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ISITA Perspectives Symposia Series

perspectives.jpgISITA Perspectives brings leading scholars of Islam in Africa to Northwestern at least once each quarter for dialogue with each other and the audience about their recently published books. Each symposium features two authors and a Northwestern faculty discussant.

February 2019: Rethinking the Sufi-Reformist Divide

February 25, 2018

A dialogue between Elisha Renne (University of Michigan), author of Veils, Turbans, and Islamic Reform in Northern Nigeria (Indiana University Press, 2018), and Joseph Hill (University of Alberta), author of Wrapping Authority: Women Islamic Leaders in a Sufi Movement in Dakar, Senegal (University of Toronto Press, 2018).

Discussants: Henri Lauziere (history, Northwestern) and Wendell Marsh (Buffett Institute Post-Doctoral Fellow, Northwestern).

November 2018: Educating Muslim Youth in Asia and Africa

November 26, 2018

A dialogue between Shenila Khoja-Moolji (Bowdoin College), author of Forging the Ideal Educated Girl: The Production of Desirable Subjects in South Asia (University of California Press, 2018), and Hannah Hoechner (University of East Anglia), author of Quranic Schools in Northern Nigeria: Everyday Experiences of Youth, Faith, and Poverty (Cambridge University Press, 2018).

Discussants: Brannon Ingram (religious studies, Northwestern), Ashish Koul (history, Northwestern), Robert Launay (anthropology, Northwestern University), and Nermeen Mouftah (religion, Butler University).

The event featured a screening of "Duniya Juyi Juyi" (which means "How Life Goes" in Hausa), a 69-minute docudrama written, filmed, directed, and acted in by nine students from Qur'anic schools in Kano, Nigeria. Qur'anic school students, known as almajirai, have become convenient scapegoats for various social ills in Nigeria. This film shows the almajirai's own perspective on their education. Hannah Hoechner, who produced the film in collaboration with the students, lead a discussion.

Download an event poster here.

April 2018: Jihad and its Enemies: New Perspectives from West Africa

April 4, 2018

A dialogue between Lamin Sanneh (Yale University and Yale Divinity School), author of Beyond Jihad: The Pacifist Tradition in West African Islam (Oxford University Press, 2016); and Alexander Thurston (Georgetown University), author of Boko Haram: The History of an African Jihadist Movement (Princeton University Press, 2017)

 Discussant: Sean Hanretta (Northwestern University)

March 2018: Sharia Politics in Contemporary Nigeria

March 7, 2019

A dialog between Sarah Eltantawi (Evergreen State College), author of Shariʻah on Trial: Northern Nigeria’s Islamic Revolution (University of California Press, 2017) and Brandon Kendhammer (Ohio University), author of  Muslims Talking Politics: Framing Islam, Democracy and Law in Northern Nigeria (University of Chicago Press, 2016)

Discussant: Brannon Ingram, religious studies, Northwestern University

January 2018: Rethinking Timbutku: Revisionist Approaches

January 31, 2019

A dialogue between Ousmane Oumar Kane (Harvard Divinity School), author of Beyond Timbuktu: An Intellectual History of Muslim West Africa (Harvard University Press, 2016) and Charles Stewart (emeritus, University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign), editor of Arabic Writings of Mauritania and the Western Sahara (Brill, 2015), volume 5 in Brill’s Arabic Literature of Africa series).

Discussant: Robert Launary (anthropology, Northwestern)