Islam in African history

Sean Hanretta, Shobana Shankar

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


“Religion,” “Islam,” and “Africa” are all problematic terms that define unstable and value-laden objects of study. Together they have often worked to marginalize African Muslims, both within the global study of Islam and the study of Africa, while also reinforcing orientalist and colonial stereotypes. Nonetheless, considerable valuable research has been organized around these concepts. Earlier intellectual history approaches have given way to social-historical approaches. These latter are increasingly fragmented in the context of the neoliberalization of African and of African studies. Historical studies of Muslim Africa, particularly those that reinvigorate intellectual approaches or take up the study of cultural production offer the possibility of (re)integrating the history of Muslims into the history of Africa more broadly.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationA Companion to African History
Number of pages22
ISBN (Electronic)9781119063551
ISBN (Print)9780470656310
StatePublished - Jan 1 2018


  • Colonialism
  • Conversion
  • Gender
  • Islam
  • Muslim-christian relations
  • Neoliberalism
  • Racialization
  • Religion
  • Religious reform
  • Security studies

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Arts and Humanities(all)


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