Shenila Khoja-Moolji

Assistant Professor of Gender, Sexuality, and Women's Studies

Shenila Khoja-Moolji is Assistant Professor of Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s Studies at Bowdoin College. Her work examines the interplay of gender, race, religion, and power in transnational contexts, particularly in relation to Muslim populations. She comes to Bowdoin from the University of Pennsylvania where she was a Postdoctoral Fellow and Visiting Scholar at the Alice Paul Center for Research on Gender, Sexuality and Women. Dr. Khoja-Moolji is the author of Forging the Ideal Educated Girl: The Production of Desirable Subjects in Muslim South Asia (University of California Press). The book combines historical and cultural studies analyses with ethnographic work to examine the figure of the ‘educated girl’ in colonial India and postcolonial Pakistan.

Dr. Khoja-Moolji received her doctorate in Education, with a graduate certificate in Feminist Scholarship, from Columbia University. She holds a Master in Islamic Studies from Harvard University, and a Bachelor of Arts in International Relations and Economics from Brown University.



  • BA, Brown University
  • MA, Harvard University
  • PhD, Columbia University


Forging the Ideal Educated Girl: The Production of Desirable Subjects in Muslim South Asia. Oakland, CA: University of California Press, 2018. 

Women Leaders of Tomorrow: An Anthology of Students’ Expressions. Hyderabad, Pakistan: Aga Khan Education Board, 2011. (with Jaffer).

Journal Articles and Book Chapters

“Containing Leaky, Impure Bodies: The Cultural Politics of Menstrual Hygiene Campaigns.” In Talburt, S. (Ed.), Youth Sexualities: Public Feelings and Contemporary Cultural Politics. ABC-CLIO, 2018. (with Ohito) 

“Towards a Multiplicity: Human Rights and Other Idioms of Justice.” In Keet, A. and Zemblyas, M. (Eds.), Critical Human Rights, Democracy and Citizenship Education. Bloomsbury, 2018. (with Merchant) 

“Reparative Readings: Re-claiming Black Feminized Bodies as Sites of Somatic Pleasure and Possibilities.” Gender and Education, Vol. 30, Issue 3, pp. 277-294, 2018. (with Ohito) 

**Re-printed in 2019. In Edwards, K., Baszile, D., and Guillory, N. Theorising Curriculum in Colour and Curves: Black Women with/in Curriculum Studies. New York, NY: Routledge. 

“The Making of ‘Humans’ and their Others in/through Human Rights Advocacy.” Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society, Vol. 42, Issue 2, pp. 377-402, 2017.

** Finalist, Catharine Stimpson Prize for Outstanding Feminist Scholarship, Signs 

“Pedagogical (Re)Encounters: Enacting a Decolonial Praxis in Teacher Development in the Global South.” Comparative Education Review, Vol. 61, Issue S1, pp.146-170, 2017.

** Best Field-Based Initiative Award, Comparative and International Education Society, South Asia Special Interest Group 

“Watch Me Speak: Muslim Girls’ Narratives and Postfeminist Pleasures of Surveillance.” In Heyman, R. and Van der Meulen, E. Expanding the Gaze. Gender, Public Space, and Surveillance. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2016. (with Niccolini) 

“The Sounds of Racialized Masculinities: Examining the Affective Pedagogies of Allahu Akbar.” Feminist Media Studies, Vol. 16, Issue 6, 2016. 

“Queer Theories: Third Spaces.” In Brockenbrough, E. et al. (Eds.), Queer Studies and Education: Critical Concepts for the Twenty-First Century. Routledge, 2016. 

“Reading Malala: (De)(Re)Territorialization of Muslim collectivities.” Comparative Studies of South Asia, Africa and the Middle East, Vol. 35, Issue 3, pp. 539-556, 2015. 

“Doing the ‘work of hearing’: Girls’ Voices in Transnational Educational Development Campaigns.” Compare: A Journal of Comparative and International Education, Vol. 46, Issue 5, pp. 745-763, 2015. 

“Suturing together Girls and Education: An investigation into the Social (Re)Production of Girls’ Education as a Hegemonic Ideology.” Journal of Diaspora, Indigenous, and Minority Education, Vol. 9, Issue 2, pp. 87-107, 2015. 

