My research focusses on European migration and nationalism in the post-war era and draws across disciplines from methodologies and approaches in political science, sociology, and history.
My 2012 dissertation at York University, Toronto looked at the migrant struggle for civil rights and belonging in Spain in the democratic period starting in 1975. By advocating for religious pluralism, rights as non-status residents, and a broader appreciation of Spanish culture and identity, migrants from predominantly Morocco and Pakistan have strengthened rather than imperilled liberal democracy in Spain and in Western Europe more broadly. For this research I made use of government documents, the archival materials of NGOs and trade unions, memoirs, newspaper collections, and my own oral interviews. The Muslim Struggle for Civil Rights in Spain: Promoting Democracy through Migrant Engagement, 1985-2010 was published as a monograph by Sussex Academic Press in 2014.
I plan to make use of my Max Weber Fellowship to carry out an in-depth study of contemporary nativism in Spain and Italy, its effects on the political process, and ultimately its concrete impact on the rights of religious minorities. I wish to understand how nativist discourses in Southern Europe resemble and differ from their closest kin in Northern Europe and North America; how these discourses have assimilated the traditional New Left concerns for women’s rights, secularism, and the rights of sexual minorities; and how they have become increasingly part of the accepted mainstream.
As a lecturer, I have taught twentieth-century world history, migration in Europe, and Islam in Europe at Wilfrid Laurier University, the University of Guelph, Glendon College, and York University.
Areas of expertise: Islam in Europe, migrant activism, gendered Islamophobia, and European nativism.