CfP for panel on “Islamic Education in Africa: Reform and (Re-)Configuration”, 6th European Conference on African Studies, Paris, 8-10 July 2015


Anneke Newman and Clothilde Hugon invite paper proposals for their panel on Islamic Education in Africa:Reform and (Re-)Configuration

In African countries with significant Muslim populations, Islamic schools often exist in opposition to state education, and enjoy much local popularity. However, Islamic schools have been subjected to reform, as older models are adapted to include Western pedagogies and secular subjects. In recent decades the push for reform has intensified and internationalised, including through funding from Arab Muslim countries, international Islamic NGOs, and Western development donors to deliver Education For All. This panel invites papers on the (re)configuration of African Islamic education, at international, national and local levels. Currently, reformed Islamic schools sit alongside secular state institutions and older forms of Qur’anic education. What are the relationships between the State and actors supplying these different school types? How do their agendas converge or diverge? What contrasting models of identity are promoted within schools? How is reform challenging older patterns of authority, while creating new bases for legitimacy? This panel will also consider education demand by exploring factors informing students’ and parents’ school choices. Possible questions include how identity constructions play into decision-making, and how these identities are reconfigured in the context of reform. Finally, how might people’s understandings of the moral value and material utility of Islamic education be shifting with the new opportunities available.

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