[R6528] Beyond Questioning the Convert: Muslim Practice in Latin American and Latino Worlds

Created by Camila Pastor de Maria y Campos
Friday, 12/03/21 11:30 am


Moving the field of Latin American and Latino Islam forward, we propose to center conversion as critical to the consolidation of Muslim communities and Muslim practice in spaces where Islam is a historically recent public culture. In the diverse archival and ethnographic contexts that we explore, converts are frequently subject to accusations by different authorities regarding the authenticity of their practice, their intent or their institutions. In the New Spain, Muslim converts to Christianity in the context of the Reconquista, known as New Christians, were suspect to the colonial state, which legislated endlessly to detect, criminalize and punish imperfect or insincere conversions. In current ethnography, Muslim communities in Latin America are often narrated as fragmented by the contrast between “original” Muslims (musulmanes de origen) and converts or new Muslims. While Muslim migrants from historically Muslim regions are an important presence in Middle America, Muslim communities in Mexico and Latino USA are fundamentally convert spaces. We focus on convert practice that imagines Islam as global or mobile, affording new questions that emerge in explorations of Islam in convert majority settings. Beyond questioning the convert, we propose ethnographies of practice. Participants will present ongoing fieldwork and archival explorations, focusing on embodiment, the negotiation of authority and authoritative knowledge in transnational Muslim space, the recognition of sexual diversity in convert communities, the development of a new muslim midwivery movement and the centrality of online spaces to convert sociability.


Anthro; Anthro; Anthro; Anthro; Anthro; Anthro; Anthro; Anthro; Anthro; Anthro; Anthro



Panel Participating Role(s): Organizer; Presenter;

Miguel Angel Fuentes Carreno

(UC Santa Barbara)
Graduate Student (PhD) in Global Studies, at UC Santa Barbara. Bachelor in International Relations at El Colegio de México.
Panel Participating Role(s): Presenter;

Mariam Saada

(California State University Fullerton)
Panel Participating Role(s): Presenter;

Brittany Dawson

(UC Berkeley)
PhD student in Sociocultural Anthropology at UC Berkeley.
Panel Participating Role(s): Presenter;