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Religion and National Politics in Sub-Saharan Africa

Religion and National Politics in Sub-Saharan Africa
11–12 April 2014

convened by :
Dianna Bell, Mellon Assistant Professor of Sub-Saharan Religion
Moses Ochonu, Associate Professor of African History

Friday 11 April
Venue: Vanderbilt Divinity School 129

9:00–9:30 Workshop Aim and Introductions
Tony K. Stewart, Gertrude Conaway Vanderbilt Chair in Humanities, Professor and Chair, Department of Religious Studies, Vanderbilt University

9:30–12:30: Local Identity Within The Umma
Moses Ochonu, Associate Professor of African History, Vanderbilt University
    "Northern Nigerian Muslim Elite’s Travel Narratives and their Implications for US-Northern Nigerian
     Engagements"
Abdi Samatar, Professor and Chair of Geography, Environment, and Society, University of Minnesota; Research Fellow at the University of Pretoria
    “Faith and Politics in Somalia: Synergistic or Diabolic?”
Dianna Bell, Mellon Assistant Professor of Sub-Saharan Religion, Vanderbilt University
    “Religious and Political Discourse in Colonial and Post-Colonial Era Medersa Education in Mali, West Africa”
Respondent: Samira Sheikh, Associate Professor of History, Vanderbilt University 

Venue: Garland Hall 301F

1:30–4:30: Violence, Myth, And Meaning
Joseph Hellweg, Associate Professor of Religious Studies, Florida State University
    “Doubling State and Society: Zakaria Koné as Dozo Hunter and Political Exemplar in Post-War Côte d’Ivoire”
Isabel Mukonyora, Associate Professor of Religious Studies, Western Kentucky University
    “Three Ways to Die for Nation and God”
Timothy P. Longman, Associate Professor of Religious Studies and Director of African Studies, Boston University
    “Explaining Church-State Conflict and Cooperation in East Africa”
Respondent: Richard McGregor, Associate Professor of Religious Studies, Vanderbilt University

Saturday April 12
Venue: Garland Hall 301F

9:00–11:00: Contesting The Secular State
David Amponsah, PhD Candidate in Religious Studies, Harvard University
    “Cultural Nationalism, Spiritual Power, and Rumors of ‘Juju’ in Postcolonial Ghana: The Nkrumah Years, 1957-1966.”
Murray Last, Emeritus Professor of Social Anthropology, University College London
    “The Dilemma in Being an Islamic Radical in Northern Nigeria – Whether Non-Violent or Violent”
Respondent: Tiffany Patterson, Associate Professor of African American and Diaspora Studies, Vanderbilt University

11:00–12:00: Closing Remarks
Rosalind I. J. Hackett, Professor and Head of Religious Studies, University of Tennessee, Knoxville