Refereed Publications

“Islamic Tattooing: Embodying Healing, Materializing Relationships, and Mediating Tradition.” In Across the Worlds of Islam: Muslim Identities, Beliefs, and Practices from Asia to America, edited by Curtis IV, Edward E. New York, NY: Columbia University Press, 2023.

Conceptualizing Islamic tattooing as marginal—as opposed to “conflicting” or “exterior”—clarifies that Islamic tattooing is not necessarily a break with or exit from tradition, but, rather, an embodied enactment of Islamic tradition.”

“Structuring Sports, Structuring Community: The Islamic Society of Chester County Debates a Basketball Court.” In Religion and Sports in North America: Critical Essays for the Twenty-First Century, edited by Randall Balmer and Jeffery Scholes. New York: Routledge, 2022. Co-authored with Megan Eaton Robb.

For members of the ISCC, sports offered a discursive space to express aspirations for and concerns about the community’s future. This chapter describes how basketball, important for several community members, served not only those who love sports but also those who care little for it. For all members, sports were a space to consider local challenges, diasporic experience, and intergenerational tensions.”

Ayat Al Kursi Round work made by Modern Wall Art

“Ayat Al Kursi Round.” Material and Visual Cultures of Religion Journal 6, no. 2 (2022).

Crowned by the word “Allah,” a dense piece of Arabic calligraphy carved out of stainless steel wraps around an embellished center. The text is the ayat al-kursī, or “The Throne Verse,” a portion of the Qur’an (2:256) often recited before sleep or travel because of its reputation for spiritual and physical protection.


Cover of In and Out of This World

“Stephen C. Finley: In and Out of This World: Material and Extraterrestrial Bodies in the Nation of Islam. Duke University Press, 2022.” Material Religion.”(forthcoming)

In and Out of This World by Stephen Finley is an eye-opening and sharp reassessment of Nation of Islam (NOI) discourse that offers wide-ranging interventions in the study of Black religions, Islam in the Americas, and material religion.”

Cover of Buying Budha, Selling Rumi

“Sophia Rose Arjana: Buying Buddha, Selling Rumi: Orientalism and the Mystical Marketplace. Oneworld Academic, 2020.” American Journal of Islam and Society 39, no. 3-4 (2022), 198-2020.”

In this topically and theoretically eclectic project, Sophia Rose Arjana analyzes the way that religious consumption perpetuates Orientalism.”

Cover of Miracles and Material Life

“Teren Sevea: Miracles and Material Life: Rice, Ore, Traps and Guns in Islamic Malaya. Cambridge University Press, 2020.” American Journal of Islam and Society 39, no. 1-2 (2022): 183-187.

Building on his creative engagement with Jawi manuscripts, and wide-ranging scholarship on Sufism, Islamic material culture, and Islam in South and Southeast Asia, Sevea demonstrates how these extraor-dinary figures manifested Islamic tradition and shaped colonial labor practices, and show how the Sufi networks, local forms of life, and labor contingencies in which these Islamic miracle workers were enmeshed animated their Islamic practice and impacted modern Malaya.”

image: Neural style transfer, Untitled, cottonbro, 2020 × Untitled, Mathew Arthur, 2021

“Review: A Silvan Tomkins Handbook: Foundations for Affect Theory.” Capacious: Journal for Emerging Affect Inquiry 3, no. 3 (2021): 146-149.

Less a handrail and more a special exhibit on a neglected yet influential artist, this handbook translates the world of Silvan Tomkins for contemporary scholars and charts new routes for affect theorists.”

Non-Refereed Publications

Westfjords of Iceland, photograph by Max Johnson Dugan

The Potential of Religious Studies for Affect Theory’s Structure-Bodies-Problem.” Affective Societies Blog, June 21, 2023.

Any scholarly engagement with ‘religion’ will benefit from critical frameworks from religious studies and overlapping fields. Rather than take for granted categories of difference, critical scholarship analyzes the social processes that shape the embodiment of race, gender, and ability. So too should scholars interrogate what they mean by “religion” and how they deploy the category.”

Muslim fish hoagie from Sister Muhammad’s Kitchen, photograph by Max Johnson Dugan

“Muslim Fish Hoagies are a Philly Sandwich ‘Game Changer.’” The Philadelphia Inquirer, April 3, 2023.

The Muslim fish hoagie lies at the intersection of the cheesesteak, the hoagie, and the Nation of Islam. Chopped fried whiting, melted American cheese, and crunchy vegetables overflow from a long roll that tests the circumference of your mouth. If this doesn’t already scream “Philly,” the cheesesteak-esque chopped fish reminds you which city you’re in.”

A screenshot of the Unstable Archives digital project

“Rejuvenating a Weary Body through DH Summer Work at The Price Lab,” Research & Digital Scholarship, Penn Libraries, 2021.

The collaboration and camaraderie of working on Unstable Archives this summer felt like monsoons after a drought. As anticipated, I acquired or deepened all sorts of skills and helped produce a deliverable of which I’m proud. What I hadn’t seen coming was how the relationships integral to this labor helped heal my academic body after a year-plus of toiling mostly alone.”

© 2020 Chijioke Azuawusiefe, “Heather Jaber speaks at the Material Secularisms workshop.”

“Pleasurable Secularism: Suspicion, Panic, and Parallel Orienting in Awalem Khafeya,” Mat Sec Blog, 2020.

Perhaps what is most exciting to me about Jaber’s presentation is that where suspicion turned citizens away from the state in Agrama’s case study, thereby enabling sovereign encroachment, Awalem Khafeya turns viewers away from religious institutions. The work that suspicion does in these two case studies is flipped. It is as if the secular state identified the Agrama’s “asecular” spaces and targeted them in media.”

© 2020 Chijioke Azuawusiefe, “Mayanthi Fernando speaks at the Material Secularisms workshop.”

“Have We Ever Been Secular? (Im)materiality in Fernando’s ‘Supernatureculture,’” Mat Sec Blog, 2020.

Yet, Fernando notes that many of these recent attempts to re-entangle the human and non-human world have limited their purview to the visible material world, especially that contingent to humans. In these studies, ghosts, jinn, and other supernatural entities evade significance.”

© 2019 Behnaz Karjoo, “Panjitan.”

“Illuminating the Divine: Behnaz Karjoo’s ‘Immanence’ at Twelve Gates Arts,” The Maydan, 2020.

The microscopically delicate floral and yellow gold designs demanded I draw so close as to almost breathe on them…When I did defy the normal etiquette of distanced viewing, I encountered a world of complex detail hidden by the work’s minuscule scale—like focusing on part of a kaleidoscope only to realize that portion is itself another infinitely unfolding kaleidoscope.”

© 2017 Nandini Chirimar, “Her Sari Trunk.”

“Inheriting More Than Nanny’s Sari Trunk: Nandini Chirimar at 12 Gates Arts,” Kajal Mag, 2017.

Mixing sparse monotone drawings, mixed-media pieces, and treasured yet mundane family items, Chirimar explores the “wills” that our family imparts to us through objects and the memories associated with them. Ultimately, the show provides insight into family material cultures and the memories we inherit.”