Professional and research interests
As a historian of Islamic Africa my interests are naturally
broad with an emphasis on comparative history aimed at breaking down many of
the regional and geographic categories currently in use across the academy. My
main research interests are comparative Sufism, modern Muslim discourses of
reform and the construction of world systems both in fact and imagination since
1500. Not surprisingly, these interests are mirrored in my teaching which
includes comparative world, Islamic intellectual and modern and pre-modern
African as well as European colonial histories.
HIS 100: World History to 1200
HIS 220: Africa to 1820
HIS 221: Africa since 1820
HIS 230: History of Islamic Civilizations to 1500
HIS 231: History of Islamic Civilizations since 1500
HIS 498c: Islam in America
HIS 562: Approaches to World History
“The Death of Shaykh Uways,” a critical translation in Tales
of the Friends of God, ed. J. Renard (U.C. Press, 2009).
Renewers of the Age: Holy Men and Social Discourse
in Colonial Benaadir (Brill, 2008).
“ ‘Respectable Citizens,’ of Shaykh Uthman: Religious
Discourse, Translocality and the Construction of Local Contexts in Colonial
Aden,” in Cosmopolitanism Contested, eds. K. Kresse and E. Simpson
Editor, The Transmission of Learning in Islamic Africa
“The Arabic Writings of Somalia,” in The
Islamic Writings of Eastern Africa. Arabic Literature in Africa, v. III
“The Best of Guides: Poetry and Reformist Discourse in the
Majmu’at al-Qasa’id” The Journal of African Cultural Studies London: School
of Oriental and African Studies (summer 2001).
“Urban Woes and Pious Remedies: Sufism in the Nineteenth
Century Benaadir (Somalia)” in Africa Today v.43 n.3-4 1999.
“Tales which persist on the Tongue: Arabic literacy and the
definition of communal boundaries in Sharif Aydrus’ Bughayt al-Amal” in Sudanic
Africa v. 9, 1998 pp.1-17 (may be read on-line at www.hf.uib.no/i/smi/sa/sahome.html).
“Ziyara in the Horn of Africa,” The Encyclopaedia of
Islam v. XI Leiden: Brill, 2002.
“The Adventures of Abu Harith: Muslim Travel Writing and
Navigating Modernity in colonial East Africa” in Libraries and the
Transmission of Knowledge in Islamic Africa R. Sean O’Fahey ed. (Leiden:
"The Arabic Writings of Somalia," in The
Islamic Writings of Eastern Africa Arabic Literature in Africa v.III. (Leiden: Brill, Forthcoming).