Comparative Literature Luncheon to discuss social change in Islamic West Africa

January 24, 2017

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Rudolph (Butch) Ware, associate professor in the Department of History at the University of Michigan, will present ”Visionaries: Second Sight and Social Change in Islamic West Africa since 1400” at 12:15 p.m. on Monday, Jan. 30, in 102 Kern Building.

Ware is a historian of Africa and Islam. He earned his doctorate in history in 2004 from the University of Pennsylvania, where he was trained in African history, African-American history, and Islamic intellectual history. He the founder and director of the IKHLAS research initiative for the study of Islamic Knowledge, Histories & Languages, Arts & Sciences. Ware’s research projects have been supported by grants from the Fulbright, Ford, Woodrow Wilson, and Mellon foundations, and he has been a residential fellow at the French Institute for Advanced Study in Marseille, as well as the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales in Paris. 

Ware’s published articles include chapters in the Cambridge World History of Slavery, Volumes 3 and 4, which detail the rise and fall of the institution in Muslim Africa between the 15th and 20th centuries. He has also published translations — in rhymed verse — of some of the Arabic poetry of the West African scholar Ahmadu Bamba. His first book, “The Walking Qur’an: Islamic Education, Embodied Knowledge, and History in West Africa,” explores 1,000 years of history through the lens of the Qur’an school, the basic institution of education for millions of boys and girls throughout the region.

This event is a part of the Comparative Literature Luncheon lecture series, a weekly, informal lunchtime gathering of students, faculty and other members of the University community. Each week the event begins at 12:15 p.m. — coffee, tea and light lunch fare are provided. At 12:30 p.m. there will be a presentation, by a visitor or a local speaker, on a topic related to any humanities discipline. All students, faculty, colleagues and friends are welcome. For a full list of Comparative Literature lunches, visit This event is sponsored by the Department of Comparative Literature and the Center for Global Studies.      

Last Updated January 24, 2017