Muslim Hoedowns, Tenuous Language and the Uncertain Lives of an Urban Majority


Drawing upon diverse elements of Islamic thought, this essay examines the notions of gathering and footwork to think through the elaborations of a material sensibility embedded in the everyday navigations of contemporary urban life. From reflections on the surreptitious encounters of African Americans in various contexts of subjection, to zar practices in Amman and to popular orientations to megacomplex residencies in Jakarta, the essay attempts to address what it means to think and act collectively in urban contexts that fragment, track, evict and erase long‐relied‐upon forms of collaboration. How might we discover in the seeming contraction of urban sociality something else besides intensive individuation, and what kinds of vernaculars and rhythmic encounters, of bodies moving towards and away from each other, might turn the peripheral forms of the urban into sites of new generativity?


The accompanying AAG 2018 Lecture by AbdouMaliq Simone can be viewed here.