Islamic Modernism and the Public Sphere in Northern Nigeria, 1940s-1960s

This event has passed.

1155 Observatory Drive Madison, WI 53706, 206 Ingraham Hall
@ 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
Africa at Noon

Speaker: Alexander Thurston

Time: 12:00 pm- 1:00 pm

Venue: 206 Ingraham Hall

Starting in the 1940s and especially in the 1950s and 1960s, Northern Nigerian graduates of elite colonial schools moved into positions of power and influence as politicians, judges, publishers, and more. In a Muslim-majority region undergoing rapid political change, how did these figures think about Islam? And what consequences did their religious worldview have in key domains such as law, education, history-writing, and mass politics? This talk examines the rise and fall of a particular form of Islamic modernism, and how this elite-driven project shaped both the form and content of the public sphere in a pivotal African region.

Alex Thurston is an Associate Professor of Political Science at the University of Cincinnati. He previously taught at Georgetown University and Miami University. He specializes in the study of Islam and politics in West Africa and North Africa. He holds a Ph.D. in Religious Studies from Northwestern University and an M.A. in Arab Studies from Georgetown. He is the author of three books, most recently Jihadists of North Africa and the Sahel: Local Politics and Rebel Groups