Rethinking Islam in West Africa- Niasse
Saida Oumul Khairy Niasse: Her Father’s Daughter
Pearl T. Robinson, Tufts University
Rethinking Islam in West Africa, a lecture series jointly sponsored by Boston University African Studies Center and the West African Research Association was pleased to feature Professor Pearl Robinson as the first speaker of the 2012-2013 year. Professor Robinson spoke about her forthcoming documentary on female empowerment among the Tidjaniyya Sufi order in Niger. The film, Mama Kiota, examines the life and work of Saida Oumul Khairy Niasse, whose promotion of education, financial autonomy, civic engagement, and a strong sense of identity as an African Muslim woman, bridges the gap between the global feminist movement and Islamic feminists. Professor Robinson’s remarks about the process of making this film included glimpses into the personal and family life of this remarkable woman who is the founding president of the Jamiyat Nassirat Dine, a Muslim women’s association with nearly 100 chapters in Niger and branches in eight West African countries. Mama Kiota is narrated in Hausa and will be distributed through markets for Sufi religious goods, video entertainment markets, mobile movies, online sites and academic markets.
Pearl Robinson is Associate Professor of Political Science and a former Director of the Program in International Relations at Tufts University. She has authored more than forty articles and book chapters, has been a Ford Foundation Visiting Professor at Makerere University, a Visiting Professor at the University of Dar es Salaam, and a Research Affiliate of the Université Abdou Moumouni in Niamey. Robinson is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, a past President of the African Studies Association, and a former chair of the SSRC/ACLS Joint Committee on African Studies. She has served on the national boards of Oxfam-America, TransAfrica, the National Council of Negro Women’s International Division, and is presently a member of the WARA board of directors.