Samuel Everett

University of Cambridge CRASSH
Anthropology & Ethnology
10 months

Research interests: historical-colonial and spatial-political dimensions of interreligious identification to North Africa

Research Project

Zouj, the Dynamics of Jewish-Muslim Interaction in Maghribi Popular Culture

The word Zouj has a shared root in Arabic and Hebrew (ZWJ/ZWG) meaning, couple, pair or betrothed. This polysemy captures the dialogic nature of the Zouj project concerning North African cosmopolitan spaces of Jewish-Muslim cultural creativity and exchange from the 1920s to the present day in the Maghrib and in Diaspora. The aim of Zouj is to investigate these spaces by exploring the ways in which multiple pairings have, and continue to, play out within cultural production and performance. The project which engages with heritage; cultural preservation, religious and linguistic diversity and comparative research, focuses on artistic resistance to ethno-national and religious cultural imposition through shifting socio-political contexts, and changing conceptions of ethic and religious difference. 


Samuel Everett is Research Associate for the Religious Diversity and the Secular University project at CRASSH in the University of Cambridge. His interdisciplinary research juxtaposes the role of encounter and exchange in religiously diverse urban everyday settings and in contemporary intellectual production. He writes against a discursive backdrop of increasing concern over identity and pluralism - a core concern of the project.

His thesis (2009-2014), successfully completed at SOAS, developed the notion of Maghrebinicité that brings together historical-racial – Maghreb – and spatial-political – Cité – dimensions of Parisian Jewish identification to North Africa. He undertook multi-sited ethnographic and historical research in Paris, North Africa and Jerusalem to analyse migratory trajectories and their interpretation intergenerationally. His work also focuses on similarities and differences in experience between Jewish and Muslim descendants of North Africa in greater Paris, particularly in areas of contact. In Paris he is associated with INALCO (from which he graduated) and the CNRS GSRL (Society, Religion and Secularism Group).

As a JRF at the Woolf Institute (2015-17), Sami analysed the ways in which trust manifests itself locally through his participant observation in initiatives relating to social action, interfaith, and refugees, putting into practice a philosophy of personal engagement through education, outreach, and research.