WMU News

Free lectures examine the evolution of Islam in West Africa

March 4, 2004

KALAMAZOO--Dr. David Owusu-Ansah, professor of history at James Madison University and an authority on the evolution of Islam in West Africa, will deliver two free, public lectures March 11-12 at Western Michigan University.

Owusu-Ansah will address "Islam and Politics in 19th Century Asante: A West African State" at 8 p.m. Thursday, March 11, in Room 2208 of Dunbar Hall. On Friday, March 12, he will talk on "The History of Islam in West Africa and Its Implications For Modern Politics," during a lunchtime lecture, at which brown-bag lunches are welcome. The event is set for 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. in Welborn Hall.

Author of the "Islamic Talismatic Tradition in 19th Century Asante" and "Historical Dictionary of Ghana," Owusu-Ansah also has written many chapters in books and articles on aspects of Islamic history in West Africa. At James Madison, he has coordinated arrangements for study groups going to Ghana since 1990 and has personally led several of the groups.

Owusu-Ansah earned a bachelor's degree in comparative religion from the University of Cape Coast, Ghana; a masters' degree from the Institute of Islamic Studies at McGill University, Montreal; and a doctorate is in African history from Northwestern University.

Both presentations are sponsored by Western Michigan University's Lewis Walker Institute for the Study of Race and Ethnic Relations, the Diether H. Haenicke Institute for International and Area Studies, the Department of History and the Africana Studies Program. For more information, contact Dr. Bruce M. Haight in the Department of History at (269) 387-5361.

Media contact: Thom Myers, 269 387-8400, thom.myers@wmich.edu

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