HIGHLIGHT: Book Launch and Public Lecture: Prof Ousmane Oumar Kane
Au-delà de Tombouctou Erudition Islamique et Histoire Intellectuelle en Afrique Occidentale (CERDIS/CODESRIA, Dakar, 2017)
Ousmane Oumar Kane is Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Professor of Contemporary Islamic Religion and Society at Harvard Divinity School and a specialist of Near Eastern Languages and Civilisations at the Faculty of Arts and Sciences at Harvard University. Every other year, he leads the Harvard University Study Tour in Senegal in collaboration with the West African Research Center (WARC).
The wrapping up of this year’s Harvard study tour at WARC was made to coincide with the launch of the French version of his book initially published in English with the title: Beyond Timbuktu: an Intellectual History of Muslim West Africa (Harvard University Press 2016)
The event took place on Wednesday August 16 at the West African Research Center and the various speakers including the author himself and other fine intellects and academics such as Professor Boubacar Barry, Dr Ebrima Sall (Codesria) and author Cheikh Hamidou Kane, amply demonstrated and elaborated on the fact that, prior to the colonial era, West African Muslim intellectuals have shaped the production, dissemination and content of Islamic knowledge in relation to the socio-political contexts in which they lived. They also documented the continuation of this trend in today’s West Africa.
All speakers agreed to the importance of this publication viewed as a major contribution to erudition on, and knowledge of, the history of West Africa and the indigenous initiatives and efforts made to propagate the Islamic creed in this part of the continent.
The book launch was attended by 130 people including students, researchers, academics, media people and established scholars of Islam in Senegal and West Africa.