Rachel Brown

Rachel Brown
Program and Research Coordinator
Religion, Culture and Society Program
Office: Sedgewick Vandekerkhove Wing B102d

M.A. (McMaster), PhD (Wilfrid Laurier University)

More about our Program and Research Coordinator

I received my PhD in religion and cultural studies from Wilfrid Laurier University (2016), my MA in religious studies from McMaster University (2009) and my BA (Honours) in religious studies from the University of Waterloo (2007). I taught as a Visiting Assistant Professor in the Department of Philosophy and Religion at the University of Evansville for the 2017-2018 academic year, and have been a sessional instructor at McMaster University and here at the University of Victoria in their respective Religion, Culture and Society Programs.

My primary research interests lie at the intersection of studies in food, religion and migration. I am especially interested in how members of minority immigrant communities create, maintain and present their religious, cultural and ethnic identities through food and food practices in secular contexts. This interest extends into questioning how immigrant communities add to, change, and/or are transformed by the diverse cultural landscapes of North America and Europe.  

My dissertation, which I am currently revising into a manuscript, is an ethnographic case study of North African Muslim immigrants in Paris, France and Montreal, Canada. In this work, titled Consuming Identity: Food, Drink and Muslim Experience in Paris and Montreal (under advance contract with McGill-Queen’s University Press), I look at how Muslim migrants relate to their homeland, hostland, and to the very concepts of religion and culture themselves, through their food practice. I have also written multiple journal articles, and book chapters on subjects such as Muslim integration and French Society, Theorizing Food and Religion, Muslim Food and Identity, Research Positionality and Knowledge Production, and the experience of Religious Minorities in the Pacific Northwest.

Select Publications

2019. Brown, Rachel. Muslim integration and french societyOxford Research Encyclopedia of Politics. Oxford University Press. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acrefore/9780190228637.013.798

2017. Brown, Rachel. Bread Beyond Borders: Food as Evidence for Thomas Tweed’s Theory of Religion. Bulletin for the Study of Religion, 46 (2): 9-18. doi: 10.1558/bsor.32260.

2016. Brown, Rachel. How Gelatin Becomes a Symbol of Muslim Identity: Food Practice as a Lens into the Study of Religion and MigrationReligious Studies and Theology, 35 (2): 185-205. doi: 10.1558/rsth.32558.

2015. Brown, Rachel. Tell me what you eat and I’ll tell you what you are. The literal consumption of identity for North African Muslims in Paris, France. In Everyday Life Practices of Muslims in Europe: Consumptions and Aesthetics. Erkan Toguslu, ed. Leuven: Leuven University Press. Pp. 41-56.