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date: 16 May 2021

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter draws on ethnographic fieldwork I conducted with Muslim artists in New York City. Working with artists allows us to think about Muslims in new ways that neither restricts them to theological belief nor locates them only at mosques. It allows us to rethink and remap the locations where we normatively find Muslims, to think about artistic practices and identity in different contexts, and to question and make more complex secular and religious divides. Focusing on the works of Zarina Hashmi, Shirin Neshat, Ghada Amer, and Shahzia Sikander, “celebrities” in the mainstream art worlds in the United States and internationally, provides us insight into the processes of art making and creative expression by Muslim artists in secular contexts. By looking at the landscapes of a wider range of Muslim artists and cultural producers, both within the art worlds and in Muslim communities in America, we are better able to appreciate the diversity of their commitments and practices, aesthetic and/or theological.

Keywords: American Muslims, Muslim artists, cultural production, identity, art worlds

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