History Professor Receives Fellowship in Berlin

Associate Professor of History Cheikh Anta Babou is a fellow at the Wissenschaftskolleg (Institute of Advanced Study) in Berlin for the 2013-2014 academic year. The Kolleg was founded in 1981 to offer scholars and scientists the opportunity to spend a year concentrating on projects of their own choice. It makes a point of creating a balanced mixture of both distinguished senior scholars and promising younger researchers, drawn from a wide range of cultural backgrounds.

During his fellowship year, Babou will examine the experience of immigrants from the former French colonies in West Africa in Europe and North America, arguing that they have been particularly successful in making room for Islam in the Western world. In contrast to Arab immigrants who have severed their links with moderate centers of Islamic spirituality in North Africa, West Africans have maintained strong bonds with sources of religious knowledge and authority in Africa, and these sources remain powerful shapers of their Islamic identity. The continuing influence of religious ideas and leadership from the African continent has allowed Africans in Europe and North America to resist the wave of political radicalization that has recently swept other Muslim communities living in the West.
 
Babou’s research interests include mystical Islam in West Africa and Senegal and the new African diaspora. He is affiliated with the African Studies Center and the Center for Africana Studies at Penn. He has published extensively on the Muridiyya Muslim order of Senegal and the Senegalese diaspora. His book Fighting the Greater Jihad: Amadu Bamba and the Founding of the Muridiyya of Senegal, 1853-1913 was published in 2007, and his articles have appeared in African Affairs, Journal of African History, International Journal of African Historical Studies, Journal of Religion in Africa, and other scholarly journals in the United States and France. He has presented papers in international scholarly meetings on Islam and the transnational migration of West African Muslims, and is an editor of the Journal of African History circa 2011-2016.

Arts & Sciences News

Michael C. Horowitz Awarded Department of Defense Grant to Lead Team on Study of Autonomous Systems and AI

Michael C. Horowitz, Professor of Political Science, will oversee the study of autonomous systems and artificial intelligence.

View Article >
Earthquakes at the Nanoscale

In collaboration with Robert Carpick and David Goldsby, Tian, who graduated from Penn in 2017 with a doctorate in physics, recently published a paper in Physical Review Letters which attempts to tackle these devastating natural phenomena by investigating the laws of friction at the smallest possible scale, the nanoscale.

View Article >
Doris Wagner Named Robert I. Williams Term Professor

A leader in the fields of plant biology, chromatin modification, and epigenetics, Wagner’s research focuses on understanding at the molecular level the complex changes that occur when an organism switches developmental programs.

View Article >
Wrongful Convictions Reported for 6 Percent of Crimes

A study from Penn criminologists results in the first general estimate for the prison population as a whole.

View Article >
Race Has a Place in Human Genetics Research, Philosopher Argues

Penn philosopher Quayshawn Spencer says there is a racial classification that’s medically useful to reliably sample human genetic diversity.

View Article >
Exploring the Sounds of the Middle Ages

Assistant Professor of Music Mary Channen Caldwell's freshman seminar course, “Hearing (in) the Middle Ages,” explores a range of sounds heard throughout the medieval period, whether produced by people, instruments, bells, or animals.

View Article >