Claire-Marie Hefner

Grant Type

Hunt Postdoctoral Fellowship

Institutional Affiliation

Florida State U.

Grant number

Gr. 10053

Approve Date

October 2, 2020

Project Title

Hefner Claire-Marie (Florida State U.) "Achieving Islam: Women, Piety, and Moral Play in Indonesian Muslim Boarding Schools"

This is a proposal to complete the book manuscript Achieving Islam: Women, Piety, and Moral Play in Indonesian Muslim Boarding Schools, an ethnographic study of women’s achievement and moral learning in two Islamic boarding schools for girls in Indonesia. Islamic schools are often assumed to be places of rote memorization and limited opportunity, especially for young women. Based on over two years of ethnographic research, this study’s longitudinal data of students and alumni illustrate the important role Islamic education plays in reshaping the subjectivities and social aspirations of their young charges. It examines the moral negotiations of young women students within and beyond the confines of the religious school, and the plurality of social experiences and moral registers through which girls themselves shape their aspirations. Achieving Islam demonstrates how, not just classroom engagements, but extra-curricular moments of fun and leisure are instances where critical moral deliberations take place, where young people test and reshape the boundaries of moral behaviors within the horizons of the ethical communities in which they are embedded. In so doing, this study invites us to rethink key assumptions about Islam, freedom, and gendered agency.