Sahara East and West: A New Academic Approach to Literary Sources

A conference organized within the framework of the project "The Islamic literary tradition in Sub-Saharan Africa: a new academic network" supported by the Danish Agency for Science, Technology and Innovation. 

Sub-Saharan Africa boasts a long and variegated written heritage in both Arabic and local languages. Scholars in the Islamic literary traditions of different Western and Eastern African countries meet to discuss in a comparative perspective the similiarities and differences, the difficulties and challenges of their respective research fields.


09:00 – Alessandro Gori (University of Copenhagen): The Islamic literary tradition in Sub-Saharan Africa: a New Academic Network

09:30 – Shamil Jeppie (University of Cape Town): The making of a Timbuktu book collector

10:00 – Hassen Muhammad Kawo (University of Cape Town): Peasant intellectuals and manuscript collections in South Eastern Ethiopia: An overview of Abba Hamido Family Collection

10:30 – Michele Petrone (University of Copenhagen): Tijaniyya networks between Ethiopia and West Africa

11:00 – Coffee Break

11:15 – Susana Molins Lliteras (University of Cape Town): Spain in Timbuktu: the Fondo Kati library

11:45 – Adday Hernández López (University of Copenhagen): Transfer of knowledge in Ethiopia: the case of a šayḫ from Wallo

12:15 – Lunch Break

13:30 – Andrea Brigaglia (University of Cape Town): The Islamic calligraphic tradition in twentieth-century Nigeria, from scribal culture to print culture

14:00 – Irmeli Perho (University of Copenhagen): The vagaries of hamza and other orthographic features in the Ethiopian manuscripts

14:30 – Sara Fani (University of Copenhagen): Scribal practices in Arabic Manuscripts from Ethiopia: regional peculiarities of graphemes and Their Possible External Models

15:00 – Final discussion

For further information please contact Alessandro Gori (