Institute for the Study of Islamic Thought in Africa


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ISITA Perspectives Symposium Series

ISITA Perspectives brings leading scholars of Islam in Africa to Northwestern at least once each quarter for dialog with each other and the audience about their recently published books. Each symposium features two authors and a Northwestern faculty discussant.

Learn about upcoming ISITA Perspectives symposia.

Weekly speaker series

ISITA sponsors multiple talks each quarter as part of the Program of African Studies' “Wednesdays at PAS” speaker series.

ISITA Early Career Scholars Book Development Workshop

The application deadline for the spring 2019 workshop is August 31, 2018.

ISITA invites applications for its first Early Career Scholars of Islam in Africa Book Development Workshop, to be held at Northwestern University in spring 2019.

The workshop will support an early career scholar working in the field of Islam in Africa as they prepare their book manuscript for submission to a press. The selected scholar’s manuscript will be read by at least two senior colleagues in the field and discussed in depth at a workshop. 

 Eligibility criteria:

  • Applicants must have received their PhD by the application deadline of August 31, 2018.
  • Only projects that are the author’s first monograph will be considered.
  • The selected applicant must have a complete book manuscript ready for circulation and discussion by February 1, 2019. The workshop is projected to take place in April or May, 2019, depending upon the participants’ availability.
  • Manuscripts must be in English.
  • Manuscripts can focus on any aspect of Islam in Africa, past or present, from any disciplinary perspective.
  • Applicants can be nationals of any country.

Please note: Applicants should not propose a workshop for an unrevised dissertation. The purpose of the workshop is to give scholars feedback during the revision process.

Application process:

To apply, please submit the information below to by August 31, 2018 in a single PDF document titled with your last name.

  • Your CV
  • A 2-3 page description of the project
  • A chapter-length writing sample (preferably the introductory chapter) of the book manuscript
  • Contact information for at least two academic references (including a dissertation chair)

The selection committee will notify all applicants of their decisions no later than October 1, 2018.

The ISITA Early Career Scholars Book Development Workshop is a new initiative to be rolled out in 2018 that supports early-career scholars working in the field of Islam in Africa as they prepare book manuscripts for submission to an appropriate press.

The organizing committee will select one scholar for the first workshop, tentatively scheduled for fall 2018 or winter 2019.  The selected scholar’s manuscript will be read by at least two senior colleagues in the field and discussed in depth at the workshop, providing an opportunity to obtain invaluable feedback during the revision process.

View or download the Call for Applications.

Contact with any questions.

Title VI collaboration with the Center for African Studies, University of Illinois

ISITA collaborates with the Center for African Studies at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (CAS-UIUC) on projects that strengthen education and outreach related to Islam in Africa as part of the U.S. Department of Education Title VI National Resource Center grant to the CAS-UIUC and the Program of African Studies at Northwestern.

Past collaborations with CAS-UIUC include organizing Sacred Word: Changing Meanings in Textual Cultures of Islamic Africa, a conference in honor of John Hunwick held at Northwestern in April 2016; and organizing and designing the curriculum for Working with African Arabic Script Manuscripts, a training workshop held at Northwestern in August 2017. 

ISITA’s current collaborations with CAS-UIUC include developing K-12 curricular materials for teaching about Islam in Africa; and organizing a conference titled “The ‘Caliphate of Hamdallahi’:  A History from Within” that examines this understudied 19th century West African Islamic state. The conference took place at UIUC on April 6 and 7, 2018.