Sarah Shah (she/they) is a Post-Doctoral Fellow at the IIS for 2019-2021. Her research interests include religion, family and gender relations, racialized experiences, and mental health. In her current book project on Pakistani Canadian Muslim couples, Sarah looks at Muslim religious reflexivities, or the critical ways in which diasporic Muslims assess and negotiate their religious identities and practices, as well as the gendered religious and non-religious outcomes of these reflexivities.
Sarah’s side projects include analyses of religion as it pertains to gender attitudes, family organization, mental health outcomes, and group identity. For example, in an IIS-funded project on Canadian Muslim health, Sarah and IIS intern Aleena Atif critique studies that construct Muslim identity as a de facto barrier to positive health outcomes. Instead, they highlight how poor quality data architecture as well as systemic and institutional discrimination create a process of Muslim health exceptionalism.
Much of Sarah’s work is collaborative and interdisciplinary, as she enjoys analyzing religion from different perspectives. For example, Sarah is the lead author of a forthcoming publication on Positive Muslim Psychology with Maryam Khan (Assistant Professor, Faculty of Social Work, Wilfred Laurier University) and Sara Abdel Latif (Assistant Professor, Islamic Studies, McGill University), which highlights the historical acceptance of same-sex relations within the Muslim world, and the role of colonialism in the subsequent reconstruction of same-sex relations from acceptable gender performance to deviant sexual orientation.
Sarah is facilitating a monthly workshop on “Canadian Muslims at Home” at the IIS (virtually during COVID). See here for more details.