Dr. Tanisha Ramachandran, Associate Teaching Professor in the Department for the Study of Religions and core faculty in Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies, is currently in residency as a Lillian S. Robinson Scholar at the Simone de Beauvoir Institute at Concordia University in Montreal.
As part of her residency, Dr. Ramachandran recently gave a talk about her current project, “‘Take it off! This is America!’: The Materiality of Headscarves and Hatred in the Benev(i)olent West.” In the project, Dr. Ramachandran argues that in North America, Australia, and Europe, Muslim women disproportionately bear the brunt of anti-Muslim hate. Through an examination of hate crimes statistics, media accounts, and institutional reports, her project examines how Muslim women are racialized and gendered through hate crimes primarily triggered by material markers of religion. The targeted Muslim women wear some type of head covering. While these women differ in age, race, ethnicity, class, language, and the Islamic traditions they practice, the type of physical and verbal violence they experience is notably similar. Further, these attacks often occur in public spaces, often in full view of their accompanying children, and are seldom if ever interrupted by bystanders. An analysis of hate crimes exposes the tension between the troublesome visibility of Muslim women as other/threat and the perennial colonial trope that equates unveiling of Muslim women with liberation by the benev(i)olent West.
To learn more about Dr. Ramachandran’s current work, please email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please find the flyer for her talk below: