Archives de catégorie : Seminars

“Sufism and middle class”

Dear all, 

We are pleased to start again our regular seminars in CEDEJ Khartoum, and to welcome Dr. Amani Mohamed El-Obeid on Tuesday, 30th of July, for her presentation on:


Middle Class and Sufism in Sudan
Dr. Amani Mohamed El-Obeid
Tuesday 30 July 2019
Venue: CEDEJ Khartoum
Abstract: This presentation, based on Dr. Amani’s PhD, will be on Sufism and the middle class in Sudan, as the target group of Shaikh Al centre. Shaikh Al is a product of the neo- Sufi phenomenon, where ordinary Sufi practices including karama making or (miracle-doing) are used side by side with orthodox Islam practices. This research explains the increasing appeal of Sufism to urbanites and others who used to be secular in Sudan.
The presentation will include review of the approaches of the social sciences and its suitability to study religious phenomenon.
Shaikh Al (1923-2005) which is the case study of the research  is one of the most celebrated Shaikhs of the Sammaniyya Sufi order in Sudan. He managed to establish an open edged tariqa that attracted large sections of the educated Sudanese middle class.
The dissertation is trying to answer the question: To what extent the phenomenon of Shaikh Al represented the crisis of the middle class in Sudan? The middle class represented the audience target group of Shaikh Al as it is the most class seriously affected by identity and the economic crises that took place in Sudan since the last thirty years.
The educated middle class was economically impoverished and politically marginalized. In particular it is the class that was badly affected by the economic policies and macro-structures of the 1990s that witnessed a total-desubsidization and the weakening of public sector that coincided with privatization. The process of privatization witnessed thousands of lay-offs.

Seminar by Paul Hayes – PhD Student – “Sudanese Wrestling in East Nile, Khartoum”

Dear all,

We are very pleased to announce Paul Hayes’ presentation of his research next Thursday in CEDEJ Khartoum:

Sudanese Wrestling in East Nile, Khartoum

Paul Hayes 

PhD Candidate in Anthropology, Australian National University

Visiting Scholar, CEDEJ Khartoum

Thursday 6 September 2018

5pm – CEDEJ Khartoum


In this seminar, Paul Hayes, from the Australian National University, will give an update on his ethnographic fieldwork among professional Sudanese wrestlers in Khartoum’s East Nile district. Despite emerging as a popular tourist attraction, Khartoum’s ‘Nuba wrestling’ has received only brief scholarly attention so far. For his research, Paul sets out to understand what it means to be a contemporary Sudanese wrestler in East Nile, noting that the athletes are increasingly non-Nuba. He seeks to make sense of how the sport emerged in Khartoum as a ‘professional’ and ethnically-inclusive variant of the ‘tribal’ sport that continues to be practiced in the Nuba Mountains today, and explores the ongoing tensions and (dis)continuities between the two varieties of wrestling practice. In the seminar, Paul will discuss the project’s objectives and methods, before delving deeper into the rules of the game and the broader social universe(s) that constitute the life of a Sudanese wrestler.


Special Roundtable Monday 3 September – Contemporary History of Sudan & South Sudan – with Willow Berridge, Harry Cross, Cherry Leonardi, Alden Young

Dear all,

We are very pleased to invite you to a discussion on the contemporary history of Sudan and South Sudan with a special Roundtable

Sudan – South Sudan History Since 1956
Recent Trends
Willow BERRIDGE (PhD)Newcastle University
Harry CROSS (PhD candidate)Durham University
Cherry LEONARDI (PhD),Durham University
Alden YOUNG (PhD),Drexel University
Monday 3 September
5 pm – CEDEJ Khartoum
Willow BERRIDGE is a historian of the 20th Century Islamic World, with a particular interest in Sudanese history and the dynamics of Islamist ideology. Her early research focused on policing and prisons in 20th century Sudan. It compared colonial, nationalist and Islamist penal ideologies and policing strategies, exploring important continuities and disconnects between each of three.

