CONFERENCE ANNOUNCEMENT

"AFRICA'S INTELLECTUAL CARAVANS:
BILAD AS SUDAN AND AL MAGHAARIB."

CALL FOR PAPERS

VASSAR COLLEGE, POUGHKEEPSIE,
NEW YORK NOVEMBER 7 - 9, 2002.

The founding committee of the Sudanic/Maghaaribi Studies Unit invites you to participate in and present a paper at its Inaugural International Symposium to be held at Vassar College, Poughkeepsie New York, NOVEMBER 7 - 9, 2002 on the theme: "AFRICA'S INTELLECTUAL CARAVANS: BILAD AS SUDAN AND AL MAGHAARIB." The Symposium is being supported by Vassar College, The Islamic Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (ISESCO) and Mohammed al Khamis University, Rabat Morocco.

The Sudanic Maghaaribi Studies Unit (SMSU) will be a research center within the Program in Africana Studies, at Vassar College. It will support collegial affiliations among North American and international scholars who research the historical, linguistic, socio-political, ethnographic and cultural
relationships between Maghaaribi and Sudanic Africa. SMSU will publish an electronic and a traditional English/Arabic dual language journal and through it promote collaborative research, coordinate conferences and curricula innovation.

Northwest African institutions and systems of belief have been deeply influenced by continual interaction with Sudanic Africa and its peoples' belief systems. Sudanic African scholars and cultural workers were equal partners in Maghaaribi Africa's transmission of Islamic scholarship and culture to Mediterranean Europe. "Bilad al Sudan's" role as a cultural and intellectual bridge between Africa North and Africa South, cannot be over stressed, especially since portions of West Africa and the entire Sudanic belt of Africa have, like their Muslim brethren in North Africa, been Muslim for more than a thousand years.

Northwest Africa has been a major conduit between southern Europe and Africa south of the Sahara for a lengthy period of time. The ancient trading, cultural and political links between the Maghrib and bilad al Sudan became more complex beginning with the birth of Islam in 622 CE. The multi-ethnic caravans, traveling through the major market cities along Africa's ancient trade routes, gave safe haven to diverse merchants and scholars; that unique group of people ferried goods,
religious ideas, religious and secular scholarship and the craft of writing in the Arabic script and language. Starting with the Egyptian Nile Valley in 641CE, Islamic religious ideas and scholarship spread to the North west/Maghrib, to Mediterranean Europe and due South to bilad al-Sudan. It went south beyond the Limpopo river and further southeast to Africa's coast and into Asia.

The Symposium coordinators would welcome one page abstracts (English only) related to one of the
following five major themes:

SUDANIC MAGHAARIBI STUDIES: THE BACKBONE OF AFRICAN CULTURE

AFRICAN KINGDOMS AND THE ISLAMIC INFUSION (GHANA, MALI, SONGHAY, MOROCCO: AL ANDALUS, THE SUDAN, HAUSA KINGDOMS, SENNAR)

POLITICS, PHILOSOPHY AND CULTURAL INTERACTIONS (TRADITIONAL AFRICAN BELIEFS AND PHILOSOPHY, ISLAMIC PHILOSOPHY)

THE WESTERN INCURSIONS AND ISLAM AT BAY (ATLANTIC SLAVE TRADE, SHIFT OF POLITICAL SUZERAINTY OF INDIAN OCEAN TRADE, DECLINE OF GREAT KINGDOMS)

AFRICAN AND AFRICAN AMERICAN WAYS OF RESISTANCE AND
RECOVERY (PAN AFRICANISM, AN NAHDA, NEGRITUDE, HARLEM RENAISSANCE)

Interested participants should submit Abstracts by May 30th via email, fax or air mail to either:

Dr. Constance E. Berkley
Program in Africana Studies, Box 739
124 Raymond Avenue
Poughkeepsie, N.Y. 12604.
845 437 7487 /Fax: 845 437 5925
Email: coberkley@vassar.edu

OR

Dr. Ahmed Said Ould Bah
Chairman of the Secretariat of the General Conference
and the Executive Council, ISESCO,
Avenue Attine, Ryad,
Rabat Morocco. B.P. 2275 - CP10104
Fax: 212 37 77 7459
email: cid@isesco.org.ma

Completed papers, in English, of accepted abstracts must be received by August 31st. Symposium papers will be published, as a SMSU collection, in a dual English and Arabic language online Journal entitled Jusur. Although there will be limited funding for some international participants from ISESCO, we urge all participants to seek support and funding from their home institutions.

Symposium inquiries should be addressed to

Dr. Constance E. Berkley
Tel: 845-437 7487
Email coberkley@vassar.edu

Dr. Mohammed Ezroura
Vice Dean College of Arts and Humaine Sciences,
Mohammed al Khamis University,
Rabat Morocco
Tel/Fax -212 37 77 33 08
Email: ezroura@arcnet.net.ma

SYMPOSIUM PARTICIPATION FORM

AFRICA'S INTELLECTUAL CARAVANS:
BILAD AS SUDAN AND AL MAGHAARIB
VASSAR COLLEGE, POUGHKEEPSIE, NEW YORK
NOVEMBER 7 -9, 2002.

PERSONAL INFORMATION


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REGISTRATION AND MEALS

SYMPOSIUM REGISTRATION ONLY:

$30.00 ON SITE; $25.00 IF PAID by SEPTEMBER 31, 2002.

SYMPOSIM AND DINNER REGISTRATION:
TWO DINNERS, AND LUNCHEON
$100.00. ON SITE: $90.00. BEFORE SEPTEMBER 31, 2002.

PAYMENT BY CHECK OR MONEY ORDER SHOULD BE TO VASSAR COLLEGE

HOUSING INFORMATION WILL BE FORWARDED LATER.


York/UNESCO Nigerian Hinterland Project
Department of History, York University,  Toronto, Canada
Email: nigerian@yorku.ca
Fax: (416) 650-8173