Hadija's Story: Diaspora, Gender, And Belonging In The Cameroon Grassfields

Paperback | February 15, 2017

byHarmony O'rourke

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In 1952, a woman named Hadija was brought to trial in an Islamic courtroom in the Cameroon Grassfields on a charge of bigamy. Quickly, however, the court proceedings turned to the question of whether she had been the wife or the slave-concubine of her deceased husband. In tandem with other court cases of the day, Harmony O'Rourke illuminates a set of contestations in which marriage, slavery, morality, memory, inheritance, status, and identity were at stake for Muslim Hausa migrants, especially women. As she tells Hadija's story, O'Rourke disrupts dominant patriarchal and colonial narratives that have emphasized male activities and projects to assert cultural distinctiveness, and she brings forward a new set of women's issues involving concerns for personal prosperity, the continuation of generations, and Islamic religious expectations in communities separated by long distances.

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In 1952, a woman named Hadija was brought to trial in an Islamic courtroom in the Cameroon Grassfields on a charge of bigamy. Quickly, however, the court proceedings turned to the question of whether she had been the wife or the slave-concubine of her deceased husband. In tandem with other court cases of the day, Harmony O'Rourke illum...

Harmony O'Rourke is Assistant Professor of History at Pitzer College.
Format:PaperbackDimensions:266 pages, 9 × 6 × 0.68 inPublished:February 15, 2017Publisher:Indiana University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0253023831

ISBN - 13:9780253023834

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Extra Content

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
Introduction
Part I
1. "Worthy Subjects"
2. "People of the North"
Part II
3. Slave or Daughter?
4. First Reversal: Marriage and Enslavement
5. Second Reversal: Death and Survival
6. Third Reversal: Conflict and Judgment
Conclusion
Glossary
Bibliography
Index

Editorial Reviews

"Steers the conversation on Hausa diaspora experiences and Hausa politics of belonging and identity toward recognition of the importance of gender and its expressions in contestations over marriage, morality, and belonging." -Moses E. Ochonu, author of Colonialism by Proxy