Her first book, Civil Uprisings in Modern Sudan, was inspired by her experience of living in the country during the Arab Spring. She was curious as to why the debates about civil protest and authoritarianism in the Middle East and North Africa region overlooked Sudan’s proud record of having been the only country in the region before 2011 to have witnessed civil protests that facilitated a transition from military rule to parliamentary democracy. In particular, the book responded to post-2011 debates about the respective roles of Islamism and secular ideologies in the Arab Spring by highlighting the extent to which ‘Islamist’ or other religiously-orientated groups were willing to collobarate with secularists within the student unions and professional associations that led the protests.

She has recently published (Cambridge University Press) a book on the controversial Sudanese Islamist Hasan al-Turabi. The text explores a number of important themes related to broader analyses of Islamist ideology: charismatic leadership (and its limitations); Islamism as a fusion of Western and Islamic ideologies; Islamism as ‘post-colonial’; the important of local political contexts in shaping religious ideology; and Islamist concepts of the Islamic state, democracy and jihad.

Harry CROSS is a PhD candidate at Durham University. His research focuses on the role of banks in Sudan after independence and until the nationalisation of Sudan’s private banking sector in 1970.

Harry is especially interested in the relationship between financial power and political power in Sudan, and interactions between local economic pressures and wider transformations in global political economy.

Cherry LEONARDI is Associate Professor of African History at Durham University and works primarily on South Sudan and northern Uganda. Her research has focused on local-level state formation since the nineteenth century: she is the author of Dealing with Government in South Sudan: Histories of chiefship, community and state (2013). Her current research projects include work on boundaries and land governance, witchcraft and security and access to energy/fuel, and she is also co-director of the South Sudan Museum Collections network.

She is currently planning new research on the history of forests, hunting and conservation.

Alden YOUNG is a political and economic historian of Africa. He is particularly interested in the ways in which Africans participated in the creation of the current international order. Since 2014, he has been an assistant professor in African History and the Director of the Africana Studies Program at Drexel University. He received his Ph.D. in 2013 from Princeton University. He then served for two years as a Dean’s Mellon Postdoctoral Teaching Fellow in the Department of Africana Studies at the University of Pennsylvania.His first book published by Cambridge University Press (Africa Series) Transforming Sudan: Decolonisation, Economic Development and State Formation, 2018 offers a historically grounded account of policymaking in postcolonial Africa. It challenges social scientists’ common perception of the post-colonial African state as rapacious and predatory with institutions that serve little other purpose besides patronage and legitimation. In the place of this narrative, he argues that Sudanese policymakers and officials like their peers across the decolonizing world believed in the potential of the postcolonial state to solve social questions in the public interest.

Alex De Waal gave his book Transforming Sudan advanced praise: “Today, a technocratic, economistic vision of a modern Sudan is a half-remembered dream. Alden Young’s superb book – a combination of political economy and cultural history – brings into focus the important but neglected story of how the country was once a model of planned development, led by an elite of Sudanese and British economists.”

In 2017 he published an article in Humanityentitled: “African Bureaucrats and the Exhaustion of the Developmental State: Lessons from the Pages of the Sudanese Economist,” which uses Sudanese journals to demonstrate how developmentalism gave way in Sudan to austerity.

Seminar – Zachary Mondesire “South Sudan and the Politics of Region-craft”

We are very pleased to announce CEDEJ Khartoum next Seminar on “South Sudan and the Politics of Region-craft” by Zachary Mondesire, on Thursday 19 July- 11 am


The seminar will focus on the new nation of South Sudan and what it now means to be South Sudanese in Africa. First, Zachary Mondesire will draw from his MA thesis that outlines the ideologies of racial difference that circulate in Juba defining relationships between South Sudanese themselves as well as with others from the region, whether northward to Khartoum or southward to Nairobi. These ideas emerged from three months of ethnographic research in 2017 in a modest hotel in Juba that operated as a site of refuge during the still-ongoing civil war and hosted Africans of multiple nationalities (Eritreans, Somalis, Ugandans, and South Sudanese of multiple backgrounds). Thinking through the linkages that his interlocutors made between race and national identity led him to ask (1) how Arab positionality, Khartoum, and Sudan continue to be relevant in South Sudanese political community and (2) given the multi-polar racial thinking of his interlocutors that envisions a racial and political geography much broader than the nation-state, what other forms of political community exist beyond the nation-state and towards the idea of multi-state region and how can his research account for them? The second piece of this paper is the conceptualization of Zachary Mondesire’s dissertation research project that will attempt to answer these questions.

