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Religion, Media and Marginality in Africa since 1800 - 23/24 March, SOAS

March 15, 2013

23-24 March 2013, 9am-5pm, SOAS, University of London

The workshop is inspired by recent scholarship that examines the intersection between forms of communication and the growth of new religious constituencies. It seeks to further pursue these insights in the context of nineteenth and twentieth century Africa. We are particularly interested in how media practices enabled, shaped, and limited forms of claims-making by relatively marginal individuals and groups in religious contexts. The media focus covers both ‘old’ (including handwriting and print technologies) and ‘new’ (including the internet) forms.  Participants will explore media history and practice with reference to religious contexts or content, as well as cases where the religious aspect of media use is one among several. Other themes include the creation of publics - religious and otherwise - in interaction with various forms of old and new media; the making and contesting of sacred texts; the materiality of media; and preaching in the public sphere.

Speakers include:

  • Halkano Abdi Wario (Moi University, Kenya)
  • Gabeba Baderoon (Penn State)
  • Heike Behrend (University of Cologne)
  • Annalisa Butticci
  • Andre Chappatte (SOAS, University of London)
  • David Gordon (Bowdoin College)
  • Elizabeth Gunner (University of Johannesburg)
  • Bruce Hall (Duke)
  • Sean Hanretta (Stanford University)
  • Mara Leichtman (Michigan State University)
  • David Maxwell (Cambridge University)
  • Derek Peterson (University of Michigan)
  • Katrien Pype (Leuven)
  • Scott Reese (Northern Arizona University)
  • Dorothea Schulz (University of Cologne)
  • Nkosinathi Sithole (University of Zululand)
  • Abdoulaye Sounaye (Abdou Moumouni University)
  • Robert Vinson (College of William and Mary)
  • Richard Werbner (Manchester University)
  • Emma Wild-Wood (Cambridge University)

Registration at the conference is required of all attendees (online registration closes at noon on 21 March).  Fee includes attendance at the 2 day conference, refreshments and a light lunch.


  • £25 standard
  • £15 student* (students will have to show proof of ID upon arrival)

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Further Information

Sponsored by: Arts & Humanities Research Council and Cambridge University