Dr Jeremy Dell
Lecturer in African History pre 1900; African History
Affiliated research centres
I am a scholar of African global history, with a specialisation in the history of Islam in the Western Sahel. My research and teaching are anchored in the continent's own intellectual traditions, and I strive to make these traditions come alive in all of my work. My current book project, Saving Tradition: Archiving Islam in the Western Sahel, explores the history of collecting and preserving Arabic manuscripts amidst social and political upheaval in the West African countries of Senegal and Mali. I hold a doctorate in History from the University of Pennsylvania and have had significant research and language-training stints in Senegal, Mali, and Egypt. My work is based primarily in Arabic, Wolof and French sources, and I am an advocate of using African languages in historical research. Before joining HCA in January 2020, I was the inaugural Modern Intellectual History Postdoctoral Fellow at Dartmouth College (USA). I advise projects at the undergraduate and graduate level on a range of topics in African and Islamic history.
External Reviewer, Cahier d'Études Africaines
Summary of research interestsPlaces:
- Comparative & Global History
- Language & Literature
- Nineteenth Century
- Twentieth Century & After
I am primarily interested in the intersecting histories of Sufism, Islamic law, and the global history of the book. Side projects have examined these topics in the context of French colonialism. I am currently in the early stages of developing a major second project on the history of domestic labour in Senegal.
- African Intellectual History
- Transnational Islam and the African Diaspora
- Historical Skills & Methods II ("Grappling with Slavery in 19th-century West Africa")
- Islamic Africa
- Historical Methodology ("Global History")
- Historical Research: Approaches to the Past ("Global History")
- Francesca Baldwin (MSc), 'Faces of War: An Analysis of Female Combatants in Civil War and Revolution in Sierra Leone, 1991-2002'
Forthcoming. “Ajami and the Transmission of Sophisticated Knowledge.” Section Introduction to Part IV of Islamic Scholarship in Africa: New Directions and Global Contexts, edited by Ousmane Oumar Kane (London: James Currey) [accepted].
2018. “Unbraiding the Qur'an: Wolofal and the Tafsir Tradition of Senegambia.” Islamic Africa 9, no. 1: 55-76 [peer-reviewed].
2014. “An Encyclopedic Treasure.” Review of an Arabic critical edition of Kanz al-asrār wa-lawāqiḥ al-afkār (Le trésor des secrets et des idées fécondes), edited by Belkacem Daouadi. Journal of African History 55, no. 1: 126-127.
2013. “Recreating Touba: Pilgrimage Videos in the American Muridiyya.” Islamic Africa 4, no. 1: 49-68 [peer-reviewed].
WORKS IN PROGRESS
Saving Tradition: Archiving Islam in the Western Sahel (book manuscript)
“The Sound of Laïcité: Poetry, Print and Noise Regulation in 20th-century Senegal,” Comparative Studies of South Asia, Africa and the Middle East (Under review)