Zachary Mondesire is a Ph.D. student in the Anthropology Department at the University of California – Los Angeles. His research focuses on South Sudanese journalists, politicians, and intellectuals in Khartoum and Nairobi, exploring how they think through regional belonging, race, and political community between East and North Africa.

Seminar Paris 8

Book launch

Anthropology of Law in Muslim Sudan. Land, Courts and the Plurality of Practices (Brill 2018)

Mardi 19 juin 2018, à 17h
EHESS, 105 Boulevard Raspail, salle 13

La dernière séance du séminaire annuel « Anthropologie comparative des sociétés et cultures musulmanes » sera consacrée à la présentation de l’ouvrage Anthropology of Law in Muslim Sudan. Land, Courts and the Plurality of Practices (Brill 2018). Résultat d’enquêtes menées dans le cadre du projet ANR ANDROMAQUE – Anthropologie du Droit dans les Mondes Musulmans Africains et Asiatiques (2011-2014), le volume analyse le caractère hybride des systèmes juridiques et la pluralité des pratiques légales dans des contextes urbains et ruraux du Soudan contemporain, en interrogeant la relation complexe entre islam et société. La séance sera animée par les coéditeurs, Barbara Casciarri et Mohamed Babiker (Department of Law, University of Khartoum) avec la participation de Munzoul Assal et Mohamed Bakhit (Department of Social Anthropology, University of Khartoum).

Séminaire de l’équipe « Anthropologie comparative des sociétés et cultures musulmanes » (LAS)

Organisateurs : Yazid Ben Hounet (Chercheur CNRS – LAS), Anne-Marie Brisebarre (Directrice de recherche CNRS émérite, LAS), Barbara Casciarri (MCF HDR, Paris 8), Tarik Dahou (Chercheur HDR, IRD) et Marie-Luce Gélard (MCF HDR, Paris 5).

Migration and appropriation of space: the case of Syrians in Khartoum

Dear all,

We are very pleased to announce CEDEJ Khartoum next Seminar, April 9, 3pm, at CEDEJ Khartoum:

Mathieu ROBAIN

“Migration and appropriation of space: the case of Syrians in Khartoum”

 CEDEJ Khartoum

Monday 9th of April

3:00 pm


Since the rise of the rebellion against Bashar el Assad in 2011, Syrian people have become one of  the most important refugees population in the world. These displaced people within Syria are fleeing to borders countries or Europe at a growing pace, hoping for a better life and at the same time hopeful for the end of the conflict. Sudans policy towards the Syrian refugees is very unique as it is one of the few countries to welcome them without restrictions. The friendly policies of the Sudanese government include not needing a visa, and being capable of opening shops and restaurants, which is extremely difficult for other refugees populations living within Khartoum. Because of this open policy the number of Syrians seeking refuge in Sudan is evermore increasing since 2013-2014 (the current estimate of the Syrian population is between 100 000 and 200 000 people according respectively to the government and the UNHCR). The fact they are not considered as refugees but as « brothers and sisters » involves many issues about the way they anchor to the space and organize social life, very different from others countries both arabic and western where they’re very often cooped up in camps or judged undesirable.

This research project hinges around the stories of Syrian people mostly located in Khartoum, the capital city, and especially in Riyad and Kafuri. It considers the migration not only as a movement from one country to another, but also as a way of dealing with the host society. It focuses on the spatial and social dynamism the Syrians add to these neighborhoods. As well as the representation they have within Sudan, the places where they live and work, and how they interact with each other and the host society. It leads to ask the question the denominations we give to the « Syrian people » in Khartoum  (are we talking about a community ? a diaspora ? a simple group ?).


