Guillermo Martín-Saiz

Graduate Student of Sociocultural Anthropology

Research Interests

My dissertation project focuses on Islamic proselytizing groups (e.g. Salafiyya, Tablighi Jama‘at) in Barcelona, Spain, their interactions with Muslim women and men of diverse ages and ethnolinguistic backgrounds (e.g. Spanish, North African, South Asian) across everyday environments (e.g. domestic, work, leisure), and the production of religious discourse across these backgrounds and spaces. Specifically, I address the promotion of and competition between distinct ideas of community life and religious piety, and how ordinary Muslims discuss and reconstruct these ideas across the boundaries of religious sectarianism. Thus, my research interests move between the study of religion and language, Islam, religious practice and piety, space and place, and temporalities. In addition, I am interested in colonial and postcolonial history, modernity, secularism, current relationships between former metropolises in Western Europe and former colonies in Africa, and Asia, contemporary anthropological knowledge and methods, and the construction of the other-non-white.

Research Experience

Since 2009, I have conducted research on the Muslim community in Barcelona, Spain. Specifically, I have studied the history and management of mosques and community centers in the city, the functioning and counseling activities of the Islamic Council of Catalonia, and everyday religious practices. Similarly, I have conducted research on the organization and proselytizing of Islamic groups operating both locally internationally, such as Minhaj ul-Qur‘an, the Tablighi Jama’at, and the Salafiyya, with a specific focus on preachers and their publics in both Islamically marked (e.g. mosques, cultural centers) and unmarked spaces (streets, homes, restaurants, stores). In addition, since 2014, I have conducted research on religion, trading, and mobility in the coastal area of The Gambia, West Africa, where my focus is on Islamic proselytizing and trading networks, and competition between different Islamic groups, from the Tablighi Jama‘at and the Salafiyya to the Mouridiyya and the Tijaniyya. 


2017. “Islam and the Tablighi Jama’at in Spain: Ghosts of the Past, Limits of Representation, and New Developments”. In Mapril, José, Ruy Blanes, Emmerson Giumbelli, and Erin K. Wilson (eds.). Secularisms in a Postsecular Age? Religiosities and Subjectivities in Comparative Perspective. London and New York: Palgrave Macmillan

Martín-Sáiz, Guillermo (2015), "Cuerpo, tiempo y espacio en el estudio de comunidades musulmanas en España: el caso de la Jama'at at-Tabligh", in Religião & Sociedade 35(2):96-122.[English: 'The Body, Time and Space in the Study of Muslim Communities in Spain: The Case of the Tablighi Jama'at']

Martín Sáiz, Guillermo (2014). “Espacio público e Islam transnacional: A propósito de la Jama’at at-Tabligh en Barcelona”. Revista de Estudios Internacionales Mediterráneos, N.18, January-July 2014. [English: ‘Public Sphere and Transnational Islam: The Tablighi Jama’at in Barcelona’].

Martín Sáiz, Guillermo (2012). “Pràctica religiosa i pràctica etnogràfica: La Ŷama’at at-Tabligh ad-Da’wa’ i el Raval”. Revista Catalana de Sociologia. N.28, December 2012. [English: ‘Religious Practice and Ethnographic Practice: The Tablighi Jama’at and the Raval of Barcelona’].

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  • Washington University
  • CB 1114
  • One Brookings Drive
  • St. Louis MO 63130
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