Northwestern Events Calendar


Entangled Domains: Empire, Law and Religion in Northern Nigeria - Rabiat Akande

When: Wednesday, May 15, 2024
12:00 PM - 1:00 PM CT

Where: 620 Library Place, 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, Lectures & Meetings, Multicultural & Diversity, Global & Civic Engagement


A talk by Rabiat Akande (law, York University) about her recent book, Entangled Domains: Empire, Law and Religion in Northern Nigeria (Cambridge University Press, 2023).

You may attend the talk in person (lunch will be served) or join by Zoom at Please register in advance if joining by Zoom.

About the book: Set in Colonial Northern Nigeria, Entangled Domains confronts a paradox: the state insisted on its separation from religion even as it governed its multireligious population through what remained of the precolonial caliphate. Entangled Domains grapple with this history to offer a provocative account of secularism as a contested yet contingent mode of governing religion and religious difference. Drawing on detailed archival research, Rabiat Akande vividly illustrates constitutional struggles triggered by the colonial state's governance of religion and interrogates the legacy of that governance agenda in the postcolonial state. This book is a novel commentary on the dynamic interplay between law, faith, identity, and power in the context of the modern state's emergence from colonial processes.

Rabiat Akande is assistant professor of law at Osgoode Hall School of Law at York University (Canada). She works in the fields of legal history, law and religion, constitutional and comparative constitutional law, Islamic law, international law, and (post)colonial African law and society. Dr. Akande chairs the international legal history project at the African Institute of International Law in Arusha with the support of the African Union and the Gerda Henkel Foundation, among other institutions. She received her Doctor of Juridical Science (SJD) degree from Harvard Law School in 2019, receiving the Law and Society in the Muslim World Prize. 

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