Date of Award

Spring 1-1-2015

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Germanic & Slavic Languages & Literature

First Advisor

Beverly M. Weber

Second Advisor

Celeste Montoya

Third Advisor

Ann Schmiesing


Historically, Muslim women in Germany have been externalized from participating in European identity, despite possessing European citizenship. FEMEN's Topless Jihad Day protest places Muslim women inside of a German landscape, though through deeply problematic means. FEMEN demands the liberation of Muslim women from Islam through nudity. Previous research on Topless Jihad Day focuses on the Islamophobic and imperialist tactics of FEMEN, rather than their location of Muslim women within German society. My theoretical framework is based primarily in Judith Butler's theory of performativity, as well as Carrie Smith Prei and Maria Stehle's articulation of "awkward feminism". As a result, Topless Jihad Day distanced itself from other Islamophobic protests that represented Muslim women as outside of German society. The acknowledgment of Muslim women as German opens up the possibility for Muslim activist to gain access to more stable avenues of activism within European public discourses.