Office: 322 Old Horticulture
Office Hours: TBA
Year in Program: 3
Advisor: Dr. Walter Hawthorne
Fields of Interest: African History (West Africa), Islam in Africa, Women in Islam, Migration, Slave Emancipation and Anthropology of Religion.
Languages: Mandinka (fluent in speaking), Wolof (basic speaking skill), Arabic (basic reading skill), and French (intermediate reading and speaking skills)
I am a doctoral student studying African History in the Department of History at Michigan State University. I hold a B.A in Development Studies and History from the University of The Gambia and an MA in Political Science from Ohio University. My MA project, “The Politics of Minority (In)Tolerance: The case of The Gambia and Ahmadiyya Community,” explores the changing nature of the relationship between the Gambian state and the Ahmadiyya community. Ahmadiyya is a global Islamic minority group that has often faced significant repression and targeted violence by Sunni majority states.
My tentative dissertation, “Mobility and Religious Encounter on the Margin: A Social History of ‘Islamization’ in Southern Senegambia, 1800s- 1990s” centers on Islamic West Africa with an emphasis on social and cultural histories of ‘precolonial,’ ‘colonial’ and ‘postcolonial’ south Senegal and then the North, South, and West provinces of the Gambia River broadly conceived as Southern Senegambia. It examines the processes of religious encounter and religious transformations, migration, slave emancipation, women in Islam, and environmental and agrarian change. My dissertation explores the role of labor migrants, former slaves, rural holy men, and women in integrating Islam religious practices into the local religious repertoire of the southern Senegambia from the 1800s to the 1990s. Hence my research situates religious change within specific historical, social, economic, and political contexts, particularly in the aftermath of religious wars, post-abolition periods, changing patterns of migration, gender, and agrarian reforms. Moreover, my dissertation investigates the social history of ‘Islamization,’ by documenting drastic changes in social and cultural lifestyles of ordinary people in Southern Senegambia. My research paper “Trans-regional Migration, ‘Controlling Rain,’ and the Spreading of Islam in British Gambia, ca. 1887s-1920s” won the MSU Muslim Studies Program’s best graduate paper on the Muslim world.
I have lived and conducted research in Senegal and The Gambia for several years and I regularly carry-out pre-dissertation research in these countries. Thus far, my graduate education and research have been supported by the MSU History Department, MSU International Studies & Programs, MSU African Studies Center, MSU Graduate School, and MSU College of Social Science. I am a member of African Studies Association, International Studies Association, MSU History Graduate Association, and West African Research Association. I have presented an array of research papers in academic conferences such as the Ohio University History Graduate Research Conference, International Studies Association, and the African Studies Association.
Instructor/TA Experience (Michigan State University)
TA Experience (Ohio University, Athens)
POLS 1500: Themes in Global Politics
POLS 2500: Introduction to International Relations