2012 Highlights

Claire Dwyer

3 May 2012

Claire Dwyer

Dr Claire Dwyer is a Senior Lecturer in social and cultural geography at University College London where she is Co-Director of the Migration Research Unit. Claire’s research interests are in geographies of ethnicity, gender and religion; transnationalism and diasporas; feminist and multicultural theory. She has undertaken research on Muslim identities in Britain, British South Asian diaspora commodity cultures and new suburban religious landscapes in Britain and Canada. Her publications include Transnational Spaces (co-edited with Peter Jackson and Phillip Crang, Routledge, 2004) and New Geographies of Race and Racism (co-edited with Caroline Bressey, Ashgate, 2008).

Abstract: Making the suburban sacred: creating the Salaam Centre in Harrow

Suburbs are popularly portrayed as monotonous, materialist and secular. However recent work on London’s new suburban faith spaces by UCL’s Claire Dwyer suggests a more complex understanding of the heterogenous transnational geographies shaping suburban space. These arguments are explored in discussion with Ali Mangera (Mangera Yvars Architects) about his plans for the Salaam Centre, in Harrow, north-West London. Commissioned by a ShiaIthna’ashari Muslim community, the new centre fuses innovative Islamic designs, environmental sustainability and modern architecture in its reinvention of the idea of a mosque offering a shared and open space to a wider community. Mangera’s designs also engage explicitly and creatively with Harrow’s vernacular suburban geography.