Youssef Carter

Fellowship Recipient
Department: Anthropology
Country Expertise: Senegal
Language Expertise:
Fellowship Year(s): 2014
Project/Theme Title: Religious Subjectivities, Spiritual Networks, and Diasporic Existence among African-American and Senegalese Muslims
Abstracts: This project requests funding to study identity construction and invocational practices of "remembrance" among African-American and Senegalese Muslims that are part of the Mustafawiyya Sufi order in South Carolina and in Senegal. I will observe communal religious practices and conduct interviews with these Muslim practitioners who circulate and consume materials (audio recordings of lectures and poetry, prayer books) that are designated for spiritual cultivation. Information gathered from this study will address the relationship between diasporic networks, religious goods, spiritual performance, and configurations of ethical selfhood: how does participation in the circulation of religious materials contribute to transnational spiritual network expansion? Further, what can consumption of these materials tell us about how objects constitute social and spiritual identities? What effects (and affects) does spiritual performance and religious travel have on the formation on diasporic selfhood? This study will contribute to discourses on identity construction, religious subjectivity, and diasporic belonging."