chapter  4
18 Pages

Researching “My People,” Researching Myself: Fragments of a Reflexive Tale

ByLubna Nazir Chaudhry

My legs are trembling and so are my hands grasping the paper with the scribbled poems. I am very conscious of the fact that my jeans and shirt are not appropriate apparel for the evening. I surreptitiously try to display my Allah3 medallion more prominently, but my fingers refuse to cooperate. I am not imagining the coldness from some of the other Muslim students, especially the two young women with hijabs sitting in the two chairs in front of the podium and the group of Muslim men sitting on one side on the floor. Since 1992, when I first started my dissertation research4 with Pakistani Muslim women, I have interacted quite extensively with members of the Muslim community in various parts of northern California, including the Muslim Student Association at the university where I am working toward my doctorate as an international student from Pakistan. I know many of the Muslim students in the audience quite well.