Public defence: Tonje Baugerud

Tonje Baugerud will defend her doctoral dissertation: “Borderland Bodies: Being and Becoming Hijabi in Contemporary Oslo”, for the degree of Philosophiae Doctor (PhD) at the Faculty of Theology.

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The event takes place in auditorium U40. It is also possible to participate via zoom.

Register to participate via Zoom (link no longer available).

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The trial lecture will take place at 13:15 March 18, 2022.

Adjudication committee

  • Associate Professor Sylvia Chan Malik, Rutgers School of Arts and Sciences (first opponent).
  • Professor Peter Hopkins, Newcastle University, UK (second opponent).
  • Associate Professor Kaia Rønsdal, Faculty of Theology, University of Oslo. 

Leader of the disputation


About the dissertation

The dissertation explores how a corporeal conceptualization of the practice of wearing the hijab opens new venues for thinking about hijabi embodiment and body politics. Further, the study seeks to examine the potential of analyzing hijabi embodiment as borderland embodiment in public space in Oslo. By employing two qualitative methods, semi-structured in-depth interviews and go-alongs, the dissertation foregrounds Muslim hijabi women’s voices and experiences.

In this dissertation, I explore how Muslim hijabi women living in Oslo negotiate body politics in public space in Oslo. I examine the ways in which participants in this study engage in subject formative processes through becoming ambassadors of Islam and how this becoming forms part of borderland embodiment. Focusing on how gendered racism informs participants’ embodiment in public space, the dissertation takes seriously the contextual realities of being a hijabi woman in contemporary Oslo. The dissertation engages post-colonial theory, critical race theory, feminist theory, and spatial theory in order to discuss and problematize empirical findings.

This dissertation finds that hijabi Muslim women embody a particular borderland location of in-betweenness. Although situated as a precarious embodied position where participants are powerfully influenced by gendered racism, stereotypes, prejudices, and the burden of representation, participants also find strength and productivity in the borderlands. The borderland location of participants in this study opens new venues for knowledge production and welcomes a plurality of embodied living. The dissertation asserts that an embodied conceptualization of the practice of wearing the hijab avoids falling into instrumentalist views of religion and faith, while simultaneously taking seriously the empirical reality of gendered racism that informs participants lived life.

Published Oct. 14, 2021 9:18 AM - Last modified Sep. 27, 2022 9:51 AM