Research interest keywords: gender, sexuality, religion, film and media, Malaysia and Indonesia, race and ethnicity, social justice.
My research is focused on the construction of Muslim-identified femininities and masculinities in Islamic films which occur against a backdrop of political transformations in Indonesia following the resignation of President Suharto. The end of Suharto’s authoritarian regime in 1998 heralded an exciting period of democratisation and social extremes in the Indonesian public arena, as manifested in politics, the media, religion, and the arts. Such changes in the public sphere also saw new ways of ‘doing’ gender that is informed by contesting notions of Islamic revivalism and unprecedented consumerist tendencies. Situating my scholarship within gender studies with an emphasis on film, media, religion and contemporary Indonesian studies, I am interested in the ways gender and class intersect and articulate with Islamic performativity on and off screen. I will explore the social and political contexts of where ‘new’ cinematic constructions of gender are reproduced, consumed, and contested through ethnographic study. My scholarship is also deeply political; as a Muslim feminist activist and film enthusiast, I am deeply interested in the ways film as ideology and social practice work toward maintaining and subverting domination and gender inequality in Muslim societies.
Side research interests:
I am also interested in representations of queer identities in Malay and Indonesian literature and film. But the study of representations comes with an unavoidable interrogation into the very theoretical concepts of gender and sexuality that I habitually use. Among the issues I am interested in is the development of a genealogy of gender and sexuality in Malaysia. Is such a genealogy important? Or is that adapting the ‘master’s’ tool of hegemonic thinking into Malaysian contexts?
Ethics of academic access
I believe in sharing as much academic material and my own research as I can with readers of my blog. The academic community is akin to a gated community where its guardians are money, class, language, and other privileges.