Deng earned his B.A. in history and Arabic in 2015 from Peking University, China, and his M.A. in African history from the same university in 2018. His Master’s thesis focused on the collection, translation and research of the Arabic manuscripts in the Hausaland. He is interested in Islam in Africa, African traditional religions, history writing and issues concerning migration, ethnicity and identity.
Zachary Faircloth is an incoming Masters student from Longs, South Carolina. He received his B.A. in Asian and Middle Eastern Studies at Duke University where his undergraduate research focused on the institutional memory of Sheikh ‘Abdullah ‘Azzam in Palestine. His research interests include interaction between Salafism and the state, transnational Islamic discourses on Palestine, and the role of Islamism in the Levant. Zach plans to pursue his Ph.D. and a career in academia after the completion of his Master’s program.
Macodou graduated from Cheikh Anta Diop University in Dakar, Senegal with a B.A. and an M.A in English. He then completed another M.A. in African Studies at Ohio University in Athens. Macodou is interested in the study of Islam, Ajami literature, traditional religions and popular culture in West Africa with a focus on the Sufi order, the Muridiyya. His research project seeks to explore Murid urban associations’ (dahiras’) teaching methodologies, including the use of Ajami Wolof. Macodou is fluent in Wolof, French and English and has taught Wolof at Ohio University.