Our Guest Speakers:
Katherine E. Hoffman, Associate Professor of Anthropology at Northwestern University, has worked for almost twenty years among Amazigh (Berber) populations in North Africa. She is currently researching in southern Tunisia and Western Libya on the role of Amazigh ethnicity in the integration of populations displaced by political violence into the country of first asylum. The project considers as well the surprising ways in which rural Tunisian community organizing in the South during their own revolution created networks that then allowed Tunisians to host, house, and feed hundreds of thousands of refugees fleeing violence in Libya outside the auspices of international relief organizations. Hoffman is the author of We Share Walls: Language, Land, and Gender in Berber Morocco (Blackwell-Wiley 2008) and journal articles in American Ethnologist, Contemporary Studies in Society and History, Ethnomusicology, and Language and Communication. She is co-editor (with S.G. Miller) of Berbers and Others: Beyond Tribe and Nation in the Maghrib (Indiana University Press 2010). Hoffman will be a Eurias Senior Fellow at the Institute for Advanced Study in Nantes during the 2012-2013 academic year where she will be working on her book manuscript Mirror of the Soul: Custom, Islam, and Legal Transformation under the French Protectorate of Morocco (1912-1956).
Leonardo A. Villalón is associate professor of Political Science and African Studies at the University of Florida. From 2002-2011 he served as director of the university’s Center for African Studies. He has published numerous works on religion and politics and on democratization in the Muslim countries of the African Sahel, where he has lived and traveled broadly over the past twenty years. He has taught for three years in Senegal, at the Université Cheikh Anta Diop in Dakar and the Université Gaston Berger in St. Louis. From 2001-2005, he served as president of the West African Research Association (WARA).
His current research focuses on religion and democracy in Senegal, Mali and Niger, as well as on social change and electoral dynamics across the Francophone Sahel. From 2007-09 he was named a Carnegie Scholar by the Carnegie Corporation of New York, for a project entitled: “Negotiating Democracy in Muslim Contexts: Political Liberalization and Religious Mobilization in the West African Sahel.” He is completing a book based on that research. With Mahaman Tidjani Alou of LASDEL (Niger) he directs a research project on religion and educational reform in the Sahel. He is also co-directing the two-year State Department funded “Trans-Saharan Elections Project,” focused on six countries: Senegal, Mauritania, Mali, Burkina Faso, Niger, and Chad.
Sponsors: The African Studies Cluster, the Government Department, the Thomas and Catharine McMahon Memorial Fund of the Romance Languages and Literatures Department, the Dean of the Social Sciences and Interdisciplinary Programs, the College of Letters, and the Anthropology Department