Public Lecture: Islamic literature in the Horn of Africa: reflections on an ongoing project

3 April 2016


Islamic literature in the Horn of Africa: reflections on an ongoing project
Alessandro Gori 
(Department of Cross-Cultural and Regional Studies, University of Copenhagen)
5 April 2016


Alessandro Gori is Associate Professor in Arabic Language and Literature at the University of Copenhagen. His specialization is the literary traditions of the Muslims of the Horn of Africa. In this field he has published extensively. Among his latest publications: “A Handlist of the Manuscripts in the Institute of Ethiopian Studies, Volume Two: The Arabic Materials of the Ethiopian Islamic Tradition”.


For historical and cultural reasons the Islamic literary production of the Horn of Africa (Ethiopia, Eritrea, Djibouti, Somalia) has been a relatively neglected field of research. Thanks to a project supported by the European Research Council (IslHornAfr: Islam in the Horn of Africa, A Comparative Literary Approach - Advanced Grant no. 322849; 2013-2018) unknown material has been discovered and digitized and a literary database has been implemented to provide scholars with a tool to study the Islamic culture of the Horn of Africa as it is reflected in its literary traditions. In the presentation, the speaker will try to highlight some of the first results that the ongoing research has achieved. In particular, the new material which has been localized and digitized in Somaliland and Djibouti will be presented and briefly assessed in the wider framework of the network of relationships among the Muslim communities of the region.

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