Northwestern Events Calendar


Rethinking the Sufi-Reformist Divide: Gender, Dress, and Authority (An ISITA Perspectives Symposium)

When: Monday, February 25, 2019
9:30 AM - 3:00 PM Central

Where: 620 Library Place, Evanston, IL 60208 map it

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

Contact: Rebecca Shereikis   847.491.2598

Group: Institute for the Study of Islamic Thought in Africa (ISITA)

Category: Academic


Join the Institute for the Study of Islamic Thought in Africa (ISITA) for a dialogue between the authors of two new books that discuss the role of gender, dress, and authority in reformist and Sufi Islamic movements in West Africa. Both authors will be present.

The two books under discussion are:

Veils, Turbans, and Islamic Reform in Northern Nigeria (Indiana University Press, 2018), by Elisha Renne.

Renne is professor of anthropology and Afroamerican and African Studies at the University of Michigan). Her research focuses on issues relating to medical anthropology, gender relations, religion, and textiles in various regions of Nigeria. Renne earned a B.A. in Biology from New College and her Ph.D. in Anthropology from New York University.

Wrapping Authority: Women Islamic Leaders in a Sufi Movement in Dakar, Senegal (University of Toronto Press, 2018) by Joseph Hill.

Hill is associate professor of anthropology at the University of Alberta. His fieldwork in West Africa, especially Senegal and Mauritania, focuses primarily on Islam and how it is expressed in contemporary society, politics, and culture. Hill graduated from Brigham Young University with a B.A. in Honors Humanities and Anthropology and received his Ph.D. in Anthropology from Yale University.

Henri Lauzière, associate professor of history, Northwestern University
Wendell Hassan Marsh, African American and African Studies, Rutgers University, and Buffet post-doctoral fellow, Northwestern University

The schedule for the event will be as follows:

9:30 – 10:00 am: Breakfast

10:00 - 10:15 am: Welcome and introductions by ISITA Director, Zekeria Ahmed Salem (political science, Northwestern), and panel chair, Robert Launay (anthropology, Northwestern)

10:15 - 11:30 am: Panel 1: Elisha Renne’s Veils, Turbans, and Islamic Reform in Northern Nigeria. Discussant: Henri Lauzière

12:00 – 1:15 pm: Lunch and presentation by Elisha Renne: “Nigerian Marriage Advice Booklets, 1962-2009.”  Read more about this presentation here.

1:15 – 2:30 pm: Panel 2: Joseph Hill’s Wrapping Authority: Women Islamic Leaders in a Sufi Movement in Dakar, Senegal. Discussant: Wendell Hassan Marsh

2:30 – 3:00 pm: Closing discussion: Two books in dialogue

The ISITA Perspective Symposium Series brings leading scholars of Islam in Africa to Northwestern for discussion of their recent books. Each symposium features two authors and one or more discussants.

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