Institute for the Study of Islamic Thought in Africa

ISITA Perspectives Symposium

Educating Muslim Youth in Asia and Africa

Monday, November 26, 9:30 am – 3:00 pm

Location: Program of African Studies Conference Room, 620 Library Place, Evanston IL

Join ISITA for a dialogue between authors of two recent books that address childhood, gender, and Islamic education in different contexts: South Asia and Nigeria. Download an event poster here.


9:30 – 10:00 am: Breakfast

10:00 - 10:15 am: Welcome and Introductions by Zekeria Ahmed Salem (ISITA Director)

10:15 - 11:30 am: Panel 1: Shenila Khoja-Moolji's Forging the Ideal Educated Girl: The Production of Desirable Subjects in South Asia (University of California Press, 2018)

Cover of Forging the Ideal Educated GirlDiscussants:  Brannon Ingram (religious studies, Northwestern University) and Ashish Koul (history, Northwestern University)

Shenila Khoja-Moolji


Shenila Khoja-Moolji is Assistant Professor of Gender, Sexuality, and Women's Studies at Bowdoin College.

  • The book is available for free download at Luminos.


11:30 am – 1:15 pm: Lunch and screening of film, Duniya Juyi Juyi

A scene from Duniya Juyi Juyi

Duniya Juyi Juyi (which means "How Life Goes" in Hausa) is a 69-minute docudrama written, filmed, directed, and acted in by nine students from Qur'anic schools in Kano, Nigeria. Qur'anic school students, known as almajirai, have become convenient scapegoats for various social ills in Nigeria. This film shows the almajirai's own perspective on their education. Hannah Hoechner, who produced the film in collaboration with the students, will be present.


1:15 – 2:30 pm: Panel 2: Hannah Hoechner’s Quranic Schools in Northern Nigeria: Everyday Experiences of Youth, Faith, and Poverty (Cambridge University Press, 2018)

 Cover of Quranic Schools in Northern NigeriaDiscussants: Nermeen Mouftah (religion, Butler University) and Robert Launay (anthropology, Northwestern University)

 Hannah Hoechner

 Hannah Hoechner is a Lecturer in Education and International Development, School of International Development, University of East Anglia.


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