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Episode 20 American Mosques with Dr. Jacqueline Fewkes

Anthropologist on the Street
Anthropologist on the Street
Episode 20 American Mosques with Dr. Jacqueline Fewkes

Dr. Jacqueline Fewkes (photo courtesy of Dr. Fewkes)

As an anthropologist of religion, it’s hard for Dr. Jacqueline Fewkes to pin down her research focus to just one element of life. Rather, her expertise in anthropology allows her to see how religion is lived and practiced, how material goods transform us as much as we transform them, and how spaces reflect our lives while helping to craft them.

Tying these elements together, Dr. Fewkes latest project is a focus on the sometimes surprising, always interesting history and architecture of mosques in America.

To download or stream the episode, use the audio player above, or find AOTS through the following sites:

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Professional and/or personal webpages:

Cedar Rapids Iowa mosque, 1934 (photo courtesy of Dr. Fewkes)

Dr. Fewkes’ professional page: https://fau.academia.edu/JacquelineFewkes

The American Mosques Project Blog: http://americanmosques.tumblr.com/

Other works and projects by Dr. Fewkes:

Dr. Fewkes’ latest book can be found at the following two links:

Trade and Contemporary Society along the Silk Road: An ethno-history of Ladakh by Jacqueline Fewkes

Dr. Fewkes’ work with Dr. Megan Adamson Sijapati on Muslims in the Himalayas: https://digitalcommons.macalester.edu/himalaya/vol38/iss2/ 

More information about mosques and Islam in America:

God, Dr. Buzzard, and the Bolito Man: A Saltwater Geechee Talks About Life on Sapelo Island, Georgia by Cornelia Walker Bailey

More information on Sapelo Island, Georgia: http://www.sapeloislandga.org/

Documenting the American South Project, “Omar ibn Said, African Muslim Enslaved in the Carolinas”: http://docsouth.unc.edu/highlights/omarsaid.html



Historical Quran from Savannah, Georgia (Photo courtesy of Dr. Fewkes)

Other anthropology sources mentioned in our conversation:

The Social Life of Things: Commodities in Cultural Perspective by Arjun Appadurai

Sweetness and Power: The Place of Sugar in Modern History by Sidney Mintz

Genealogies of Religion: Discipline and Reasons of Power in Christianity and Islam by Talal Asad (specifically mentioned was Chapter 8: The Construction of Religion as an Anthropological Category)

The Clifford Geertz quote mentioned by Dr. Fewkes, “Nobody lives in the world in general”, is from the afterword of Senses of Place by S. Feld and K. Basso.

Mosque in Cedar Rapids, Iowa (Photo courtesy of Jacqueline Fewkes)


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