Sub-Saharan Africa

Muslims in a Global Context
Friday, November 7, 2014 to Sunday, November 9, 2014

This one credit mini-course is part of a series organized by regions around the world based on their role on the world stage, their importance within the Muslim world, and the critical influence they play in the global community. The series and course seeks to illuminate the various perspectives of the Muslim community around the world. Drawing upon the expertise and research of participating faculty from Carnegie Mellon University and the University of Pittsburgh and our partners at institutions around the world, the mini course series seeks to have students gain understanding of the religious, cultural, economical and political influences of Muslims in a global context.

Learning Objectives:

1. Gain an understanding of history, governance, economics, law, gender education and political dimensions of the peoples and regions focused for each mini course. 2. Explore one of these factors in depth, through a research paper.


Gordon, A.A. & Gordon, D.L. (Eds.). (2006). Understanding contemporary Africa. Portland, OR: Rienner Publishers, Inc.

Sponsored by: University of Pittsburgh's Global Studies Center, Political Science Department and the African Studies Program, and Carnegie Mellon University's Office of the Provost and Division of Student Affairs

Abimbola Fapohunda

Recommended Readings:

"Inequities in the Global Health Workforce: The Greatest Impediment to Health in Sub-Saharan Africa" by Stella C. E. Anyangwe and Chipayeni Mtonga. (2007). International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 4(2), p. 93-100.  

"The Migration of Physicians from Sub-Saharan Africa to the United States of America: Measures of the African Brain Drain" by Amy Hagopian, Matthew J. Thompson, Meredith Fordyce, Karin E. Johnson, and L Gary Hart. (2004). Human Resources for Health, 2:17.

"Tanzania's Health System and Workforce Crisis" by Gideon Kwesigabo, Mughwira A. Mwangu, Deodatus C. Kakoko, Ina Warriner, Charles A. Mkony, Japhet Killewo, Sarah B. Macfarlane, Ephata E. Kaaya, and Phyllis Freeman. (2012). Journal of Public Health Policy, 33, p. 35-44. 


Howard French

Recommended Readings:

Seasons of Rain: Africa in the World, by Stephen Ellis

Africa in the World: Capitalism, Empire, Nation-State, by Frederick Cooper

The Fortunes of Africa: A 5,000-Year History of Wealth, Greed and Endeavor, by Meredith Martin.


Holly Hickling

Recommended Readings: N/A


Dennis Jett

Recommended Readings:

Pew Research, Religion and Public Life Survey: Region: Sub-Saharan Africa 

U.S. Counterterrorism in Sub-Saharan Africa: Understanding Costs, Cultures, and Conflicts by Donovan C. Chau, September 2008.

U.S. Strategy Toward Sub-Saharan Africa.  A White House Report, Washington. 


Beverly Mack

Recommended Readings:

“Creating a Spiritual Past: African American Heritage Connections to West African Islam" in Journal of West African History Ed. Nwando Achebe, (forthcoming, 2015)

“Full Circle: Muslim Women’s Education from the Maghreb to America and Back” in Journal Of North African Studies (Special Volume), Ed. Patricia Lorcin, forthcoming, October 2014.

Introduction, The Exilir of Truth, Volume 2 by Musa Muhaiyaddeen (E.L. Levin) (Atlantic City, N.J.: the Witness Within, Inc. 2013.

“Nana Asma’u:  19th C West African Sufi” in Cambridge Companion to Sufism.Cambridge University Press, (10,000 words)  Ed. Lloyd Ridgeon,  forthcoming 2014.

“Nana Asma’u:  19th C West African Poet and Educator” in The African Literature Book Project Ed. Umar Abdulrahman. forthcoming 2014.

“Muslim Hausa Women’s Songs” in Women's Songs from West Africa.  Eds. Thomas A. Hale  and Aissata G. Sidikou.  Bloomington, Indiana:  Indiana University Press, 2014, 224-256.

“Nana Asma’u: Educating Muslim Women in the Twenty-First Century” Kube Publications Blog.  Oxford:  Interface/Kube Press, (website article), 2013.

With Omiunota Ukpokodu, “Islamic Cultural Socialization and Education in Nigeria.” In O.N. Ukpokodu and P. Ukpokodu (Eds.), Voices from the Margin: African Educators on Africa and American Education.  Charlotte, NC: Information Age Publishing, 2012, pp. 85-107.

“Nana Asma’u’s Instruction and Poetry for Present-day American Muslimahs” in History in Africa, 38, (2011), 1-16.

“Muslim Women’s Knowledge Production in the Greater Maghreb: The Example of Nana Asma’u of Northern Nigeria” in Gender and Islam in Africa: Rights, Sexuality, and Law.  Ed. Margot Badran. Seneca Falls, NY:  Woodrow Wilson Press (co-publishing with Stanford University Press), 2011, pp. 17-40.

Imitating the Life of the Prophet: Nana Asma’u and Shehu Usman ‘dan Fodiyo” in Tales of God’s Friends:  Islamic Hagiography, Ed. John Renard.  Berkeley, California: University of California Press, 2009, 179-196.


Buba Misawa

Recommended Readings:

"Nigeria: As Govt Loses Ground in North-East, a 15-Point Plan for Nigeria." by Richard Joseph, AfricaPlus.

 "Boko Haram: Terror’s Insidious New Face." by Alex Perry / July 9, 2014.


Kim Searcy

Recommended Readings:

The Development of Islam in West Africa  by Mervyn Hiskett

Islam in the Sudan by J.S. Trimmingham

The History of Islam in Africa by Levtzion and Pouwells.

‘The 13th century in Muslim Eschatology:Mahdist Expectations in the Sokoto Caliphate.’ M.A. al Hajj, Research Bulletin(Ibadan), iii, 1967, pp. 100-115

"The age of Mansa Musa of Mali: Problems in succession and chronology", International Journal of African Historical Studies 5: 221–234.

“The Khalifa and the Routinization of Charismatic Authority,” The International Journal of African Historical Studies, Vol. 43, No. 3, September 1, 2010. Pp. 90-110.

Transformations in Slavery  by Paul Lovejoy

East Africa and the Indian Ocean Trade  by Edward Alpers

African Identity in Asia  by Shihan de S. Jayasuriya

Revolt of African Slaves in Iraq  by Alexandre Popovic

Slave Elites in the Middle East and Africa.  by Toru Miura and John Edward Philips

“The Sudanese Mahdi’s Attitudes on Slavery and Emancipation,” Sudanic Africa  vol. 1, no. 1, 2010., pp. 63-83.

“Kafur” in Brill’s Encyclopedia of Islam