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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Literatures, Languages and Cultures : Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies

Undergraduate Course: Muslim Africa in Global Perspective (IMES10109)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Literatures, Languages and Cultures CollegeCollege of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 10 (Year 4 Undergraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThis 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.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Information for Visiting Students
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2023/24, Available to all students (SV1) Quota:  15
Course Start Semester 1
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Seminar/Tutorial Hours 20, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 176 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) Co-facilitator 10%
1500 words Critical Museum Review 30%
2500 words Essay 60%
Feedback - Students will receive formative oral feedback from peers and the lecturer during class on their presentations.
- Students will receive written feedback from the lecturer on their response papers. This feedback will also constitute formative feedback for the final essay.
- Students will receive written feedback by the lecturer on a formative essay outline and on the essay.
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Demonstrate knowledge of Islam in Africa, and its historical and contemporary connectivity to the rest of the Muslim world 
  2. Think critically about the Eurocentric conceptualisations of globalisation and reframe globality based on theories, ethnographies and films produced in and on Africa
  3. Understand and evaluate the anthropological literature on West Africa and apply anthropological approaches and ethnographic methods to interpret global issues
  4. Contextualise and discuss visual media content, popular culture, and discourses with a critical awareness of race, ethnicity, class, gender, sexuality, and disability
Reading List
Essential readings:
Bayat, A., & Herrera, L. (Eds.). (2010). Being young and Muslim: New cultural politics in the global south and north. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Comaroff, J. (2016). Theory from the south, or, how Euro-America is evolving toward Africa. London: Routledge.
Eickelman, D. F., & Anderson, J. W. (Eds.). (2003). New media in the Muslim world: The emerging public sphere. Bloomington: Indiana University Press.
Ferguson, J. (2006). Global shadows: Africa in the neoliberal world order. Durham: Duke University Press.
Hackett, R. I. J. & Soares, B. F. (2015). New media and religious transformations in Africa. Bloomington: Indiana University Press.
Hill, J. (2018). Wrapping authority: Women Islamic leaders in a Sufi movement in Dakar, Senegal. Toronto: University of Toronto Press.
Jeppie, S. & Diagne, S. B. (2008) The meanings of Timbuktu. Dakar: CODESRIA.
Kane, O. (2016). Beyond Timbuktu: An intellectual history of Muslim West Africa. Cambridge: Harvard University Press.
Launay, R. (2016). Islamic education in Africa: Writing boards and blackboards. Bloomington: Indiana University Press.
Levtzion, N. & Pouwels, R. L. (2000). The History of Islam in Africa. Athens: Ohio University Press.
Loimeier, R. (2013). Muslim societies in Africa: A historical anthropology. Bloomington: Indiana University Press.
Østebø, T. (2022). Routledge handbook of Islam in Africa. New York: Routledge.
Macky, A. (2021) Zinder. (82 mins)*
Masquelier, A. M. (2019). Fada: Boredom and belonging in Niger. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press.
Ngom, F., Kurfi, M. H., & Falola, T. (2021). The Palgrave handbook of Islam in Africa. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.
Piraino P. & M. J. Sedgwick (2019) Global sufism: Boundaries, structures and politics. Hurst & Company. London: Hurst & Company.
Reese, S. S. (2004). The transmission of learning in Islamic Africa. Leiden: Brill.
Robinson, D. (2004). Muslim societies in African history. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Soares, B. F., & Otayek, R. (Eds.). (2007). Islam and Muslim politics in Africa. New York: Palgrave Macmillan.
Sissako. A. (2014). Timbuktu. (96 mins)*
Thurston, A. (2016). Salafism in Nigeria: Islam, Preaching, and Politics. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Traoré, M.J. (1974) Njangaan (86 mins)*
Ware, R. T. (2014). The walking Qur'an: Islamic education, embodied knowledge, and history in West Africa. Chapel Hill: The University of North Carolina Press.

*with English subtitles
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills -Think independently, critically and creatively
-Formulate original questions and apply appropriate methods to pursue them
-Identify, interpret and synthesise different theoretical approaches and apply them to new empirical data
-Express complex ideas with simplicity and ease in oral and written format
-Make analytical connections across local, national, and global scales
-Work collaboratively with others, give and take feedback in a constructive and productive manner
-Have critical awareness of global inequalities and an active commitment to social justice
Keywordsislam,Africa,globalisation,anthropology,Sufism,religious authority,media,youth
Course organiserDr Ezgi Guner
Course secretaryMrs Lina Gordyshevskaya
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