Northwestern Events Calendar


Wednesdays@PAS: The Contributions of Fulani Scholars to the Development of Islamic Scholarship in Mali, 18th-19th Centuries

When: Wednesday, September 28, 2016
12:00 PM - 1:15 PM  

Where: 620 Library Place, 1st Floor Conference Room, Evanston, IL 60208 map it

Audience: Faculty/Staff - Student - Public - Post Docs/Docs - Graduate Students

Contact: Program of African Studies   847.491.7323

Group: Program of African Studies

Category: Lectures & Meetings


Come join PAS for our weekly lunch and lecture.  Lunch provided by PAS.

Speaker: Mohamed Diagayete, Senior Researcher at the Ahmad Baba Institute of Higher Learning and Islamic Research, Timbuktu

Title: The Contributions of Fulani Scholars to the Development of Islamic Scholarship in Mali, 18th-19th Centuries

Abstract: The paper focuses on the most important Fulani Muslim scholars of the Middle Niger, roughly the region on the river between Segou and Timbuktu. After contextualizing the history of the Fulani in the region, the paper provides an insight on the lives and the works of some of the most relevant scholars from the so-called Fulani empire (1818-1862). The main target of the paper is to challenge the accepted notion that the Middle Niger was a backwater in the intellectual history of the Fulani and that its scholars were less erudite than their counterparts from Sokoto or the Futa Toro. On the contrary, in his paper, Dr. Diagayeté will show the vibrancy of the Fulani ‘ulemā’ of the Middle Niger.

Bio: Dr. Diagayeté is senior researcher at Institut des Hautes Etudes et de Recherches Islamiques Ahmed Baba (IHERI-AB), Timbuktu/Bamako, Mali, and former General Secretary of the IHERI-AB. In this capacity, he was also heavily involved in the 2012 move of the Arabic manuscripts from Timbuktu to Bamako during the Islamist occupation of the Malian town. He holds a PhD achieved at the prestigious Zaytuna University in Tunis completed in 2006-2007. His dissertation (in Arabic) The Fulani and their Role in the Islamic Culture in Mali is a long duree story the role of Fulaani scholars in the development of Islamic literate culture in the territories that roughly correspond with the modern Republic of Mali. The dissertation is based on Diagayeté’s extensive exploration of the manuscript libraries in Timbuktu and more broadly in the Niger Bend. He is a renowned scholar with residencies in several foreign institutions, like the Tombouctou Manuscripts Project (the University of Cape Town) and the University of Beijing. He has also published several articles, among which the bio-bibliographical sketches of Abu al-Khayr, a prominent 20th century scholar from Timbuktu, (in The Meanings of Timbuktu, edited by Shamil Jeppie and S. B. Diagne [2008]); and of Aḥmad Lobbo, the 19th century founding leader of the Caliphate of Hamdallahi (Annual Review of Islam in Africa 12/2 [2014-5]).

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