Making Muslim Women European

Voluntary Associations, Islam, and Gender in Post-Ottoman Bosnia and Yugoslavia (1878–1941)
Publication date: 
Publication date: 
380 pages

This highly original book provides a social, cultural, and political history of Slavic Muslim women of the Yugoslav region in the first decades of the post-Ottoman era based on a study of voluntary associations (philanthropic, cultural, Islamic-traditionalist, and feminist).
It is broadly held that Muslim women were silent and relegated to a purely private space until 1945, when the socialist state “unveiled” and “liberated” them from the top down. After systematic archival research in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia and Serbia, Fabio Giomi challenges this view by showing how different sectors of the Yugoslav elite (men and women, Muslims and non-Muslims), through association publications, imagined the role of Muslim women in post-Ottoman times, and how Muslim women took part in the construction or the contestation of these narratives; how associations employed different means, such as private schools, scholarships, student dormitories, workshops, and festive happenings in order to forge a generation of “New Muslim Women” able to cope with the post-Ottoman political and social circumstances; and how Muslim women used the tools provided by the associations in order to pursue their own projects, aims and agendas. 

The text is illustrated with exceptional photographs.

Lists of abbreviations
List of Figures
List of Tables
Chapter 1 At the Margins of the Habsburg Civilizing Mission
Chapter 2 Domesticating the Muslim Woman Question
Chapter 3 Muslim, Female and Volunteer
Chapter 4 Calling for Change
Chapter 5 Putting Change into Practice
Chapter 6 A Taste for Celebration
Chapter 7 Unforeseen Consequences
Consulted Archives