- University of Illinois at Chicago
This project assembles experts on women and Islamic cultures and journalists to train early career journalists in the diverse histories of women and Islamic cultures producing teaching modules/products for universities and templates for media organizations on decolonizing the representation of women of color and deracializing religion. The past two decades witnessed massive escalations of Islamophobia, with the media their most powerful vehicle. Disproportionally, Islamophobic hate crimes have targeted Muslim women, gendering Islamophobia. In 2017 the Pew Research Center reported that assaults against Muslims in the US between 2015-2016 surpassed the highest number of assaults following the 9/11. The FBI reported crimes against Muslim American were second only to those against Jews in 2019. Religion has become racialized; Muslims are racialized as people of color; and Muslim women are its iconic representatives. The Editors of the Encyclopedia of Women and Islamic Cultures work with journalists and other scholars mentoring and training early career journalists (Fellows) in a year-long seminar on the histories and cultures of women and Islam, on tools and methods to reframe representation, and a demonstration seminar offering the Fellows’ modules/templates for instructional use and publication. The project editors of the Encyclopedia of Women and Islamic Cultures will work with journalists and other scholars to mentor/train early career journalists in a year-long seminar on preparing modules/projects to be published and offered to schools of journalism and media organizations for teaching or templates for representing women and Islam, other women of color, and for deracializing religion. Fifteen Fellows will be selected to create collaborative projects for distribution. A seminar on histories and cultures of women and Islam, on tools and methods to reframe representation, a year-long mentoring program and a final demonstration seminar will offer modules/templates for instructional use and publication on women and Islam produced by early career journalists.