This research collaboration between the Centre for Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies/Department of Archaeology, History, Cultural and Religious Studies at the University of Bergen, Norway and the Centre d Etudes des Mondes Africains (CEMAf) in Paris. Bot h centres have strong competence in the research on Islamic Africa, and particularly on the written sources to African history deriving from the Islamic and other scriptural traditions. Both also hold substantial collections of partly unique copied materi al deriving from different parts of Africa. These will form the core of the collaboration. Joint research and a series of seminars will particularly focus on three broad headings:
1. Archives and libraries. What is the history of archives and libraries i n Africa? The researchers will address issues such as ownership, usage, location, cataloguing, but also the actual textual traditions in individual collections.
2. Writing culture. What has been the culture of writing in times of changing religious and p olitical contexts. the participants will address issues of both materiality as well as text, and look at the arrival of Islam and - later - the emergence of colonial educational systems.
3. Connectivities. How is a text collection influenced by other tra ditions? Researchers will focus on the translocal impacts on textual traditions (in the form of actual manuscripts transported from elsewhere, text produced elsewhere but copied locally, or impulses of translocal traditions emerging in locally produced te xt).
The collaboration will consist of visits which will focus on the collections in both places (Bergen and Paris). For each visit, a seminar will be held that will also be partly timed to co-incide with master seminars.