Current Institutional Affiliation
Associate Professor, History, Northwestern University

Award Information

International Dissertation Research Fellowship 2000
Institutional Affiliation (at time of award):
History, University of Wisconsin / Madison
The Yacoubiste Sufi Order Until 1960

In affiliation with the Institut des Sciences Humaines and the Fondation Yacouba Sylla, I intend to research the history of the Yacoubiste Sufi order from its origins in the 1910s until 1960. Studies of Sufism in Africa often reduce religious experience to its instrumental uses and most spectacular manifestations. I will attempt to link a deeper understanding of religiosity with the social relations within the order by exploring simultaneously the self­construction of the Yacoubiste community along religious lines and its history as a socioeconomic institution participating in labour and trade diasporas. This investigation will make use of French-language colonial archives; of the private Arabic documents of the Yacoubistes; and of interviews with members of the order in Bamako, Nioro, Kaedi, Abidjan and Gagnoa.