Dr. Jennifer Selby, Associate Professor of Religious Studies

I am an Associate Professor and Graduate Coordinator in the Department of Religious Studies, as well as an affiliate member of the Department of Gender Studies at Memorial University.

My research and teaching aim to challenge a pernicious sociopolitical assumption – that there is a radical divide between the so-called West and Muslim Worlds – through critique of how this matrix plays out in the lives of everyday people. I examine this quandary through the lens of secularism, understood as a separation of religion from politics, and often assumed as a key guarantor of Western liberalism, democracy, rationality, and gender equality.

The core argument of my research is that the secular in the North Atlantic world is intimately related to the regulation of religion. More empirically, my research is ethnographic and examines secularism and Muslim lives in contemporary France and Canada.

I currently serve as co-chair of the Anthropology of Religion section and as steering committee member of the Religion and Migration unit for the American Academy of Religion, as well as on the executive of the Canadian Corporation for the Study of Religion.

Fields Of Research

  • Islam in the West (France, Canada)
  • Method and Theory
  • Secularization Theory
  • Islam, Interpretations of Sharia
  • Women and Islam, Gender Studies
  • Religion and Public Policy in Canada


BA Honours (U Winnipeg), MA (Queen's University), PhD (McMaster University), Postdoctoral Fellowship (Harvard University)

Teaching Schedule

Fall 2021

RELS 2850 - Gender and Sexuality in Western Religious Traditions 

RELS 4002/6130 - Configurations of Secularism

Office Hours

Please contact me by email to set up a time (given MUN closure for COVID-19).

Office: 5029 Arts and Administration | Telephone: (709) 864-4046 | Email: jselby@mun.ca


Jennifer A. Selby

230 Elizabeth Ave, St. John's, NL, CANADA, A1B 3X9

Postal Address: P.O. Box 4200, St. John's, NL, CANADA, A1C 5S7

Tel: (709) 864-8000