Mathieu Robain is a Master 1 student in Geography at the Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne. He is affiliated to CEDEJ Khartoum and his research is included in the program « Arabité, Islamité, Soudanité » (« Being Arab, Muslim and Sudanese ») financed by the Francophone University Agency (and coordinated by prof. Barbara Casciarri)

When religion opens doors to migration The case of Islamic Universities Students in Khartoum

Dear All,
We are very pleased to announce CEDEJ Khartoum next Seminar, April 4, 3pm, at CEDEJ Khartoum:


Khadidja MEDANI

“When religion opens doors to migration

The case of Islamic Universities Students in Khartoum”

 CEDEJ Khartoum

Wednesday 4th of April

3:00 pm


The migration of Muslim African elites in the Arab-Muslim world to get formation in Islamic sciences or on the way to the Hajj is an old tradition. The religious education has also been an instrument for the Da’wa (Islamic call). Young Muslims from African countries educated in the Arab world go back home as Cheikhs and Imams. Sudan is a key place in this migration process not only because of his geographical situation but also his double status as an Arab and African country. 

In 1977 al-Merkaz al-Islami al-Ifriki (Islamic African center) was created in Khartoum. The Merkaz was a secondary school that offered only Islamic courses. In 1991 the Merkaz was upgraded as university and became the International University of Africa. This update was the first step in a new trend for the Islamic education in Khartoum. The term ‘islamic’ disappeared from the name and new faculties in modern sciences were created. Nowadays the university is still  in expansion. This shows the will to build a Muslim youth able to be integrated in the modern society while keeping an Islamic morality. This also correspond to the will of an African Muslim youth to be graduated in modern and technical sciences to contribute to the developpement of their country. Through a network of Muslim schools and organizations, Khartoum proposes these opportunity around the continent.

Khadidja Medani is a Master 2 student in Geography at the University Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne. HShe is affiliated to CEDEJ Khartoum and her research was conducted within the programm “Be Sudanese, muslim and Arab” financed by the Francophone University Agency (coord. by prof. Barbara Casciarri).

CEDEJ Khartoum is located in Khartoum 2 (street 59), not too far from Ozone. The closest “famous” building is an hospital : mustachfa “Jaber Abu el 3eez”, mustachfa sukari (for diabetes). Our centre is at the second floor (there is a “CEDEJ” sign on the balcony).

15.587513, 32.535053

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Seminar : Cotton, Sugar, and Alfalfa: Changing Patterns of Agricultural Development in Sudan

We are very pleased to announce CEDEJ Khartoum next Seminar, on 26 February, at 3:00pm at CEDEJ Khartoum
Stefano Turrino

‘Cotton, Sugar and Alfalfa : Changing Patterns of Agricultural Development in Sudan”

CEDEJ Khartoum 
March 26
3:00 pm
Stefano TURRINI (1989) is a Phd candidate in Geography at the University of Padova, Italy. Before the Phd, he graduated in ‘Local Development’. His research is part of a longstanding interest of the Department of Geography in Padova about agriculture in arid and semi-arid areas, especially in the Sub-Saharan Africa.
The importance of agriculture in Sudan is manifest. In this country, large-scale agricultural development dates back to the British colonial rule: the Gezira scheme started to produce cotton for the British textile industry in 1925, after the completion of the Sennar Dam on the Blue Nile. The Sudanese state, which became independent in 1956, built the Roseires Dam in 1966 with the aim of expanding the scheme: the Managil Extension made the Gezira cover nearly one million hectares of land. Nowadays, it is one of the largest agricultural schemes under a single administration in the world. In the 1970s, Sudan improved its domestic food production and expanded and diversified the exports. The goal was to become the ‘breadbasket of the Arab world’, benefiting from the funding of the Arab oil-producing countries. The importance of food crops became more prominent than before in Sudan. Especially sugar played a key role in that period: the state approved the construction of many agricultural schemes for the cultivation of sugarcane and sugar factories. Nowadays alfalfa is taking a leading role in the development of a new frontier of agricultural development in Sudan benefiting of a vibrant business environment in the Country.
What are the similarities and the differences among the production systems which are required by these crops (cotton, sugar and alfalfa). What is their impact on the local territory? Stefano will try to answer these questions by taking advantage of his fieldwork and the existing literature.

