Cleo Cantone’s new book on mosque-making in Senegal

I am delighted to be able to I announce the publication of a new study of how some Senegalese mosques are currently being remade. Making and Remaking Mosques in Senegal, by Cleo Cantone, has just been published by Brill.

Among other issues dealt with in this book, Dr. Cantone explains how women worshipers are impacting the internal and external configurations of mosques built by the Islamic reform movement known as “Ibadou” or “Sunnite.” The Ibadou movement rejects Sufism and the hegemonic role of Sufi orders in the organization of Islamic practice in Senegal. Instead, “Ibadous” emphasize what they argue is normative, universal, Sunni religious practice. It is an urban movement and is particularly important in Dakar. The women, mostly young, who adhere to its principles are committed to learning the Qur’an, understanding Islamic sources and acquiring knowledge of the Arabic language, and they are organizing themselves in order to do so. One important impact of these endeavors has been to increase their access to mosques. They maintaining their right to attend daily prayers and they use the ancillary mosque spaces to hold lessons.

My contribution to Dr. Cantone’s study consisted of drafting maps of the mosques she studied. These are some of them.

The Rue Blanchot Mosque was Dakar’s only Friday Mosque in colonial times. It was built in the 1880s and was enlarged several times, in the 1910s, the 1930s and again in the 50s.

Controversially, the mosque in University of Dakar’s student residential area (Cité Universitaire) was built by reformist-minded students in the 1980s.

The Point E Mosque, not far from the university, was built in the 1990s.

If you want more information on these mosques you will just have to read her book!

  • Making and Remaking Mosques in Senegal by Cleo Cantone, Leiden: Brill, 2012.

About ericrossacademic

Professor of Geography at Al Akhawayn University in Ifrane, Morocco
This entry was posted in architecture, map work, publication and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Cleo Cantone’s new book on mosque-making in Senegal

  1. lizziemulvey says:

    Hi Professor Ross,
    My name is Elizabeth. I have been living in Dakar, Senegal for the past year on a fellowship after graduating from Princeton University last year. I loved Dr. Cantone’s research on the changing mosque architecture in Senegal and the growing inclusion of women in religious and sociopolitical landscapes previously reserved for men. In fact, I am interested in exploring this topic further while in Senegal. I was considering undertaking a photo-documentary type project, taking pictures of all the mosques in Dakar. Having just seen your blog, I think it would be great idea to also include maps (as you have done here), of each mosques. I hope you wouldn’t mind if I expanded on your project, and I would love to hear any feedback you have. I think it would be interesting to get a more complete/ comprehensive picture of the mosques of Dakar, and assess the changing islamic architectural trends of the city. Thanks again for your blog, please do get in touch – I’d love to discuss your research further!
    Cheers, Elizabeth

    • Dear Elizabeth,

      Thank you for the kind words about my blog. It would really be improved by good photos (I might be a cartographer, but I’m no photographer).
      So let’s make a deal; you can use my maps and I eventually get to post your photos. I can probably even give you improved versions of the maps on my blog.
      Cleo Cantone will be happy to hear she has a fan. With your permission I will forward your message to her. She very much wants to pursue research on Senegalese mosques and is searching for funding (any ideas?). I too am itching to return to the field. My problem isn’t money; it’s finding the time!

      Please don’t hesitate to call on me if you need anything in Senegal.

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