Skip to Main content
Number of documents


Simon Frey

Simon Frey is a PhD Candidate in Anthropology at the Migrations and Society Research Unit (URMIS), Paris City University.

Email contact


PhD Research

Out of Many, One Ummah: Memory, Identity and Islam in Jamaica
PhD supervised by Dr Giulia Bonacci and Prof Mahamet Timera.

My PhD research focuses on the development of Islam in Jamaica since Independence in 1962, in relation to questions of belonging, memory and contested heritage. Combining ethnographical and historical methods, I aim to understand why Islam has over the years become an option in a postcolonial context which straddles heritage of slavery and cultural diversity. I am particularly interested in the process of individual and collective identity construction. My research analyze this process in its local and global dynamics in a context strongly shaped by relationships of class, race, ethnicity and gender. On the one hand, I investigate how Jamaican Muslims and Jamaican activists reclaim local historical narratives, inscribing Islam in the national and regional paradigm. On the other hand, I try to assess the role of global Muslim narratives in reinterpreting the creole multiracial national model through concepts such as Ummah. The scope of this research is to contribute to the emerging work on American Islam, and more generally to the scholarship on Atlantic circulations.

Conference Papers

  • 30 novembre 2021 'L'islam en Jamaïque: de la constitution d'une mémoire locale à un hyperdiffusionnisme islamique', at the conference 'El islam globalizado : una mirada desde América Latina' organised by L'Institut des Amériques, El Colegio Mexiquense and Pontificia Universidad Javeriana – Bogotá, Colombia.
  • 22 May 2021 'Nation in Question: Contested Heritage, Belonging and Islam in Jamaica.', at the yearly workshop organised by the Department of Social Anthropology and History at the University of the Aegean, Greece.
  • 9 December 2020 'La Nation of Islam en Jamaïque: Une circulation dans les marges (1960-1976)', at the workshop 'Circulations, transferts et trajectoires aux Amériques, XVIe-XXIe s.', organised by Mondes Américains, École des hautes études en sciences sociales | EHESS, Paris.
  • 12 April 2019 ' "Islam a Yaad Ting": Ethnicity and the formation of the Jamaican Ummah', at the conference 'Reconstrucciones: Renovaciones materiales, políticas y teóricas' organised by The Society for Latin American and Caribbean Anthropology – Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic.
  • 1 October 2018 'Retour sur le montage d’un film ethnographique' at the workshop 'Le regard et les autres: l’audiovisuel dans la recherche en sciences sociales', organised at University of Paris.
  • 14 July 2017 'L'influence du public cible sur le montage d’un film ethnographique' at the workshop 'L’éducation du regard: philosophie du langage ordinaire, anthropologie visuelle et cinéma', organised by the Institut des Sciences Juridique et Philosophique de la Sorbonne (PhiCo), Paris 1 Panthéon Sorbonne and the Université de Lausanne – Lausanne, Switzerland.


Simon Frey & Priscilla Rasyid, Strawberry Fields, Romania, 2018.
Simon Frey, Keep them Talking, Jamaica, 2016.
Mirja Brand, Simon Frey & Valentini Sampethai, Speak Out, Greece, 2015.

Academic Mobility

January - May 2020: Junior Researcher (ESR) on the SLAFNET (Slavery in Africa: a dialogue between Europe and Africa) project, secondment at the Centre for Research on Slavery and Indenture, University of Mauritius.
December 2017 - March 2018 & January-July 2019: Visiting Student at the Institute of Caribean Studies and Reggae Studies Unit at the University of the West Indies, Mona Campus, Kingston, Jamaica.


2017-2018: Induction to Anthropology; Induction to Sociology – Tutor (BA level).
2020-2021: Ethnographic Film (BA level); Visual Anthropology and Hypermedia (MA level)


2019: Doctoral Research Grant at Institut des Amériques.
2017-2021: Doctoral contract at Université de Paris.

Previous Degrees

M.A. with Distinction in Visual Anthropology, Goldsmiths College, University of London, United-Kingdom, 2016.

B.A. in the Study of Religions, University of Lausanne, Switzerland, 2014.

Journal articles1 document

  • Simon Frey. Compte rendu de Aliyah Khan, Far from Mecca: Globalizing the Muslim Caribbean, New Brunswick, Rutgers University Press, 2020, 260 p.. Outre-Mers Revue d'Histoire, Société française d'histoire d'outre-mer, 2021, pp.306-309. ⟨10.3917/om.211.0293⟩. ⟨hal-03284575⟩