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When The Ywca Entered The City: The Complexity Of Space, Gender And Modernity

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Chapter Summary

This chapter begins with a brief theoretical outline of space, place and modernity as analytical categories. It substantiates how specific ideas of piety, gender and modernity were negotiated in the context and creation of two national YWCA headquarters: The National Board Building in New York City and the German Burckhardthaus in Berlin. The chapter confronts some of the pleas made by Saba Mahmood in its consideration of the conceptual challenges posed by religious mobilisations of women in feminist analysis. It is regarded as a search for a politics of piety in the literal and symbolic exchange of space, place and gender at a particular historical moment in which both gender and religion were being transformed and given new expressions. The chapter addresses some of the challenges raised by Mahmood regarding ideas of gender, religion and agency in feminist analysis.

Keywords: feminist analysis; gender; German Burckhardthaus; National Board Building; New York; redemptive space; Saba Mahmood; vernacular modernity; YWCA



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