Institute for the Study of Islamic Thought in Africa (ISITA)

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Institute for the Study of Islamic Thought in Africa
Northwestern University
620 Library Place, Evanston IL 60208

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Welcome to ISITA—the Institute for the Study of Islamic Thought in Africa, located at Northwestern University, Evanston, IL, USA. ISITA sponsors and facilitates collaborative interdisciplinary scholarship on the Islamic tradition of learning in Africa and promotes a broader awareness of the role of Islam in African societies, past and present.  By sponsoring field research, conferences, visiting scholars, and publications, ISITA encourages intellectual exchange, especially with Africa-based scholars, and produces new knowledge on Islamic thought in Africa.

If you would like to receive updates on ISITA news and events, we encourage you to subscribe to the ISITA e-mail list.


Position Available: Islam in Africa, Associate/Full Professor

Northwestern University's Program of African Studies is accepting applications through October 1, 2013 for a full-time tenured appointment at the rank of Associate or Full Professor with an active research agenda that focuses on the role of Islam in African societies. For a full job description and application instructions, visit the Program of African Studies website.

ISITA to sponsor roundtable on "The Islamic Archive of Africa" at ASA Annual Meeting in November 2013

ISITA, an affiliate organization of the African Studies Association, will sponsor a roundtable titled "The Islamic Archive of Africa" at the ASA Annual Meeting in Baltimore, November 21 - 24, 2013. Chaired by Anne Bang (Chr. Michelsen Insitute, Norway), roundtable participants include Susanah Molins-Lliteras (University of Cape Town), Hassen Muhammed Kawo (University of Addis Abeba), Ridder Samsom (University of Hamburg), and Dmitri Bondarev (School of Oriental and African Studies, London).


ISITA sponsors roundtable on Radical Islamic Movements in Africa: Local Contexts, Transnational Connections
On February 6, 2013 ISITA and the Equality Development and Globalization Studies (EDGS) program co-sponsored a roundtable that addressed the recent activities of radical Islamic movements in key areas in North, Sahelian, and eastern Africa, with an added comparative perspective from Indonesia, and the range of responses from national governments and the international community. Read more about the roundtable on the EDGS website or in the spring 2013 edition of PAS News and Events

Reconceptualizing African Islam and the Global Community of Believers: Watch the video from the ISITA-sponsored roundtable at the ASA Annual Meeting in November 2012.

ISITA, an affiliate organization of the African Studies Association (ASA), sponsored a roundtable at the ASA's annual meeting in Philadephia in November 2012. Watch a video of the roundtable at the Islamic Africa website, or read about it in the winter 2013 edition of PAS News and Events.

Call for Papers: online journal Islamic Africa

Islamic Africa is a peer-reviewed, multidisciplinary journal published online by Northwestern University Press in collaboration with ISITA. Incorporating the journal Sudanic Africa and retaining its focus on historical sources, bibliographies, and methodology, Islamic Africa covers the field of Islam in Africa broadly understood to include the social sciences and humanities. The new journal seeks to promote scholarly interaction among Africa-based scholars and those located institutionally outside the continent. The journal was founded in spring 2010 and is now entering its fourth volume year.

For more information and to read the first issue (available open-access), please visit the journal's website at

ISITA Events

No events are held during summer quarter. ISITA's fall 2013 events will be announced in September, 2013.

All the events listed below are free and open to the public and held in the Program of African Studies Conference Room, 620 Library Place.