Religion and Democracy on the African Continent: Colonial Legacies and Postcolonial Possibilities

Ashley  Duffalo's picture
May 7, 2022 to May 8, 2022
Subject Fields: 
African American History / Studies, African History / Studies, Colonial and Post-Colonial History / Studies, Islamic History / Studies, Religious Studies and Theology

“A broad rethinking of political issues becomes possible when Western ideals and practices are examined from the vantage point of Africa.”—Pankaj Mishra, New York Review of Books

Join us for a two-day virtual conference, featuring scholars of Africana Studies, Religious Studies, Anthropology, History, Sociology, Law, and Politics, who will share their expertise on religion and democracy on the African continent. The event will feature a keynote address by Mahmood Mamdani, the Herbert Lehman Professor of Government at Columbia University and author of the book, Neither Settler Nor Native: The Making and Unmaking of Permanent Minorities, (Harvard University Press, 2020). The conference presentations will result in the publication of an edited volume to be made freely available next year. 


The conference will be hosted on Zoom; attendees must register separately for each session. Click on the linked session titles below to register and to learn more about the sessions and speakers.

All sessions will be recorded and made available on the Religion, Race & Democracy Lab’s Vimeo channel.

Schedule of Events

Saturday, May 7: Looking Back

9–11 AM EST

Historical Formations of Religion and Democracy


11:30 AM–1:30 PM EST

African Religious Movements & Democracies


2–4 PM EST

Keynote Lecture: Mahmood Mamdani, Neither Settler Nor Native: The Making and Unmaking of Permanent Minorities 

Sunday, May 8: Looking Forward

10 am–12 PM EST

Contemporary Conflicts, the State, and Religion in Africa


1–4 pm EST

New Theories and the Future of Religion and Democracy in Africa (followed by Closing Remarks)


Co-sponsored by the University of Virginia Democracy Initiative's Religion, Race & Democracy Lab, the Page-Barbour Funds, the Institute of the Humanities & Global Culture, the Carter G. Woodson Institute, and the Virginia Center for the Study of Religion.

Contact Info: 

Ashley Duffalo, Program Manager

Contact Email: