Engaging Modernity is Ousseina Alidou's rich and compelling portrait of Muslim women in Niger as they confront the challenges and opportunities of the twentieth century. Contrary to Western stereotypes of passive subordination, these women are taking control of their own lives and resisting domination from indigenous traditions, westernization, and Islam alike. Based on thorough scholarly research and extensive fieldwork - including a wealth of interviews - Alidou's work offers insights into the meaning of modernity for Muslim women in Niger. Mixing biography with sociological data, social theory, and linguistic analysis, this is a multilayered vision of political Islam, education, popular culture, and war and its aftermath. This is a gripping look at one of the Muslim world's most powerful untold stories.
Ousseina Alidou is assistant professor of Africana studies at Rutgers University. She is coeditor of A Thousand Flowers: The Struggle for Education in African Universities and author of many articles on African literature and folklore, linguistics, and women's studies.