Performance, Politics, Piety


Funded by: Religion & Society, Arts & Humanities Research Council, The Economic and Social Research Council 

This major project focuses on the performative aspect of contemporary Muslim life. It explores how, through the modes of performance, piety and protest, performance has become a vehicle of debate within societies where Islam exerts a significant cultural influence. Paying attention to these intra-communal debates, alongside the differences between ‘the Muslim world’ and its perceived antagonists, can offer fresh insight into the relationship between Islamic, secularist and nationalist orthodoxies and social re-positioning within Muslim communities.

Moreover, this approach can shed crucial light on how radicalization, fundamentalism and violence might themselves be countered. The project hopes to optimize the sharing of similar research interests of individual scholars, institutions, organizations, communities and government agencies. It will open up space for interdisciplinary, inter-regional perspectives, and encourage comparative understanding of how, within the wider context of ‘Islam’, performative practice enables disagreement as well as cross-cutting solidarities.

Project website