Walking Away from the Headscarf: Analyzing the Online Platform "You Will Not Walk Alone"

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Monday, April 29, 2024
4:00 PM

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Since 2018, an online platform with the name You Will Not Walk Alone (Yalniz Yurumeyeceksin) has been publishing anonymous letters from Turkish Muslims, the majority of whom are young women socialized into wearing the headscarf during the AKP era. The focus of this lecture will be the narratives of deveiling on the platform in the context of the changing dynamics between the Islamist and secularist regimes of power in Turkey within the last decade. By questioning what these young women are walking away from and what they are walking towards with their desire to remove their hijab, this lecture offers a rethinking of the current role of the headscarf as a maker and/or marker of Islamic piety and political subjectivity. 


Semiha Topal, had her Ph.D. in Religious Studies at Arizona State University in 2012, with her dissertation on “Building a Pious Self in Secular Settings: Muslim Women in Modern Turkey.” She holds an M.A. in Gender Studies and Religion from SOAS, University of London in the UK. Before her current role as the Program Manager of the Tuohy Center for Interreligious Understanding at John Carroll University in Cleveland, OH,  Dr. Topal worked as a Visiting Assistant Professor of Religious Studies at Colgate University in Hamilton, NY, and at William & Mary in Williamsburg, VA, teaching courses on gender, secularism, and Islam, in Turkey and the Middle East.

Sponsor(s): Center for Near Eastern Studies, Gender Studies, UCLA Center for the Study of Women