Ethnicity, Religion, Nationalism Crossed Insights from Anthropological Fieldworks at the Periphery of Arab-Muslim World Sudan-Morocco

Dear All,

CEDEJ Khartoum are very pleased to announce CEDEJ Khartoum next Seminar, Thursday 1st March, at 2:00pm at CEDEJ Khartoum.
Dr. Barbara CASCIARRI 
Ethnicity, Religion, Nationalism
Crossed Insights from Anthropological Fieldworks at the Periphery of Arab-Muslim World
(CEDEJ Khartoum Seminar Series on “Islams and Sudan”)
Barbara Casciarri holds a PhD in Ethnology and Social Anthropology from the Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales in Paris (France). She did fieldwork on economic and political anthropology in Sudan (1989-2016) among Arabic-speaking pastoralists and in a working-class neighbourhood of Khartoum (Deim), and in Morocco (2000-2006) on the relationship between Berber-speaking nomads and Arabic-speaking farmers. She was the coordinator of CEDEJ Khartoum between 2006 and 2009. Since 2004, she has been Associate Professor at the Department of Sociology, University Paris 8 (France) and researcher at the LAVUE-UMR 7218. She has been scientific coordinator of two ANR Projects in Sudan: WAMAKHAIR (2008-2012) and ANDROMAQUE (2011-2014). Since 2009, she has been responsible for the scientific agreement between the Faculty of Economic and Social Studies, University of Khartoum, and Paris 8 University.
CEDEJ Khartoum is located in Khartoum 2 (street 59), not too far from Ozone. The closest “famous” building is an hospital : mustachfa “Jaber Abu el 3eez”, mustachfa sukari (for diabetes). Our centre is at the second floor (there is a “CEDEJ” sign on the balcony).

CEDEJ Khartoum is located in Khartoum 2 (street 59), not too far from Ozone. The closest “famous” building is an hospital : mustachfa “Jaber Abu el 3eez”, mustachfa sukari (for diabetes). Our centre is at the second floor (there is a “CEDEJ” sign on the balcony).

15.587513, 32.535053

Exploratory readings of Mahdist archives : spatializing discursive practices in Sudan during the early Mahdiyya

Thursday 22nd February, at 3:00pm – CEDEJ Khartoum: 
Exploratory readings of Mahdist archives : spatializing discursive practices in Sudan during the early Mahdiyya
Anael Poussier is a doctoral candidate from the University Sorbonne – Paris 1, working under the under the supervision of Pierre Vermeren (University Sorbonne Paris 1 – IMAF) on the the history of the Mahdiyya (1880-1898). His PhD thesis attempts to analyse the socio-economic factors that defined the mobilization of the Sudanese population in favor of the Mahdist regime, with a particular emphasis on the Eastern Sudan. More broadly, his interests span the pre-colonial economic history of the Sub-Saharan belt and the various forms of social mobilization in this region during the XIXth century.

Conférence de Roland Marchal « Politique étrangère française en Afrique, perspectives”

Conférence-débat, lundi 15 janvier à 19h

Roland Marchal : « Politique étrangère française en Afrique, perspectives»

Chercheur au Centre de recherches internationales de Sciences Po (Paris), Roland Marchal est spécialiste de l’économie et des conflits armés en Afrique sub-saharienne. Il enseigne à Sciences Po et à l’Université Paris 1 Panthéon Sorbonne.


Conférence en français, avec traduction simultanée en arabe

محاضرة ـ جلسة نقاش الاثنين 15 يناير ، 7:00م

رولان مارشال : “آفاق السياسة الخارجية الفرنسية”  


رولان مارشال ، باحث بمركز الأيحاث الدولية ، كلية العلوم السياسية بباريس ، متخصص في الاقتصاد والنزاعات المسلحة بافريقيا جنوب الصحراء. وهو ايضاً محاضر بكلية العلوم السياسية وبجامعة باريس 1 ، السوربون.


المحاضرة بالفرنسية مع ترجمة تتبعية للعربي

Seminar – by Prof. Atta El-Battahani: “Post-US Sanction Sudan: Which Way?”

