News & Events


Text, Knowledge, Practice: The Meaning of Scholarship in Muslim Africa

Thursday 16 February, 2017
Sperry Room, Harvard Divinity School
6:45-7:00 PM: Introductory Remarks by David Hempton, Dean of Harvard Divinity School and William Graham, Murray A. Albertson Professor of Middle Eastern Studies and Director of the Alwaleed Program in Islamic studies
7:00-8:00 PM: Keynote Address by Ousmane Kane, Alwaleed Professor of Contemporary Islamic Religion at Harvard
History, Movement, and the Spread of Islamic Scholarship in Muslim Africa
Friday 17 February, 2017
CGIS South S010 Tsai Auditorium, Harvard University
8:30-10:30  Panel 1
History, Movement, and the Spread of Islamic Scholarship
Chair: Oludamini Ogunnaike, College of William and Mary
Zachary Wright, Associate Professor of History, Northwestern University Qatar
Visionary Knowledge: Encounters with the Prophet in Islamic Africa, 18th Century to the Present
Khaled Esseissah, Ph.D. student, History Department, Indiana University-Bloomington  
The Ulama of Bilad Shinqiti (Mauritania) and their Roles in Disseminating Islamic Learning Outside Africa
Ahmed Chanfi, Senior Lecturer, Humboldt University of Berlin, Germany
Northeastern African `ulama’ and Salafism in Mecca and Medina: The Case of the Ethiopian Born Shaykh Muhammad ʿAli Amin al-Jami and the al-Jamiyya Movement in Saudi Arabia
Dahlia Gubara, Assistant Professor, American University of Beirut
Black Magic, White Magic, and the Man from Katsina
11:00AM-1:00PM  Panel 2
Courts, Colonialism, & Islamic Law in Africa
Chair: Zachary Wright, Northwestern University Qatar
Etty Terem, Associate Professor, Rhodes College
Redefining Islamic Orthodoxy: Fatwās and Anxieties of Moroccan Modernity
Ismail Warscheid, Research Fellow at CNRS
A West African Approach to Islamic Law? Sahelo Saharan Legal Writing in Post Classical Malikism
Sarah Eltantawi, Assistant Professor, Comparative Religion, The Evergreen State College
The Influence of Northern Nigeria’s Encounter with European Colonialism on the Development of Islamic Law
Matthew Steele, Ph.D. Student, Harvard University
The Khalil and Commentary: The Making of Legal Literary Canon in West Africa
2:00-4:00 PM  Panel 3
Authors, Texts, and Islamic Scholarship
Chair: Charles Hallisey, Harvard Divinity School
Mauro Nobili, Assistant Professor of History, University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign
A Nineteenth-Century Political Project: Nūḥ b. al-Ṭāhir’s Tārīkh al-fattāsh
Noah Salomon, Associate Professor of Religion, Carleton College
Rethinking Scripturalism: Ethics, Knowledge, and Textual Practice in Contemporary Sudan
Oludamini Ogunnaike, Assistant Professor of Religion, College of William and Mary
Philosophical Sufism in the Sokoto Caliphate: The Case of Shaykh Dan Tafa
Farah El-Sharif, Ph.D. Student, Harvard University,
Sunnah as ‘Open Source’ in Hājj ʿUmar al-Fūti’s Kitāb al-Rimāh
4:00-6:00 PM  Panel 4
Contemporary Expressions of Islamic Scholarship in Africa
Chair: Kai Kresse, Columbia University
Iqbal Akhtar, Associate Professor, Florida International University
The Indic Chronicle of Light from Zanzibar
Kim Wortmann, Ph.D. Student, Harvard University
Ikhtilafu sio Upinzani: Debating the “Right” Way to Talk About Difference in Contemporary Zanzibar
Caitlyn Bolton, Ph.D. Student, Graduate Center CUNY
Modernizing the Madrasa: Islamic Education, Knowledge and Development in Zanzibar
Ahmed Sharif Ibrahim, Ph.D. Student, Graduate Center CUNY
Somalia, Sudan, and the Rise of Scholar Politics in the ICU
Saturday 18 February, 2017
CGIS South S010 Tsai Auditorium, Harvard University
8:30-10:30 AM  Panel 5
Vernacular in Text and Verse
Chair: Chanfi Ahmed, Humboldt Universität
Abdulkadir Hashim, Senior Lecturer Department of Philosophy & Religious Studies
Praise and Prestige: The Significance of Elegiac Poetry among Muslim Intellectuals in the Late Twentieth-Century Kenya Coast
Lidwien Kapteijns, Kendall/Hodder Professor of History, Wellesley College
Alessandra Vianello, Affiliated Researcher at School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS)
ʻIlm and the Common People: Sufi Vernacular Poetry and Islamic Education in Brava, c. 1890-1925
Hassan Mwakimako, Associate Professor, Department of Religious & Philosophical Studies, Pwani University, Kenya
Swahili Islamic Manuscripts: The Friday Khutba of Shaykh Al-Amin b. Ali al-Mazrui, 1890-1947
Kai Kresse, Associate Professor, Columbia University
Sauti Ya Haki ‘The Voice of Justice’: An Islamic newspaper in postcolonial Kenya, 1972-1982
11:00 AM-1:00 PM  Panel 6
Quranic Education in Africa
Chair: Mohamed Mbodj, Manhattanville College
Corinne Fortier, Researcher, CNRS
Orality and Transmission of Quranic Knowledge in Mauritania
Yunus Kumek, Postdoctoral Fellow, Harvard Divinity School
Understanding Common Egyptians Muslim Identity with the Tradition of Recitation of the Quran
Laura L. Cochrane, Associate Professor of Anthropology, Central Michigan University 
A New Daara: Integrating Qur’anic, Agricultural, and Trade-Based Education in a Community Setting
Pearl T. Robinson, Associate Professor, Tufts University
Mama Kiota: Koranic Education in Postcolonial Niger
1:15-1:30 PM  Closing Remarks
Matthew Steele, Ph.D. Student, Harvard University