Skip to content
Volume 3, Issue 1-2
  • ISSN: 2043-1015
  • E-ISSN: 2043-1023



The evolution from early beginnings of Muslim women’s religious education in China, in the seventeenth century, when women were provided with rudimentary Islamic instruction, and taught from behind screens, to the emergence of more permanent women’s mosques (qingzhen nüsi) in the course of the nineteenth century, constitutes the historical background to an exploration of the relationship among silence, speech, voice, gender and power. Starting as informal gatherings in ad hoc, transitional spaces, dynamic and complex institutional sites developed to serve multiple functions and purposes, giving in the course of time rise to richly expressive cultures of sentiment and sound, piety and fear. The article seeks to problematize the coming-to-voice of Chinese believing women within the interlinking frameworks of aural ethnography and cross-cultural feminist theory. Written and audio-visual materials provide the sensory text for the author’s evocation of tangible surroundings, silenced and fleeting sensations, and for the historicizing of women’s lives lived at the intersection of Islamic/Confucian moral codes of jie – as feminine purity enshrouded, segregated and silenced – and modern claims for voice and gender equality.


Article metrics loading...

Loading full text...

Full text loading...

This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was a success
Invalid data
An error occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error