CFP Special Issue of New Diversities: Religion and Migration in Africa and the African Diaspora

Guest editors: Dr Federico Settler (University of KwaZulu-Natal), Prof Trygve Wyller (University of Oslo), and Dr Mari Engh (University of KwaZulu-Natal)

As the field of transnational and migration studies has burgeoned, research about Africa has remained under-represented, and often Africa is depicted as the place from where people flee from in pursuit of liberty and modernity in the ‘North’. Recent decades has seen a great deal of scholarship in the field of migration focused on movement from the global South to the North, with most studies characterised by sentiments oriented around social exclusion, integration, multiculturalism, and ethnic relations.

In this special issue of the New Diversities Journal ( we wish to include papers that qualitatively explore the religious lives (Islam, African Pentecostalism, Hinduism, and Indigenous Religions) of migrants in Africa and the African Diaspora. The special issue is premised on the idea that when people move, they take their religions and cultural identities with them. In this, migrants make use of, and form, religious communities as networks of support, trust and knowledge, and to accumulate material knowledge of regulations, languages, expectations, desirable jobs, and settlement.

We invite papers concerned with the intersections of religion, migration and transnationalism in African contexts and in African diasporas across the world. We are interested in submissions that consider a cross-section of migratory aspirations, legal status, or extent of integration into the host society. Locating reflections within a postcolonial perspective, we invite contributions that are not simply concerned with migration as a strategy for fleeing from war, patriarchal relations and societies, and/or under-development, but that draw attention to the ways in which religion is produced and used in the migratory processes of people from and within postcolonial societies. We invite papers that provide an analysis of the ways in the religious beliefs and practices of migrants are resources for articulating, obtaining and maintaining transnational mobilities. Ultimately, through this special issue we hope to not only explore the ways in which religious beliefs, affiliations and practices shape migration, but also significantly, how migratory processes shapes our understandings of what constitutes religion, and religious work and practice.

Please submit abstracts (of approx 750 words) via email to Dr. FG Settler ( no later than 15th March 2016.


Submission of abstracts by 15th March 2016

Notification of abstracts selected for full paper submission by 1st April 2016

Submission of full papers by 1st July 2016

Final decision on manuscripts by 15th October