Call for Papers: Navigating Place as Muslims in Canada



Navigating Place as Muslims in Canada


In “Wisdom Sits on Places” from Senses of Place, Keith H. Basso argues that “the self-conscious experience of place is inevitably a product and expression of the self whose experience it is, and therefore, unavoidably, the nature of that experience is shaped at every turn by the…social biography of the one who sustains it.” As Basso also states, “places [thus] come to generate their own fields of meaning… [by being] animated by the thoughts and feelings of persons who attend to them.” To a large extent, this experience can be shared to varying degrees by individuals who perceive themselves to be part of the same groupings or communities, especially when those collectives are subordinate or liminal to dominant cultural groups.

In “Liminality and Communitas,” Victor Turner describes liminality as the threshold between separation and aggregation. While he is speaking specifically about space during religious rites, the notion of liminality and its interaction with dominance and power is useful for understanding religious groups on the periphery societally, and for our purposes here, Muslims in Canada. As the separation represents the “detachment of the individual or group from an earlier fixed point in the social structure…or a set of cultural conditions,” and aggregation signifies a new stability and positions of the ritual subject in the social system, the intermediary phase operates with unique characteristics not found in other areas of human practice: ambiguity, invisibility, pristineness, silence and so forth. On the way to establishment (if that is even a possibility -  a point which is arguable in this context), there is a communion of individuals engaged together and signification of sacrality in their activities. Eventually, this movement “becomes itself an institution among other institutions,” leading to a collectivity with acquired authority.

Situating this framework of negotiating through space and transition in interdisciplinary studies of Muslims in Canada, the Religious and Socio-Political Studies Journal (RSSJ) -  a double-blind, peer-reviewed, open access interdisciplinary journal from the Institute for Religious and Socio-Political Studies (I-RSS) - aims to provide an interdisciplinary forum for current thinking about navigating and building places as Muslims in Canada.

We invite submissions for this collection dedicated to spaces (physical and symbolic) - geographical land (nations, borders, refugees, etc.) community buildings (prayer and community spaces), and symbolic spaces (like ethno-religious identity and belonging for various Muslim communities in Canada). We are interested in topics pertaining to:

  • public space, 
  • community space, 
  • religious/sacred space, and 
  • domestic space, 
  • as well as questions of belonging and “ the stranger” in Islam, specifically in relation to kinship in the midst of dis/placement and/or dis/citizenship. 

Insights from a broad spectrum of areas are welcomed: philosophy, digital humanities & media studies, history, anthropology, sociology, psychology, literature, etc. 

Submissions will be welcomed until 15th July 2022. All submissions should be no longer than 8000 words (excluding the abstract) and should use 17th edition Chicago manual style footnotes (no endnotes) and bibliographic references. Submissions should be made using Microsoft Word, single-spaced with 1 inch margins, 12 point Times New Roman font. Footnotes should be 10 point font and also single-spaced. Bibliographies must be alphabetized. All submissions must include a works cited page, a title and an abstract (not exceeding 200 words). Author names should not appear anywhere on submission documents, in titles or file names.

Submissions must be made through the RSS Journal website:

For questions or concerns, please contact Editor-in-Chief for RSSJ and Research Director for I-RSS, Nakita Valerio. (