I am an independent scholar based in Perth, Scotland with research interests in the areas of multiculturalism, religious and cultural diversity, and contemporary society. I am a social anthropologist by training (at the London School of Economics and the University of Edinburgh) but I have worked in the study of religion and culture for most of my professional career: at King’s College London, the University of Stirling, and at the Al-Maktoum College, Dundee, and I was Honorary Professor of Multiculturalism at the University of Aberdeen from 2004-2012.
I have authored three books, including Religion the Basics (with Routledge), which I am currently revising for a third edition in 2015. I published Multiculturalism and Minority Religions in Britain in 2001, and A Place for our Gods in 1996. I co-authored with a colleague (Abd al-Fattah El-Awaisi) a report title Time for Change on teaching and research in Islamic Studies in UK universities. I have been editor of the journal Culture and Religion since its foundation in 2000, which is published four times per year by Routledge.
At present, I am currently working on a number of new projects. In particular, I am writing a book which is provisionally titled The Challenges of Multiculturalism, which I am also developing as an online course on Udemy.com.
In the past two or so years I have been increasingly interested in the changing nature of academic publishing and communication. It is becoming very clear that a substantial transformation is taking place in the area of publishing, and this is slowly having a significant impact on how academics can present their work to various audiences. Although the idea of the academic as a public intellectual is by no means new (for example, I remember that the original Carl Sagan’s Cosmos was very inspirational to me when it was first broadcast in 1980), there are definitely new opportunities for academics to engage positively with new audiences. My aim is to develop in this direction, making use of new media as well as I can.
Therefore, although I have a great passion for the engagement of live classroom teaching, I also see great potential from the growth of MOOCs as a new form of student learning. I have published a blog post on this in the Huffington Post (along with other topics), and I aim to have further new small online courses available through Udemy website in the next few months (as well as on Youtube and my own website, malorynye.com, to a certain extent). On a smaller scale to this, I have begun recording short (3 minute) videos with the Canadian video forum, Vidoyen, to make some of my research interests accessible to new audiences.
In addition, I see the rapid growth of ebooks, and in particular Kindle publishing, as something that can have a very significant impact on academic publishing, and in particular on the way students and the general public engage with academic writing. I am also currently recording my text book (Religion the Basics) for Audible, the audio-book Amazon platform. I am developing a podcast related to my work, and alongside this a podcast series that is part of the Culture and Religion journal that I edit. This journal podcast will make use of interviews with authors and guest editors related to their papers in the journal.
In sum, my aim is to continue my academic life in what I call a ‘free range’ manner and in doing so I intend to make my research and my academic interests more publically engaging.
Contact Malory via e-mail at email@example.com