Ken Chitwood - Between al-Andalus & the Americas: Islam and Muslim Communities in the American Hemisphere and the Meaning of the “Muslim World”

Abstract: Too often, the so-called “Muslim world” is imagined as being bound to the Middle East and North Africa. Beyond this, more generous geographies of the “Muslim world” may include the African Sahel, the Balkans, and Southeast Asia. What of Latin America and the Caribbean? Could the American hemisphere also be considered part of the “Muslim world?” This lecture presents the story of Islam and Muslim communities — past and present —  as part of, rather than as alien to, Latin America, the Caribbean, and the Latina/o U.S.. It explores the overall narrative of flows, encounters, and connected histories of the networks of people, ideas, technology, finance, politics, and religion that extend across the American hemisphere and to other nodes throughout the “Muslim world.” Rather than telling these stories in isolation, this presentation overviews the comprehensive historical and contemporary contours of Islam and Muslim communities in Latin America and the Caribbean. It is an attempt to situate the story of Islam in the Americas, while at the same time situating the Americas in the narrative of global Islam. 


About Ken Chitwood: A scholar of religion, Dr. Ken Chitwood received his Ph.D. in American religion and global Islam from the University of Florida and its Center for Global Islamic Studies. He is currently a journalist-fellow with the University of Southern California’s Center for Religion and Civic Culture’s Project on “Engaged Spirituality” and a Lecturer with Concordia College New York’s Global Initiative program. His academic work focuses on Islam in the Americas, Puerto Rican Muslims, Latina/o Muslims, translocal religion, intersections of religion & culture, Christian-Muslim relations, global Christianity, Muslim minorities, & ethnographic methods and manifestations of religion-beyond-religion in a digital age. Additionally, he has published work on Judaism in Latin America and the Caribbean, religion and popular culture, and other topics in religious studies. Dr. Chitwood is also an award-winning religion, travel, and culture newswriter and book reviewer. His bylines include work with Newsweek, Salon, The Los Angeles Times, The Washington Post, Christianity Today, Public Radio International (PRI), The Guardian, Publishers Weekly, The Times of India, USA Today, Sightings from the University of Chicago& other publications. You can view his full corpus of work at his website:


Zeit: 28.01.2020, 18:00 Uhr

Ort: Fleischstraße 2, FL2/01.01