In a podcast special for the H-Net Book Channel, Caleb Owen, Assistant Editor of the Book Channel, talks with Mara Leichtman, Associate Professor of Anthropology at Michigan State University, about her new book Shi'i Cosmopolitanisms in Africa: Lebanese Migration and Religious Conversion in Senegal (University of Indiana Press, 2015). Mara's book discusses the religious identities of two distinct Shi'i Muslim communities in Senegal--the Lebanese diaspora and Senegalese "converts" from Sunni to Shi'i Islam. Her work highlights the interplay between global and local understandings and practices of Islam. In the interview, Mara discusses process of researching and writing her book, the direction of Muslim studies, and the study of Islam in Africa.
This podcast is the first, in a series of special features on the Book Channel. In addition to announcing new titles from over two-hundred academic publishers, the Book Channel is publishing original essays and contributions that highlight trends in academic scholarship, as well as connections between academic literature and issues, trends, and debates of public interest.