Unveiling Assumptions: Photography, Word Politics, and the Hijab

  • Kristen Allred University of Missouri - Kansas City


Geopolitical events shape the lenses through which we view the world around us. Following the Iranian Revolution of 1979 and the World Trade Center attacks of 11 September 2001, the Western world has observed the Middle East, and particularly the Islamic religion, with increasing distrust, disapproval, and fear. This ongoing shift in cultural and religious identifications is accompanied by the appropriation of foreign cultural and religious symbols, specifically the hijab. Theoretically grounded in the works of Edward Said, Sharon Crowley, and John Berger, this essay examines the hegemonic discourses that inform photographic representations of the hijab and considers how photography could instead inspire purposeful conversations and the positive negotiation of differences

Author Biography

Kristen Allred, University of Missouri - Kansas City

Kristen Allred is a senior at the University of Missouri, Kansas City, majoring in English Language and Rhetoric with minors in History and Classical Studies. She currently serves as a consultant at the university’s Writing Studio, where she enjoys learning with writers through all stages of the process. Upon completing her undergraduate degree, Kristen plans to continue in writing center and composition studies through graduate and postgraduate work.