EPISODE 3 of Dispersion Season 2 is NOW LIVE!

31 Jan 2023

Dinner Conversations and Fluid Identities

The Zoryan Institute is pleased to announce that Dispersion Season 2, Episode 3: Dinner Conversations and Fluid Identities with Guests Randal Schnoor and Dilmurat Mahmut is NOW LIVE on all of your favourite podcast platforms!

In this episode, Randal and Dilmurat discuss the inseparable nature of their cultural and religious identities, and how histories of persecution based on religion have contributed to a strong sense of peoplehood within their religious diaspora communities. This episode explores fluid and intersecting identities, and cross generational education.

“After coming to Canada we started to have the freedom to enjoy our religion, learn more about our religion – how to pray properly, how to follow Islamic faith in a correct manner. In the past few years, our religious identity back home has been suppressed to the point that no one can say they’re Muslim anymore”.
– Dilmurat Mahmut

“I think it’s difficult to have a Jewish identity without some facet of religious identity, although for many Jews, including myself, the cultural side comes out a little bit stronger. That has to do with shared history, shared experiences historically, persecution embedded in our history and a shared sense of collective challenges that we faced as Jews through history…”
– Randal Schnoor

Randal Schnoor:
Dr. Randal F. Schnoor (PhD, McGill 2003), a sociologist, has been teaching Religious Studies and Jewish Studies at York University since 2004. He specializes in the qualitative study of contemporary Canadian Jewish life. He has published sociological works on Jewish identity, Jewish day schools, Hasidic Jews, gay Jews among other contemporary topics.  His recent policy research includes a large community study on Jewish poverty in Toronto, a study on approaches to engaging Jewish interfaith families, and a study on South African Jews in Toronto. Recent courses taught a York University include: “Contemporary Jewish Life in North America”, “Antisemitism and Islamophobia in Canada” and “Jews, Christians and Muslims in Medieval Spain.”  Randal lives in Toronto with his wife, two teenage children and two dogs. Between teaching Jewish studies in University and being immersed in the local Jewish community, being Jewish is a big part of his life.

Dilmurat Mahmut:
Dr. Dilmurat Mahmut is a research associate and a course lecturer in the Faculty of Education, McGill University. He is also Vice President of International Support for Uyghurs, a Montreal-based NGO.  His research interests include Muslim identity in the West, religion, education, violent extremism, and immigrant/refugee integration in Canada and beyond.

Season two has an exciting line-up of episodes and engaging conversations that you don’t want to miss. Stay tuned to hear our guests dive deep on a number of interesting topics as they relate to religion, gender, conflict and the experiences of Indigenous peoples in Canada.

The Dispersion podcast brings diverse Diasporic Canadians together to engage in conversations centered around identity, home, and belonging. This is done with the aim of challenging stereotypes and discrimination, and promoting tolerance and understanding. New episodes of Dispersion will be released every Monday at 12:00 pm EST on SpotifyApple PodcastsAmazon PodcastsAcast, and Google Podcasts.

Interested in learning more about Diaspora and Religion? For each episode of Dispersion released over the coming weeks, University of Toronto Press Journals will be making related academic papers from the Institute’s journal, Diaspora: A Journal of Transnational Studies free to read. This week, read more about how diasporas relate and form identities and relationships with their culture and homeland with conflict by reading the articles below.

Cohen, R. (1999). From Ethnonational Enclave to Diasporic Community: The Mainstreaming of Israeli Jewish Migrants in Toronto. Diaspora: A Journal of Transnational Studies, 8(2), 121-136.

Gibb, C. (1998). Religious Identification in Transnational Contexts: Being and Becoming Muslim in Ethiopia and Canada. Diaspora: A Journal of Transnational Studies, 7(2), 247-269.

Shams, T. (2021). Homeland and Heartland: Conceptualizing the “Muslim” “Diaspora”. Diaspora: A Journal of Transnational Studies, 21(1), 47-63.


Visit here for more information about Dispersion, and follow the podcast on Instagram and Facebook for updates!