HDS 3357/Islamic Civilization 179: Critical Perspectives on the Dynamics and Development of Islam in Africa

Instructor: Ousmane Kane

An estimated 450 to 500 million Muslims live in Africa—close to a third of the global Muslim population. The overwhelming majority of them lives in the northern half of the continent, above the equator. The spread of Islam increased the contact between the peoples of North Africa, the Sahara, and parts of sub-Saharan Africa. The course is designed to provide an understanding of the spread of Islam and the formation and transformation of Muslim societies in Africa. It is organized in two parts. The first part of the course will focus on the history of Islamization of Africa, and topics will include the ways in which Islam came to Africa, the relationships of Islam to trade, the growth of literary in Arabic and Ajami, the rise of clerical classes and their contribution to State formation in the pre-colonial period. The second part of the course will feature guest lecturers who will present cutting edge research on the transformation of Islam in postcolonial Africa. Jointly offered in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences as Islamic Civilization 179.