Office: RAB 203
Office Hours: by Appointment
Dr. Sylvia Chan-Malik studies the intersections of race, gender, and religion in the United States, with a particular interest in how these categories intersect in contemporary struggles for social justice. Her current research focuses on the history of Islam in the United States, and specifically the experiences of U.S. Muslim women. Her book, Being Muslim: A Cultural History of Women of Color and American Islam (NYU Press, forthcoming Spring 2018) offers an alternative narrative of American Islam in the 20-21st century that centers the lives, subjectivities, and voices of women of color. In it, she brings together the stories of African American women and their engagements with Islam as social protest religion and spiritual practice; encounters between “Islam” and “feminism” in the media and popular culture; the cultural production and political expressions of South Asian and Arab American Muslim women during the late-20th century; and finally, the diverse experiences of U.S. Muslim women in post-9/11 America. Through their stories, the book tracks Islam’s shifting meanings in women’s lives and in national political and cultural discourse, and situates issues of race and racialialization—and in particular, logics of anti-blackness, xenophobia, orientalism, and white nationalism—as critical determinants of women’s experiences of being Muslim in the U.S. Her next project examines how race informs religious hate crimes in the United States.
She teaches courses on race and ethnicity in the United States, Islam in/and America, social justice movements, feminist methodologies, multiethnic literature and culture in the U.S., and 20-21st century U.S. history. She is also on the faculty of the Women’s and Gender Studies department.
Chan-Malik holds a Ph.D in Ethnic Studies from the University of California, Berkeley, an MFA in Creative Writing from Mills College, and a B.A. in English and Ethnic Studies from the University of California, Berkeley.