School of Religion

School of Religion

School of Religion

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Shobhana Xavier


BA, BEd, and MA (York University)
PhD (Wilfrid Laurier-Waterloo University)

Research Focus: 

Dr. Xavier works on contemporary global Islam and Sufism, with particular regional interests in North America (United States and Canada) and South Asia (Sri Lanka). She broadly examines how Sufism transforms and/or maintains continuity as it is transmitted to new regions, such as through migration, diaspora, literature, and popular culture (i.e., Rumi). In doing so, she engages sacred spaces (Sufi shrines), rituals, practices, and memory, in addition to gender dynamics.  

Currently, she is working on two book projects. The first is a case study on the development of Sufism in Toronto. For her second project, she is documenting Sufi shrines in Sri Lanka and its contemporary legacy, amidst growing anti-Sufism on the island. 

She is happy to supervise RELS MA and Cultural Studies PhD students in the above and related areas of research.