The kalimah in the kaleidophone: Ranges of multivocality in Bangladeshi Muslim's discourses

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

19 Scopus citations


Bengali Muslims have long debated the place of religion, ideology, literary heritage, ethnicity, and various nationalisms in their identity. Contemporary identity ferment is exemplified in each of five examples of discourse explored herein. Replaying these voices "kaleidophonically" uncovers the vital, resistant, "fundamentally liberating" character of multivocality in Bengali Muslims' discourse, particularly in codeswitching, reported speech, and pronoun play. Although each of the voices acknowledges the kalimah of Islam, their multivocality belies simple formulations of identity. The translinguistics of Bakhtin informs the analysis of how linguistic play works to reconstitute what it is to be Bengali and Muslim.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)229-257
Number of pages29
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 1998
Externally publishedYes


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anthropology

Cite this