It has been over a week since I posted something new on this blog. Partly, this is because the spring semester has gotten underway and there is the usual business to attend to. I am teaching four courses this semester: Introduction to Geography, Research Methods, Field Methods (student field exercises will be the object of future posts) and an International Field Seminar on New York City (more on this too will follow in later posts). I am also involved in three off-campus research projects: helping the eleven municipalities of Ifrane Province develop five-year strategic development plans, helping design a new urban plan for the town of Ifrane, and conducting a positioning study of the same town. These research projects are all team-based and will also be discussed in subsequent blog posts (I meant it when I subtitled my blog “my fabulous scholarly activities”).
Mostly though I have been preparing a new page for the blog: “Touba & more” (see tab above). The Touba page and its offspring (to be loaded progressively over the next few months) present the essentials of my research on Senegal’s contemporary Sufi settlements: towns, villages, cities, neighborhoods and shrines. Much of this information has already been published (namely in my 2006 Sufi City book, see Publications page) but, as urbanization and shrine construction proceed apace, I have decided to draft new maps based on the latest available satellite images (thank you Google Earth). The new maps serve to introduce information on the various Sufi shrines and settlements. I have also appended a Google Earth file of all these places. This kmz file can be downloaded here.