Talk – East African Islam and the emergence of print in the early 20th century – Anne K. Bang


East African Islam and the emergence of print in the early 20th century.

Prof Anne K. Bang

Associate Professor, University of Bergen, Norway

Senior Researcher, Chr. Michelsen Institute, Norway


In costal East Africa, the nineteenth century has been called a period of Arabization, in the sense that the Bu Saidi state favoured a class of Arabic-literate scholars, judges, bureaucrats and officers within the police and army. The nineteenth century was also a period when Islamic teaching in East Africa increasingly referred to text as the ultimate authority, and manuscript circulation of the corpus of Islamic literature can be evidenced in the teaching institutions established on the on the coast. This seminar takes these developments as a starting point, and examines the shift to printed Islamic texts in the early twentieth century: How did texts reach the scholarly community on the coast? What kinds of books were circulated and were they different from the manuscript period? How did East African authors have their own works printed? And finally: What impact did the emergence of printed books have on Islamic teaching, on authority and on the practice of Islam in the region?


Date: November 19, 2014

Time: 14.00-16.00

Venue: CISA Committee Room