Zachary Valentine Wright
This essay explores how scholars working on “Pluralism and Adaptation in the Islamic Practice of Senegal and Ghana,” a National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) Collaborative Research project, partnered with a digital humanities center to create freely available online digital collections to enhance research, teaching, and learning about West African Islam. By looking closely at the development of one of these online galleries, Professor David Robinson’s “Failed Islamic States in the Senegambia,” we examine how materials are prepared for this type of web presentation. Specifically, the essay reviews the efforts of subject experts in describing and cataloging multimedia collections so that users understand the context in which the primary source materials were created, as well as the overarching purpose of the digital collections. We also describe the technology and standards used for storing, retrieving, and displaying interviews, documents, and images in this collection. In short, this essay provides insight into the processes and challenges by which we transform field and archival research data into contextualized web resources useful for learning about and researching Africa and Islam.
Ousman Murzik Kobo
and dialectal interaction between local and trans-local intellectual exchanges, and processes of selection and adaptation pursued by traders, Sufi holy men, intellectuals, and political elites across time and space. He notes that, “…the differences among the Muslim communities in Africa are to be
-called process of ‘Ajamization of Islam. Ngom introduces this concept at the beginning of the book (p. 19), drawing a compelling parallel between the adaptation of the Arabic alphabet to write African languages and the spread of Islam in sub-Saharan Africa: “By adapting the Arabic orthography to write African
, disregarded the developments that were evident in Swahili adaptation of the Arabic script. The European missionary, Bishop Steere, for instance, provided the following rationale in order to signal the need to replace the Arabic script with the Roman Script: It is absolutely necessary to have a good idea of
Amir Syed and Charles Stewart
. Further, the ʿajami writings are expanding today; while more examples are bound to be discovered, the largest part of West Africa’s manuscript culture remains tied to a classical tradition which also provided a template for local adaptations in ʿajami.
Mustapha Hashim Kurfi
scholars have tended to view West African Islam as peripheral to the centers of Islamic learning and culture in North Africa and Arabia (the Arab world). This has led to the neglect of the African reception, interpretation, adaptation and transformation of introduced elements such as in writing
demonstrates a view where Salafism is understood as essential, static, and internally coherent. It denies the possibility of ideological adaptations, and the fact that Salafism, like any religious movement, would be affected by outside influences. More appropriate is Quintan Wiktorowicz’s approach, which
through the figure of the woman, thus suggesting, as I argue, that the discussion on race, Islam and African identity can likewise evolve in new directions. In Ibrahim’s title story, “The Whispering Trees,” Faulata ushers the main protagonist Salim’s adaptation to his blindness. She generates changes in
referred word in the main text, (c) strategies of adaptation of the Arabic script for writing in local languages, and (d) tagging or labelling of glosses in languages other than Arabic. The comparative study and description allow to emphasize particular characteristics of each culture and illustrate