Call for Papers: Muslim Contributions to Civil Society and Philanthropy in the Caribbean

Research on both Muslim communities and their contributions to civil society in the Caribbean is expanding. What might we learn by putting the two into conversation?

1/20/20242 min read

In collaboration with the Muslim Philanthropy Initiative (MPI) at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI), LACISA is hosting an online colloquium on Muslim contributions to civil society, philanthropy and activism in the Caribbean. 

This colloquium brings together scholars and practitioners to conceptualize overarching patterns, offer case studies, and suggest possible avenues forward in the study of Muslim communities in the Caribbean.

We welcome proposals that investigate Muslim contributions to civil society, philanthropy, and activism from historical, anthropological, literary, sociological, cultural, and religious perspectives. Colloquium presentations based on interviews, autoethnographies, and primary source translations would also be enthusiastically received. We are also open to participation by activists, organizations, and individuals directly involved in projects, whether in the form of interviews or as first-person/third-person essays.

Once we have selected from the proposals, we will convene an online colloquium in May 2024. Those who present will be remunerated in the amount of $250, thanks to generous support from MPI. In addition, select papers will be included in a special volume, edited by Ken Chitwood, Ph.D. (MPI) and Harini Kumar, Ph.D. (Princeton University).

We are inviting proposals due 15 March 2024. The proposal should be 250-300 words long and address any one, or combination, of the following themes: 

  • How have Muslims in the Caribbean made contributions to civil societies or engaged with social, political, and cultural orders in the Caribbean? 

  • What philanthropic activities or activist programs have been undertaken by Muslims in the region and how have they been interpolated by broader Caribbean social, political, and cultural orders? 

  • What themes, issues, or people groups are Muslims focusing on and what kinds of institutions and organizations are they creating (e.g., hospitals, nonprofit newspapers and publications, disaster relief programs, refugee and migrant aid, etc.)?

  • At what levels is this activity carried out: the local, national, regional, and/or trans- national/regional? What transregional networks and/or connections are fostered, or frustrated, by this work? 

  • What partnerships—intrafaith, interfaith, or between Muslims and other actors in civil society—are being created?

  • How does dawah factor into their work? 

  • How are concepts like zakat, sadaqa, and waqf interpreted and applied by Muslims in the Caribbean?

  • How do Muslims in the Caribbean mix, combine, or remix classic notions of giving, charity, and aid from both Caribbean and Islamic cultures and histories?

  • Are there any accents or emphases that are unique to, or particularly pronounced among, Muslims in the Caribbean?

For more on what we mean by “Caribbean” and/or “Muslim philanthropy,” please see our concept document HERE. Submissions, inquiries, and other communication related to the colloquium should be sent to Please advise if you have any questions or comments at this point in time. Otherwise, we hope to receive your proposal in due time! 

SUBMISSIONS DUE: 15 March 2024