Producing Islam(s) in Canada Workshop

In the last fifteen years, Muslim Canadians have received a great deal of scrutiny and attention. Questions around Islam and Muslims have increasingly occupied the courts (can a woman wear a face veil during the citizenship ceremony?), the press (is terrorism linked to Islam?), and policy circles (should school-age Muslim children be exempt from swimming or music classes?). Knowledge production on the study of Islam and Muslims in Canada has grown in a number of academic fields, reflecting a range of approaches and politics.

Yet, academic research on Muslims in Canada has never been systematically compiled, nor have scholars focusing on the study of Islam and Muslims considered the corpus of research experiences and findings. What have scholars focusing on Islam in Canada been studying in recent years? Has their scholarship been influenced by public discussion and global events? Has 9/11 had a significant influence on the research being conducted in Canada?

Our two-day invited workshop provided the first systematic and critical assessment of the study of Islam and Muslims in Canada to consider and critique the field. The workshop was unique in that instead of presenting prepared papers we reflected on pre-circulated case studies with guiding questions centered on identified challenges and specific case studies. Scholars explored how they have engaged with these cases in their work. On the second day, invited guests consulted on the key findings in a round-table discussion.

We put together a shared bibliography, updated biannually.

Our edited volume, Producing Islam(s) in Canada: On Knowledge, Positionality, and Politics, that features 32 junior and senior scholars, was published in 2021. We launched the volume in September 2022 with the Centre for Studies in Religion and Culture at the University of Victoria, and on Muslim TV. We also presented our book by invitation to the School of Law at the National University of Ireland. In this podcast we also share the volume’s genesis with the New Books Network podcast in Islamic Studies.

To date, as a group, we have shared our findings at the annual meetings of the American Academy of Religion, Canadian Corporation for Studies in Religion, and Canadian Association for the Study of Islam and Muslims, among other individual academic presentations.

Lastly, we produced podcasts about our workshop’s case studies with Carleton Journalism and Communication students, which we also describe for the Immanent Frame website.

Our team:
  • Jennifer A. Selby (PI, Memorial University)
  • Melanie Adrian (Co-investigator, Carleton University)
  • Amélie Barras (Co-investigator, York University)
  • Karim H. Karim (Collaborator, Carleton University)
  • Cory Funk (Research Assistant, Memorial University)
  • Erveina Gosalci (Logistics Assistant, Carleton University)
  • Bryn Tapper (Web Assistant, Memorial University)