Dr. Scott Reese

Associate Professor of History 
Email: Scott.Reese@nau.edu
Website: jan.ucc.nau.edu/~ssr7/
Office phone: 928-523-9049
Office LA 344

Scott Reese (PhD in African and Islamic History, University of Pennsylvania, 1996; MA in African Studies, Ohio University, 1990) is a historian of Islam in Africa and the western Indian Ocean. Reese focuses specifically on comparative history aimed at breaking down many of the regional and geographic categories currently in use across the academy. His main research interests are comparative Sufism, modern Muslim discourses of reform, and the construction of world systems both in fact and imagination since 1500. He currently explores the role of Muslim religious discourse in mediating the social consequences of empire. Focusing on the British Settlement of Aden, located in present-day Yemen, this new project explores how Muslims from across Britain’s empire use the commonality of their faith to fashion a new community within the spaces created by imperial rule. Reese has published numerous scholarly articles as well as two book length collections. He is currently the Senior Editor of the journal Islamic Africa.

Selected Publications


“Shaykh Abdullahi al-Qutbi and the pious believer's dilemma: local moral guidance in an age of global Islamic reform”, Journal of Eastern African Studies, 2015.

Islam in Africa/Africans and islam”, Journal of African History, 55, 1, 2014.

"Salafi Transformations: Aden and the changing voices of religious reform in the inter-war Indian Ocean", International Journal of Middle East Studies, 44, 2012, 71–92.

“The Best of Guides: Poetry and Reformist Discourse in the Majmu’at al-Qasa’id”The Journal of African Cultural Studies, 14, 1, 2001, 49-68.

“Urban Woes and Pious Remedies: Sufism in the Nineteenth Century Benaadir (Somalia)” Africa Today43(3-4), 1999, 169–194.

“Tales which persist on the Tongue: Arabic literacy and the definition of communal boundaries in Sharif Aydrus’ Bughayt al-AmalSudanic Africa9, 1998, 1–17.


"A Leading Muslim of Aden: Personal Trajectories, Imperial Networks and the Construction of Community in Colonial Aden." In Global Islam in the Age of Steam and Print, 1850-1930. Berkley: University of California Press, 2014.

The Death of Shaykh Uways,” a critical translation”. In Tales of the Friends of God. Berkley: University of California Press, 2009.

“Respectable Citizens” of Shaykh Uthman: Religious Discourse, Translocality and the Construction of Local Contexts in Colonial Aden,” In Struggling with History: Islam and Cosmopolitanism in the Western Indian Ocean. New York City: Columbia University Press, 2008.

The Adventures of Abū Ḥārith: Muslim Travel Writing and Navigating Modernity in Colonial East Africa”. In The Transmission of Learning in Islamic Africa (pp. 244–256). Leiden: E.J. Brill, 2004.

“The Arabic Writings of Somalia”. In The Islamic Writings of Eastern Africa Arabic Literature in Africa v.III (Vol. R.S. O'Fahey). Leiden: E.J. Brill, 2003.


Renewers of the Age: Holy Men and Social Discourse in Colonial Benaadir. Leiden, The Netherlands: E.J. Brill, 2008.

The Transmission of Learning in Islamic Africa. Leiden, The Netherlands: E.J. Brill, 2004.

(In Progress) Imperial Muslims: Islam, Community and Authority in the Imperial Indian Ocean, 1839-1937. Forthcoming, Edinburgh University Press.


HIS 100 World History I

HIS 230 & 231 Islamic World I & II

HIS 460 Topics in World History: Islamic Cosmopolitanism

HIS 498C Senior Seminar: Britain’s Indian Ocean Empire