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Semester 1

Muslim Africa in Global Perspective (IMES10109)


Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies





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Visiting students should have at least 3 courses in a related subject area at grade B or above. We will only consider University/College level courses.

Course Summary

This course is organized around the problem of Africa's marginalisation within studies of Islam and globalisation. By drawing on theories, ethnographies and documentary films, the course explores the globality of Muslim Africa. In doing so, it introduces students to the key concepts and debates within the field of Islam in Africa. With its specific focus on case studies from West Africa, this course aims to develop a deeper understanding rather than providing a general survey of Muslim societies in the continent.

Course Description

This course comprises two streams designed to achieve two parallel objectives. The first stream introduces students to the key themes, concepts and debates within the field of Islam in Africa through ethnographic studies in Senegal, Mali, Niger and Nigeria. The thematic topics explored by the course include, but are not limited to Islamic literature, epistemologies and institutions of Islamic learning, Sufism, reform movements, new media, feminisation of religious authority, and African youth cultures. These discussions will be supported by documentary films. By the end of this course, students will have a solid grounding in the anthropology of Islam in West Africa and an in-depth understanding of ethnographic methodology. In parallel to the thematic discussions, the second stream introduces students to the theories of globalisation developed from within Africa, more specifically Muslim Africa. Students will gain a more critical and nuanced understanding of Africa's place in the world by studying diverse frameworks such as Afromodernity, Ajamisation and Afropolitanism. Students will at the same time emerge from the course with enhanced knowledge of Muslim Africa's historical and contemporary links to the rest of the Muslim world. The course is organized in weekly two-hour sessions (jointly taught with PG students) which will be a combination of lecture and discussion-based seminar. Students are expected to engage with their learning through in-class activities such as presentations, discussions and group exercises. They are also encouraged to attend extra-curricular events organized by the Alwaleed Centre, IMES, and the Centre of African Studies to complement the knowledge gained in the course.

Assessment Information

Written Exam 0%, Coursework 100%, Practical Exam 0%

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