Islam i Afrika sør for Sahara, c. 1500-2000



Mål og innhald

This course will examine the various ways in which Islam has shaped political, economic, and cultural history in sub-Saharan Africa for the past 500 years. The course will also emphasize how African Islamic notions of political governance, trade, and social order have been influenced by local conditions and locally held ideas.

The course will outline the spread of Islam in Sub-Saharan African continent from about 1500 to c. 2000. It will then, with reference to historical examples, discuss the ways in which Islam generated new political entities, and how authority came to be constituted in ways that were both Islamic and locally legitimized. The course will also discuss Islam's potential for military and political activism.

Trade was central to the spread of Islam, and the course will present examples of how Islamic regulations of trade created trade networks across vast distances. The course will also examine how the production and consumption of commodities was shaped by local conditions and concerns.

Finally, the course will examine the ways in which African Muslims came to practice their religion and shape their communities. What intellectual impulses formed the different Muslim societies in Africa, and how were these interpreted and adapted locally? Can we even speak about an "African Islam"?


At the end of the course the student should have the following learning outcomes:


The student

  • has an overview of the history of Islam in Africa since c. 1500.
  • has an understanding of what processes drove the Islamization of different regions in Africa.
  • has an ability to give examples of how Islamization led to new political structures, and how Islam inspired political or military activism.
  • has an understanding of the role of Islam in trade.


The student

  • has the ability to discuss the variety found within Islam in Africa and how local conditions form the expression of a global religion.
  • is able to independently read and discuss historic literature and place texts within the current research tradition.
  • is able to understand the history of Islamic Africa as part of the broader Islamic and global history.

General competence

The student

  • is able to reflect on complex processes, such as the relationship between

local and global influences on political, economic or cultural processes.

  • is able to recognize different analytical approaches and understand that conclusions are not necessarily mutually exclusive.

Studiepoeng, omfang

15 studiepoeng

Studienivå (studiesyklus)




Undervisninga går føre seg i andre halvdel av semesteret (undervisningsblokk haust 2).

Emnet vert ikkje tilbode kvar haust, men alternerer med dei andre fordjupingsemna innan Midtaustens historie (HIM103, HIM105).

Emnet vert tilbode i blokk 1 våren 2024, og undervisninga går føre seg i første halvdel av semesteret (undervisningsblokk vår 1).


Krav til forkunnskapar
Tilrådde forkunnskapar
Good command of English.
Krav til studierett
The course is open to students at the University of Bergen, based on general admission requirements.
Arbeids- og undervisningsformer
Undervisninga vert normalt gjeven i form av førelesingar, men andre undervisningsformer kan verte aktuelle (om lag 25 undervisningstimar totalt).
Obligatorisk undervisningsaktivitet
Ei øvingsoppgåva på om lag 1500 ord. Godkjend øvingsoppgåve er gyldig i inneverande og dei to påfølgjande semestera.

6-timars skriftleg skuleeksamen på inntil 3000 ord.

For å ta eksamen, må studenten ha fått godkjent den obligatoriske øvingsaktiviteten.

Eksamensoppgåva vil bli gitt på undervisningsspråket i emnet.
Eksamenssvaret kan leverast på norsk, svensk, dansk eller engelsk.

The grading system has a descending scale from A to E for passes and F for fail.

The reading list is submitted by July 1th for the Autumn semester and by December 1th for the Spring semester

The curriculum will consist of c. 1200 pages, all in English.

The course is evaluated regularly.
Hjelpemiddel til eksamen
The programme committe is the course coordinator. The programme committee is responsible for the quality of the programme and all the courses in it.
Administrativt ansvarleg
The Faculty of Humanities by Department of Archaeology, History, Cultural studies and Religion is the course administrator.