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Center for the Study of Africa and the African Diaspora (CSAAD) Virtual Conference

The Ties That Bind: Black Atlantic Muslims and African Islamic Intellectual Heritage Across Time and Space


WEDNESDAY April 24th 2024 – THURSDAY April 25th 2024

This conference aims to showcase the contributions of Black Atlantic and African Diaspora Muslims to the global transmission, circulation, and preservation of the centuries-old Islamic intellectual heritage produced at different learning centers across Africa. The conference seeks to honor and celebrate the leaders of the Muslim community who have dedicated their lives to archiving, translating, and teaching the writings of African Muslim scholars to the people of African descent in the global African Diaspora. The conference will foster conversation, discussion, and intellectual collaboration among members of the Muslim community, activists, public intellectuals, and academics studying the histories and cultures of Muslim societies in Africa and the African Diaspora. 

The select group of scholars invited for this conference from different disciplines will address the following questions: What knowledge networks, long-distance border crossing, community building, and place-making practices have helped sustain the transnational flow of ideas and intellectual exchanges between Muslims on the continent and in the diaspora? What influences do the writings of African Muslim scholars have on the religious experiences of Muslims in the African Diaspora? What roles have Black Atlantic and African Diaspora Muslims played in the bio-bibliographic documentation, preservation, and transmission of the Arabic writings of Africa? What spiritual values and theological meanings have Black Atlantic and African Diaspora Muslims derived from the texts, manuscripts, and scriptural treatises authored by African Muslim scholars? How have Black Atlantic and African Diaspora Muslims deployed the Islamic discursive tradition prevalent in African Muslim societies in the struggle for black racial liberation, social justice, civil rights campaigns, grassroots activism, emancipatory politics, and resilience in the face of oppression? The invited speakers will present working papers from their ongoing research projects that address these questions.

Conference Co-sponsored by: Hagop Kevorkian Center for Near Eastern Studies, New York University

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