Since National Islamic Front (NIF) ascendancy to power in 1989, radical Islamists known since then as Inqaz regime, managed to stave off both internal and external threats to power, demonstrating a recombinant capacity in Hydamann’s term. With Sudan losing its oil revenue in 2011with secession of South Sudan, the government made a lot of fuss about negative impact of US imposed sanction on its dependent economy that became even more vulnerable to outside volatile economic and financial changes. 

In January 2017 and before leaving office President Barak Obama eased some economic sanctions imposed on the country since 1990s and in October 2017 President Donald Trump finally lifted economic sanctions imposed on Sudan. How would competing power circles appropriate lifting of sanctions, capture expected rents and spoils and effect re-alignment of forces? What is the likely impact of lifting of economic scenarios on regime survival or reform?

This paper argues that post-sanctions represent a challenge for NCP/NIF ‘dominant’ fraction of Northern Arab-Muslism bourgeoise leaving the door open for ‘reformist’ elements to ponder for how long they would bear the cost of supporting al-Bashir autocracy who is backed by rentier, crony capitalists. While external actors haunted by security vacuum are likely to attempt mediate and encourage peaceful rather than violent change, one lesson learned from past experience is that external pressures never deliver credible regime change by themselves, meaningful regime change must be embedded in and led by internal democratic forces. As things stand now, the likelihood of such eventuality is rather remote.    

Atta El-Battahani is a Professor in Political Science, Political Economy; educated at Khartoum University (Sudan) and Sussex University (Britain). Earlier, he served as Head Department of Political Science, Faculty of Economics, University of Khartoum; as Manager and Senior Advisor for International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance (IDEA) in Sudan.

He has extensive research experience and has published on Development Impact of Ethnic and Religious Conflicts in African Societies; Governance and state institutional reform in Africa and the Middle East; conflict and Cooperation in the Nile Valley; Gender Politics; Peripheral Capitalism and Political Islam;  Elections and Political Transitions, and Democracy Deficit in the Arab World.

El-Battahani is Editor-in-Chief of Sudan Journal of Economic and Social Studies.

CEDEJ Khartoum is located in Khartoum 2 (street 59), not too far from Ozone. The closest “famous” building is an hospital : mustachfa “Jaber Abu el 3eez”, mustachfa sukari (for diabetes). Our centre is at the second floor (there is a “CEDEJ” sign on the balcony).

SEMINAR – Syrians in Khartoum, by Alice Koumurian and Vivian Hartlief

CEDEJ Khartoum is pleased to organize a seminar on Sunday, May 7th, 2 pm, on Syrians in Khartoum by Alice Koumurian and Vivian Hartlief.

Alice Koumurian, Project officer in CEDEJ Khartoum, will present her research :

“Sudan: a Destination Country? The Case of Syrians Who Have Arrived After 2011 in Khartoum”

Summary :

Situated in the Horn of Africa, Sudan is at the heart of a particularly complex migration system. Sudan is affected by large influx of Eritrean, Ethiopian, Somali and South Sudanese migration flows. Furthermore, it is equally affected by large-scale internal displacements and therefore must face possible departure of its own citizens.

This study focuses on a particular group that recently augmented these flows: that of Syrians who have arrived in Sudan after 2011 and whose profile and aspirations still remain largely unknown. Since Sudan is one of the very few countries still granting them a visa-free entry into its territory, there has been an uninterrupted flow of Syrians to Sudan after the outbreak of the Syrian crisis in 2011.

Continuer la lecture de SEMINAR – Syrians in Khartoum, by Alice Koumurian and Vivian Hartlief

CONFERENCE – “Une étude sur le Soudan : articuler recherches de terrain et approche formaliste du droit”, par Philippe Gout

Le vendredi 17 mars 2017, Philippe Gout a présenté sa recherche doctorale à l’Institut des Hautes Etudes Internationales (IHEI):

“Une étude sur le Soudan :
articuler recherches de terrain
et approche formaliste du droit”


Philippe Gout est doctorant à l’Université Paris 2-Panthéon-Assas et chercheur invité au Max Plank Institute de Halle-Wittenberg. Il a aussi été boursier du CEDEJ Khartoum.