Tag Archives: Islam

Episode 108: Ajami in African History

Portrait photo of Fallou Ngom

Courtesy of Boston University Photography

Fallou Ngom (African Languages Director, Boston U.) on his new book Muslims Beyond the Arab World: the Odyssey of Ajami and the Muridiyya. Focusing on Senegambia and Ahmadu Bamba, Ngom discusses Ajami literary texts — African languages in Arabic scripts — as sources for history. He also reflects on creating online Ajami collections, teaching and learning African languages in the U.S., and contributing scholarly expertise to asylum cases.

Note: Part of a podcast series in collaboration with the U.S. African Studies Association.

 

Episode 98: City of Thorns—Inside the World’s Largest Refugee Camp

City-of-Thorns-eBookAuthor Ben Rawlence (Open Society Foundations Fellow) on his new book: City of Thorns: Nine Lives in the World’s Largest Refugee Camp. He describes working in Dadaab, Kenya, and discusses Somali refugees’ daily struggles, their personal lives, social relationships, trade, and Islam. The interview closes with reflections on the international dimensions of the conflict in Somalia and prospects for peace.

Episode 42: Senegal, Women in Islam, Public Intellectuals, and David Robinson

Penda Mbow (University Cheikh Anta Diop, Dakar), prominent historian and public intellectual of Senegal, on women and Islam, intellectual history in Muslim Africa, and civil society in Senegal. She also discusses the significant contribution and role of David Robinson in African and Senegalese historiography.

Episode 9: Maghrebi Women and Ethnopsychiatry

Rita El-Khayat (University of Chieti, Italy) is an anthropologist, psychiatrist, novelist and poet from Morocco. Guest host is Professor Safoi Babana-Hampton (MSU). El-Khayat describes her work on North African women; the study and practice of psychiatry; and the importance of breaking down barriers through cultural mixing (métissage). The interview took place during the conference “Muslims, Race, and the Public Sphere” recently hosted by the Muslim Studies Program at MSU.


Episode 1: Amadu Bamba and the Muridiyya of Senegal

Fighting the Greater Jihad (2007) The inaugural episode of Africa Past and Present introduces the podcast and features an interview with University of Pennsylvania Professor Cheikh Anta Babou (MSU PhD 2002).“Africa matters,” says co-host Peter Alegi in the first segment. “It matters to America since about one in seven Americans trace their origins to the African continent. Africa also has global implications: economic, political, and cultural ones. Finally, Africa deserves to be studied and debated in its own right, like any other continent.” For co-host Peter Limb, “Podcasting is an exciting and vibrant forum, especially for communication. It opens up a new horizon for interaction not just in this country, but also with scholars, activists, and others in Africa itself.”

In the second segment, MSU University Distinguished Professor David Robinson joined Alegi for an interview with Cheikh Babou, the Senegalese historian and author of a new book entitled Fighting the Greater Jihad: Amadu Bamba and the Founding of the Muridiyya of Senegal, 1853-1913 (Ohio University Press, 2007). Professor Babou hopes his book will encourage readers to “understand that Islam is diverse; not to see Islam as an essence, not to confuse it with Arab culture or Middle Eastern Culture.” Robinson stresses the importance of learning about religious diversity in a post-9/11 world and to appreciate that “what some people say is Islam is really a distortion of that main tradition.”