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“For Love of the Prophet: The Art of Islamic State-Making in Sudan” Dr. Noah Salomon
April 18, 2019 @ 12:00 pm - 1:30 pm
For some, the idea of an Islamic state serves to fulfill aspirations for cultural sovereignty and
new forms of ethical political practice. For others, it violates the proper domains of both
religion and politics. Yet, while there has been much discussion of the idea and ideals of the
Islamic state, its possibilities and impossibilities, surprisingly little has been written about
how this political formation is staged and experienced in the cloud of contingencies that
make up modern political life. Based on more than ten years of fieldwork in the Republic of
Sudan, this lecture will examine the nature of an Islamic state by exploring its formation not
only as a political ideal, but as an aesthetic and epistemic provocation, at the culmination of
a particularly unstable period of Sudanese history.
Noah Salomon teaches courses in Islamic Studies and the anthropology of religion at Carleton College. His first book, For Love of the Prophet: An Ethnography of Sudan’s Islamic State, was published by Princeton University Press in 2016. Other recent research has focused on the establishment of state secularism in South Sudan as a mode of unraveling the Islamic State, and the concomitant construction of a Muslim minority as part of a nascent project of nation-building. Salomon was a member at the Institute for Advanced Study (Princeton) in the School of Social Science for the 2013–14 academic year and has been part of recent collaborative grants from the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (on Islamic epistemologies in Africa) and the Islam Research Programme, Netherlands (on religious minorities in the two Sudans following partition).