[Maydan Podcast] Wikke Jansen & Ken Chitwood on The Muslims of Latin America & the Caribbean – Special Guest Episode



In this episode of Maydan Podcast, our guest host Wikke Jansen speaks with Ken Chitwood about his latest book, The Muslims of Latin America and the Caribbean (Lynne Rienner, 2021). They discuss the role of Muslims in the history and present of the Americas and tracing their various legacies back to sixteenth-century Andalusian Spain, the coming of the colonizers and conquistadores to Americas. Reflecting on the book, the conversation shines a light on how Muslims have shaped not only Latin America and the Caribbean, but the story of “global Islam” in general – from enslaved Muslims and indentured servants from India and Indonesia, and migrants and asylum seekers from the Middle East and North Africa, to contemporary convert communities and the halal economy.


Ken Chitwood is a religion scholar whose academic work focuses on Islam in the Americas, Puerto Rican Muslims, Latinx Muslims in the U.S., translocal religion, Christian-Muslim relations, global Christianity, Muslim minorities, & ethnographic methods and manifestations of religion-beyond-religion in a global and digital age. He is the author of The Muslims of Latin America and the Caribbean (2021) and the founding editor of The Latin America and Caribbean Islamic Studies Newsletter. Ken is also an award-winning religion, travel, and culture newswriter. He is the Editor of ReligionLink, a nonpartisan, monthly newsletter with source guides and story ideas for journalists reporting on religion and his personal bylines include work with Newsweek, Salon, The Los Angeles Times, The Washington Post, The Chicago Tribune, Religion News Service, The Guardian, Christianity Today & other publications. 

Wikke Jansen is a visiting fellow at the Berlin University Alliance Project “Global Repertoires of Living Together (RePLITO). She received her Ph.D. in Global Studies from the Institute of Asian and African Studies at Humboldt University Berlin. Her research focuses on the interactions between religion, activism, and everyday life among queer Indonesians. Her wider academic interests include gender and sexuality, Islam, media studies, Southeast Asia, (social) media, mobility, collaborative anthropology, and research ethics. She is also a committee member at the activist and academic platform queer/disrupt.


This podcast is part of the Islam on the Edges research portfolio hosted on the Maydan as a collaboration of the Center for Islam in the Contemporary World at Shenandoah University (CICW) and the Center for Global Islamic Studies at George Mason University (CGIS). Learn more at themaydan.com/2022/01/edges/ and submit pitches to publish@themaydan.com.

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