Cheikh Anta Babou

Associate Professor


Cheikh Anta Babou joined the history department of the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia in 2002. Dr. Babou teaches African History and the History of Islam in Africa. His research focuses on mystical Islam in West Africa and Senegal and on the new African diaspora.

Professor Babou has published extensively on the Muridiyya Muslim order of Senegal and the Senegalese diaspora. His book, Fighting the Greater Jihad: Amadu Bamba and the Founding of the Muridiyya of Senegal, 1853-1913 was published by Ohio University Press in 2007. Dr. Babou’s articles appeared in African Affairs, Journal of African HistoryInternational Journal of African Historical Studies, Journal of Religion in AfricaAfrica Today and other scholarly journals in the United States and in France. He has presented papers in international scholarly meetings on Islam and the transnational migration of West African Muslims. He is an editor of the Journal of African History circa 2011-2016, and is also affiliated with the African Studies Center and the Center for Africana Studies. His current research project examines the experience of West African Muslim immigrants in Europe and North America.

Recent Publications:

"Globalizing West African Islam: West African Sufi Masters in North America in Global Africa", eds., Dorothy Hodgson and Judith Byfield (forthcoming, University of California Press).

A Reformer Among the Murids; Caliph Abdoul Ahad and the Transformation of the Muridiyya of Senegal, (1969-1989) (Forthcoming, 2019-20).

Making Muslim Place in  "Secular Land": West African Muslim Immigrants in Europe and North America, (Forthcoming, 2018-19).

"The Al-Azhar School Network: a Murid Experiment in Islamic Modernism." In Robert Launay, ed., Islamic Education in Africa: Writing Boards and Blackboards (Indiana University Press, 2016).