Document Type


Date of Degree

Spring 2017

Access Restrictions

Access restricted until 07/13/2019

Degree Name

PhD (Doctor of Philosophy)

Degree In

Religious Studies

First Advisor

Richard Brent Turner

Second Advisor

Kristy Nabhan-Warren


This dissertation provides a critical discursive analysis of videos, blogs, and social media posts created by two African-American Muslim women who live in the Southern United States, Najwa Niang and Nadira Abdul-Quddus, who make up the, group, Muslimah2Muslimah. As African-American women who do not speak Arabic, Najwa and Nadira fall outside of normative institutions of Islamic learning. Thus, they have taken to YouTube to create their own interpretive communities based on their interpretations of English translated versions of the Qur’an and hadith. Through fashion and beauty tutorials on YouTube, Najwa and Nadira they perform a new Muslim cool, centering their Blackness, and challenging hegemonic formulations of Islam that subordinate African-Americans. I argue that for Najwa and Nadira, fashion is a form of embodied theology. The use their stylized bodies to reimagine religious authority, knowledge transmission, and the image of Muslim womanhood by centering Black expressive culture. My dissertation provides an important intervention in the fields of religious studies and material Islam, highlighting how debates around race and gender are enacted in everyday life.


fashion, hijab, Islam, YouTube vlogs


xi, 170 pages


Includes bibliographical references (pages 159-170).


Copyright © 2017 Kayla Renée Wheeler

Available for download on Saturday, July 13, 2019

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