Department of Religion
Office Location: 107B Anderson Hall
Ph.D., Northwestern UniversityAreas of Specialization: Islam and Muslim societies, religion and politics, religion and media, religious encounters, Africa and the Diaspora
Benjamin Soares is a scholar of Islam and Muslim societies in Africa whose research focuses particularly on religious life from the early 20th century to the present. He has conducted research in Mali, Mauritania, Nigeria, Senegal, and Sudan, as well as among West African Muslims in Europe and Asia. In recent work, he has looked at the connections between changing modalities of religious expression, different modes of belonging, and emergent social imaginaries in colonial and post-colonial West Africa. In addition to ongoing interests in religious encounters and religion, media, and the public sphere, he is studying contemporary Muslim public intellectuals in Africa.
Muslim Youth and the 9/11 Generation (School for Advanced Research Advanced Seminar Series, co-edited with Adeline Masquelier), University of New Mexico Press and SAR Press, 2016.
New Media and Religious Transformations in Africa (co-edited with Rosalind I.J. Hackett), Indiana University Press, 2015.
الإسلام والسياسة المسلمين في أفريقيا (co-edited with René Otayek), Arabic translation of Islam and Muslim Politics in Africa with a new preface. Cairo: al-Maktabah al Akādīmīyah, 2012.
Islam, Politics and Anthropology (co-edited with Filippo Osella), Wiley-Blackwell, 2010.
Islam, État et société en Afrique (co-edited with René Otayek), Karthala, 2009.
Islam and Muslim Politics in Africa (co-edited with René Otayek), Palgrave-Macmillan, 2007.
Muslim-Christian Encounters in Africa (editor), Brill, 2006.
Islam and the Prayer Economy: History and Authority in a Malian Town, Edinburgh University Press for the International African Institute and University of Michigan Press, 2005.
Recent articles/books chapters:
2016 “Reflections on Muslim-Christian Encounters in West Africa,” in Marloes Janson and Birgit Meyer (eds), “Studying Islam and Christianity in Africa: moving beyond a bifurcated field,” Africa: Journal of the International African Institute, 86(4): 273-97.
2016 “New Muslim Public Figures in West Africa.” In Robert Launay (ed.), Writing Boards and Blackboards: Islamic Education in Africa. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, pp. 268-84.
2016 (co-authored with Adeline Masquelier) “Introduction: Muslim Youth and the 9/11 Generation.” In Adeline Masquelier and Benjamin Soares (eds), Muslim Youth and the 9/11 Generation. Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press and SAR Press, pp. 1-29.
2016 “Malian Youth between Sufism and Satan.” In Adeline Masquelier and Benjamin Soares (eds), Muslim Youth and the 9/11 Generation. Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press and SAR Press, pp. 169-88.
2016 “Incontri tra musulmani e cristiani in Africa.” In François Boespflug and Emanuela Fogliadini (eds), Le missioni in Africa: La sfida dell’inculturazione. Bologna: EMI, pp. 305-326.