zeller will explore how female piety is constructed through a negotiation of modesty and beauty practices. This event will be chaired by Azadeh Moaveni who will share how women and girls' bodies are disproportionately impacted by political instability and conflict, based on her experiences as a journalist covering the Middle East for nearly two decades.

About the presenters:

Kristin Aune joined Coventry University in 2014, having taught on sociology and youth work and theology programmes at the University of Westminster, Ridley Hall Cambridge and the University of Derby. She leads the Centre's Faith and Peaceful Relations research group. Kristin is author of numerous books: Women and Religion in the West: Challenging Secularization, Reclaiming the F Word: Feminism Today (with Catherine Redfern) and Religion and Higher Education in Europe and North America (ed., with Jacqueline Stevenson) Routledge 2017.

Reina Lewis is Professor of Cultural Studies at London College of Fashion, University of the Arts London, and convener of the public talk series Faith & Fashion. A specialist on cross-faith modest fashion, she is a regular media commentator, and recently acted as consulting curator on the exhibition Contemporary Muslims Fashions for the de Young Museum, San Francisco. Reina is author of Muslim Fashion: Contemporary Style Cultures (Duke UP 2015); Rethinking Orientalism: Women, Travel and the Ottoman Harem (IB Tauris, Rutgers UP, 2008); and Gendering Orientalism: Race, Femininity, Representation (Routledge 1996). She is editor of Modest Fashion: Styling Bodies, Mediating Faith (IB Tauris 2013).

Azadeh Moaveni is a journalist, writer, and academic who has been covering the Middle East for nearly two decades. She is the author of one of the defining books on Iranian youth culture, Lipstick Jihad, the memoir Honeymoon in Tehran, and co-author, with Nobel Laureate Shirin Ebadi, of Iran Awakening. Azadeh is a lecturer in journalism at New York University, London, and her work often appears in the Financial Times, The Guardian and The New York Times, among others. She travels regularly to the region and is currently researching a book on the role of women inside the Islamic State.

Lea Taragin-Zeller is a Research Fellow at the Woolf Institute and an affiliated researcher at the Reproductive Sociology Research Group (Reprosoc) at the University of Cambridge. She also serves as a Jewish Chaplain at the University of Cambridge. Lea has published widely on gender, religion, body and sexuality in leading academic journals such as Journal of Modern Jewish Studies, Nashim: A Journal of Jewish Women's Studies & Gender Issues and Archives des Sciences Sociales des Religions. She is currently working on a comparative study about female authority and leadership in contemporary Judaism and Islam in the UK.

Enquiries to Lea Taragin-Zeller.

How to book

The event is free but registration is essential.

Please book you place at Eventbrite.

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