"The Realm of the Written: Knowledge Transmission, Scholarly Practices, and Islamic History in West Africa”

15 Apr 2019


Amir Syed, Visiting Assistant Professor, Department of History to Present

Syed is currently working on a "book manuscript centered on the social and intellectual world of one significant 19th century West African Muslim scholar, al-Hajj ‘Umar Fūtī Tāl. This work investigates the wider links between West Africa and other parts of the Muslim world in relationship to the circulation of people, ideas, and scholarly works. It also investigates issues related to authority, political legitimacy, and the emergence of new religious and intellectual ideas in the 19th century. By telling a story through the life and library of this single individual, it demonstrates the significance of repositioning the study of Islam in Africa with an eye to the wider intellectual trends of the Muslim world."

Syed's Representative Publications include:
Jihad of the Pen, Journey of the Soul. Co-author with Rudolph Ware and Zachary Wright. (American University of Cairo Press, forthcoming).

“Poetics of Praise: Love and Authority in al-Hajj ‘Umar Tal’s Safīnat al-saʿāda li-ahl ḍuʿuf wa-l-najāda, Volume 7 no. 2 (2016), 210-238.

Foreword to “In Praise of the Intercessor: Mawāhib al- Nāfiʿ fī Madāʾiḥ al- Shāfiʿ
by Amadu Bamba Mbacké (1853–1927).” Co-author with Rudolph Ware and Zachary Wright. Islamic Africa, Vol. 4, No. 3 (Fall 2013), 225-227.

Event Date: 
Monday, April 15, 2019 - 4:30pm to 6:00pm
Sponsored By: 
History Department, University of Pittsburgh
3703 Posvar Hall, University of Pittsburgh
Target Audience: 
Higher Education
Presenter Type: 
Faculty of Institution