Adeline Masquelier

Fellow: Awarded 2010

Field of Study: African Studies

Competition: US & Canada

With the support of the Guggenheim Foundation, Adeline Masquelier will spend the 2010-11 academic year writing a book on the place of religion among young Nigerien men. Drawing on ethnographic research conducted in the provincial town of Dogondoutchi over the past decade, she will document what being Muslim and being young means for Nigerien male youth, especially for those who are not religiously observant. She wants to consider how young Nigerien men position themselves within competing contexts of Muslim morality, sociality, and religiosity and how they use the language and values of Islam to shape their livelihoods. She is particularly interested in challenging popular representations of young Muslim men as potential recruits for insurgency by focusing on the everyday lives of young Muslims as social activists, consumers of foreign fashions, leisure-seekers, and interpreters of culture. Prior ethnographic research in Niger yielded the book Prayer Has Spoiled Everything: Possession, Power, and Identity in an Islamic Town of Niger that chronicles the complex history of bori's engagement with, and resistance to, Islam. Masquelier’s second book, Women and Islamic Revival in a West African Town, documents the role of Islam in Muslim women’s lives.