The Council on Middle East Studies Yale Turkey Webinar Series presents
Ezgi Guner, PhD, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign:
“Teaching the “Turkish Islam” in Africa South of the Sahara: Educational Policies and Sufi Pedagogies.”
Islamic education has come to play an increasingly important role in Turkey’s relations with the African continent since the late 2000s. This relates, on the one hand, to the internationalization of public institutions of Islamic learning in Turkey and the state scholarships made available to African students. On the other hand, in tandem with the state’s international education policies, Sufi communities began to provide formal and informal Islamic education to African students by establishing schools on the continent as well as providing scholarships to study in Turkey. This presentation focuses on the Islamic connections between Turkey and sub-Saharan countries that are fostered by the intertwined processes of state policies and Sufi pedagogies. Based on a multi-sited ethnography in Turkey, Senegal and Tanzania, this presentation explores these schools and scholarships as part of a broader project of promoting “Turkish Islam” in Africa south of the Sahara.
Ezgi Guner received her PhD in Anthropology with a minor in African Studies from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Her work focuses on the articulation of race and religion with global capitalism in the context of Turkey’s contemporary relations with Africa south of the Sahara. She conducted a multisited ethnography in Turkey, Tanzania, Senegal, Gambia and Benin. Guner was a visiting fellow in the Anthropology Department at Harvard University in 2018 and an Ernst Mach fellow at the Centre for Southeast European Studies at the University of Graz in 2019-2020. Her article, “NGOization of Islamic Education: The Post-Coup Turkish State and Sufi Orders in Africa South of the Sahara” is recently published in Religions. Her research profile can be accessed here https://illinois.academia.edu/ezgig%C3%BCner.