Cadbury Conference 2016: Bodies of text: learning to be Muslim in West Africa

The Department of African Studies and Anthropology at the University of Birmingham presents the annual Cadbury Conference.

Part of the Danford collection

The 2016 Cadbury programme explores the practices, disciplines and debates through which West Africans learn to be Muslims. Focusing on the elaborate and complex systems of Islamic learning that have emerged in the region, we ask how knowledge about being Muslim is passed on and acquired through the circulation of ideas and texts, and through physical, emotional and social forms of discipline. In the often multi-religious and multi-ethnic societies of West Africa, how does one learn to be Muslim and differentiate oneself from non-Muslim others? And how does one develop a particular Islamic identity amongst many ways of being Muslim?

Five visiting fellows from Africa have been appointed and will participate in the below programme of seminars, discussion groups, and other activities.

All events will be held at the Department of African Studies and Anthropology, 2nd Floor of the ArtsBuilding, University of Birmingham


  • 9 May 13:00-14:00 Welcome Lunch for Cadbury Fellows (Fage Library)
  • 11 May 14:00-16:00 Dr Emilie Roy: "Arabisants' reformulation of religious practices and social values in Mali" (Danford Room)
  • 19 May 14:00-1600 Dr Aliyu Alabi: "Adabiyya and Markaziyya Knowledge Praxes in Ilorin 1960-2015" (Danford Room)
  • 25 May 14:00-16:00 Dr Yunus Dumbe: "Constructing Salafi Identity and Islamic Radicalisation in Ghana"
  • 1 June 14:00-16:00 Professor Louis Brenner: "Shaping Muslim Identities in West Africa, Past and Present" (Danford Room)
  • 8 June 14:00-16:00 Dr Issouf Binaté: "Commemorations of the birth of Prophet Muhammad or Mawlid in northern Ivory Coast:between reislamisation, socialization and political legitimacy" (Danford Room)
  • 15 June 14:00-16:00 Dr Abdourahmane Seck: "Youth and being Muslim in Senegal" (Danford Room)
  • 28 June 14:00-16:00 Dr Mohamed Said Mathee: "Timbuktu’s intellectual and social histories" (Danford Room)
  • 30 June - 1 July 9:00-17:00 Two day interdisciplinary international Cadbury conference (Danford Room)

A programme of regular reading groups will be agreed in early May.

Further information