Nursyazwani Binte Jamaludin

Grant Type

Dissertation Fieldwork Grant

Institutional Affiliation

Pennsylvania, U. of

Grant number

Gr. 10676

Approve Date

April 15, 2024

Project Title

Binte Jamaludin, Nursyazwani (Pennsylvania, U. of) "An Ummah of Many Ummahs: The World-Making Practices of Displaced Rohingya"

Situated at the interface of anthropologies of sovereignty, migration, and religion, this project examines displaced Rohingya world-making practices within a fragmented ummah or global Muslim community. Through ethnographic research with Rohingya refugees in Malaysia and the digital ethnography of Rohingya online communities, I attend to stateless Rohingya engagements with concepts, narratives, practices, and relations that they characterize as affording new conditions for participating in an -though not necessarily the – ummah. Approaching the ummah as a relational, intersubjective, and pluralistic phenomenon, the proposed research will track Rohingya encounters and connections across multiple spatio-temporal contexts. First, I explore how surging ethno-nationalism in Muslim-majority Malaysia is transforming senses of Muslim collectivity. Second, I investigate how Rohingya encounters with Malaysia’s racio-religious publics and politics shape multidimensional experiences of Rohingyaness, Muslimness, and refugeeness. Third, I examine how transnational ideas of belonging expressed on digital platforms re/produce an imagined diasporic community that grounds and mediates Rohingya religiosities and aspirations. Approaching the ummah as an object of ethnographic attention sheds light on the cosmologies and forms of life that emerge in Rohingya displacement, as stateless refugees inhabit worlds not defined by secular or liberal regimes, and increasingly find themselves negotiating a fragmented ummah of many ummahs.