CFP - Faith on the Move: Middle East Migrations and Religions


The Global Turn has finally arrived in Middle Eastern Studies. An approach that was once the preserve  of a handful of historians and anthropologists--who for the past 20 years have articulated a different vision of the field through their work on migration, mobility and diasporas--has now been embraced by a broad swathe of scholars. This can be seen in various sub-fields, from emerging studies of the local/global Left in the Middle East, to interest in the Nahda’s  transnational resonances. This turn was most widely acknowledged in the recent annual conference of the Middle East Studies Association whose theme was The Global Middle East. Since its 2013  inaugural essay of first issue, Mashriq&Mahjar has become a polestar for this Global Turn as it relates to Middle East and North African Migration Studies.

Despite the growing grip of the Global Turn on Middle Eastern Studies, there has been a notable lack of scholarly attention to how Middle Eastern religious practices and beliefs were, and are now being, globalized (notwithstanding a few notable exceptions). Overall, relatively little scholarship has hitherto paid sustained attention to how religion inflects the migratory experience, and how migration shapes religion in the diaspora or at “home.” This is all the more remarkable given the intimate nature of faith and religion, and the roles their presence and absence play--whether negatively or positively--in the formation of individual and communal identities and structures.

In light of these lacunae, Mashriq&Mahjar invites scholars who are working in this field to submit manuscripts to be considered for publication in an upcoming special issue titled Faith on the Move: Middle East Migrations and Religions. We are looking for papers and research notes that engage and shape this field of inquiry along the following lines:

  • Historical accounts of diasporic communities of belief: their formation, challenges, transformations, etc.;
  • Relationships of diasporic religious communities and practices to institutions and clerics in the Mashriq and Maghrib;
  • Intersectionalities of gender, class, and religion;
  • Middle Eastern “sectarianism” and its encounter with Western liberal societies: neo-orientalist anxieties and diasporic responses;
  • Archiving religious experience and community;
  • Religion and cultural production in migrant communities, diasporas
  • Diasporic critiques of Middle Eastern religions

For your essay to be considered for publication in this special issue please submit your manuscript to

Deadline for submission: May 31, 2019