Anna Piela has worked as a researcher in a variety of contexts: academic, community, and as a commercial consultant. She is associated with the Muslim Women’s Council in Bradford, UK, and has been appointed as an editor on the board of Hawwa: Journal of Women of the Middle East and the Islamic World.
Anna has recently completed a research project on identities of British and American Muslim women who wear the face veil. The study is based on interviews with niqabis. The main publication from it is a book titled Wearing the Niqab: Fashioning Identities Among Women Who Wear a Face Veil in the West, published by I. B Tauris in the ‘Dress Cultures’ series. For her journal articles on this topic, see the Publications page.
Anna is a member of a research team working on a project titled ‘Managing Spoiled Idenitity: Social Functioning of Polish Female Converts to Islam‘, recently funded by National Science Centre Poland.
Her other research project looks at women’s mosques in the West. She presented a research paper on this topic titled ‘Women-led mosques in the UK, the USA and Denmark as spaces of women’s citizenship – a comparative online study’ at the British Association for Islamic Studies Conference at the University of Chester, UK (April 11-13, 2017).
Anna completed her PhD in Women’s Studies at the University of York in 2010. Her doctoral research explored intersections between sociology of Islam, gender, and media. It also formed the basis of her first monograph titled Muslim Women Online: Faith and Identity in a Virtual World published by Routledge in 2012.
Anna’s research interests are focused on gender and Muslim identities in the West. Following her PhD study, she researched Muslim women’s visual self-representations on social networks. She has also worked on a number of research projects in the UK related to social justice, education, and health at Universities of Leeds, York, Westminster, Strathclyde, and Leicester.