“Envisioning an Alternative to the Neoliberalization of Education in the Global South: The Educational Philosophies of Aga Khan.” Discourse: Studies in the Cultural Politics of Education, Vol. 38, Issue 4, pp. 542-560, 2015. 

“Comics as Public Pedagogy: Reading Muslim Masculinities through Muslim Femininities in Ms. Marvel.” Girlhood Studies, Vol. 8, Issue 3, pp. 23-39, 2015. (with Niccolini) 

“Becoming an ‘Intimate Publics’: Exploring the Affective Intensities of Hashtag Feminism.” Feminist Media Studies, Vol. 15, Issue 2, pp. 347-350, 2015. 

“Girls, Education, and Narratives of Progress: Deconstructing the Discourse on Child Marriage.” In Stacki, S. & Baily, S. (Ed.), Educating Adolescent Girls around the Globe: Challenges and Implications (pp. 40-57). New York: Routledge, 2015. 

“Poststructuralist Approaches to Teaching about Gender, Islam, and Muslim Societies.” Feminist Teacher, Vol. 24, Issue 3, pp. 169-183, 2015.

** Best Article Award, Comparative and International Education Society, 

Middle East Special Interest Group 

“Producing Neoliberal Citizens: Critical Reflections on Human Rights Education in Pakistan.” Gender and Education, Vol. 26, Issue 2, pp. 103-118, 2014. 

** Best Article Award, Comparative and International Education Society, 

South Asia Special Interest Group

Public Scholarship

“Why is Malala such a Polarising Figure in Pakistan?” Al-Jazeera, 2018. 

Pellets and Rubber Bullets are not ‘Humane,’” Al-Jazeera, 2018. 

“Sexual Favors for Aid,” The Express Tribune, 2018. 

“Why is the West Praising Malala, but Ignoring Ahed?” Al-Jazeera, 2018. 

“Don’t be Quick to Celebrate the Hijab-Wearing Barbie,” Al-Jazeera, 2017. 

“The ‘New’ Muslim Woman: A Fashionista and a Suspect,” LA Review of Books, 2017. 

“Women’s Economic Empowerment,” The Express Tribune, 2017. 

“Defending Malala,” The Express Tribune, 2017. 

“Forging Pluralistic Societies,” The Express Tribune, 2017. 

“A different kind of Girl Power,” Africa is a Country, 2017. 

“Girl-focused Development Campaigns: Two steps forward, One step back,” The Huffington Post, 2017. 

“Service-Learning Trips: What not to do,” Fair Observer, 2017. 

“#PledgeForParity But Do Not Erase Women’s Differences,” The Huffington Post, 2017. 

“Stop Policing Women’s Clothes,” The Express Tribune, 2017. 

“The Entanglement of Islamophobia and Anti-Black Violence,” The Huffington Post, 2017. 

“The Third World Girl,” The Express Tribune, 2017. 

“Muslims Need More Than Just Symbolic Solidarity,” The New York Times, 2016. 

“Girls’ Education: An Ideal Target for both Extremists and Humanitarian Interventions,” The Washington Post, 2016. 

“Girls of the Global South cant fix the World Alone,” Aeon, 2016.


University Research Foundation grant, University of Pennsylvania, 2018

Book Award, Brown University, 2018

Selected to Women of Color Leadership Project, National Women’s Studies Association, 2016-2018

Finalist, Catharine Stimpson Prize for Outstanding Feminist Scholarship, Signs: Journal of Women and Culture in Society, 2017

Best Field-Based Initiative Award, Comparative and International Education Society, South Asia Special Interest Group, 2017

Best Article Award, Comparative and International Education Society, Middle East Special Interest Group, 2015

Harry Passow Fellowship, Columbia University, 2014

Best Article Award, Comparative and International Education Society, South Asia Special Interest Group, 2014

Doctoral Research Fellowship, Columbia University, 2013-2016

Member, Harvard Leadership Council, Harvard University, 2013-2015

Morton Deutsch Social Justice Award for Best Article, The Morton Deutsch International Center for Cooperation and Conflict Resolution, Teachers College, 2012