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Cambridge Interfaith Programme


How it feels for Muslims in Germany to be made a Problem

Speaker: Ozan Zakariya Keskinkiliç

In his talk, Ozan Zakariya Keskinkılıç brings critical perspectives on governmentality, anti-Muslim racism and affect together in order reflect processes of alienation among Muslims in Germany. Based on a group discussion with Muslim interviewees on their experiences of racism in the context of security discourses, he reconstructs a wide spectrum of emotional reaction patterns from fear to shame and anger: Muslims learn to look at their own body from a third perspective, they feel uncomfortable in certain public spaces and see themselves stigmatized on the basis of attributes such as skin color, Islamic clothing and / or cultural and religious practices. They anticipate discrimination and react with self-censorship, restricting their mobility and avoiding places where they risk being hypervisible. This specific affect-based self-governance among Muslims Keskinkılıç defines as Islam-related governmentality and discusses how racialized subjects strive to overcome situations of exclusion and to regain agency through mimicry strategies and collectively creating spaces for vulnerability and change.



Ozan Zakariya Keskinkılıç is a political scientist and writer. He teaches and researches, among other things, on (anti-Muslim) Racism, Antisemitism, Orientalism, as well as on Jewish-Muslim Relations, Memory and critical art and cultural production. He is co-editor of the anthology Alienated & Reorientated: Jewish-Muslim Entanglements (2018), author of the book The Islam Debate Belongs to Germany: Right-wing populism and anti-Muslim racism in the (post-)colonial context (2019) and co-author of Being Muslim in the Security Discourse (2021). In 2021 he was appointed a member of the expert commission against anti-Muslim racism in Berlin. In the same year he published his essay collection Muslimaniac. The career of an enemy image. In addition to academic texts, Keskinkılıç writes prose, radio pieces and poetry. His lyrical debut “prinzenbad” appeared in Aug. 2022. Keskinkılıç is a doctoral student at the Humboldt University Berlin, currently on a semester abroad at the Faculty of Divinity in Cambridge.

He can be found on Twitter: @ozkeskinkilic

Photo credit: (c) Benjamin Jenak, Veto

Tuesday, 23 May, 2023 - 15:15
Event location: 
Room 7, Faculty of Divinity

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