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Grad Students

Samuel Anderson

Contact Information

Email    samuelanderson@ucla.edu
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Fields of Study

Modern Africa, especially northwest Africa (Maghrib, Sahara, Sahel); Islam; colonialism; educational, legal, and religious institutions


My dissertation presents an institutional history of the médersas, "Franco-Muslim" schools that provided both Islamic and European education in French colonial northwest Africa from the 1850s to the 1950s. I examine the role of the médersas in the formation of a bi-cultural Muslim intermediary class, the relationship between Franco-Muslim education and colonial-era legal and religious institutions, and the trans-Saharan impact of the médersa model on relationships between Muslim communities and French colonizers. I have conducted archival and oral-history research for this project in Algeria, France, Mauritania, and Senegal. I also have a secondary project concerned with the tensions of Pan-Africanist ideologies of culture, especially at the First Pan-African Cultural Festival in Algiers in 1969.


"'Negritude is Dead': Performing the African Revolution at the First Pan-African Cultural Festival (Algiers, 1969)," in David Murphy, ed., Performing Pan-Africanism: The First World Festival of Black and African Culture, Dakar 1966: contexts and legacies (Liverpool, UK: Liverpool University Press, 2016), 133-150.

Grants and Awards

Fulbright-Hays DDRA, 2015-2016
SSRC International Dissertation Research Fellowship, 2015-2016
Royal Air Maroc/African Studies Association Student Travel Award, 2014
Council of American Overseas Research Centers Multi-Country Research Fellowship, 2014-2015
FLAS summer fellowships, Arabic, 2014 and 2012
American Institute for Maghrib Studies short term grant, 2013
UCLA Graduate Summer Research Mentorship, 2013
Fulbright-IIE to Morocco, 2009-2010


Dr. Ghislaine Lydon


C.Phil., UCLA
B.A., Vassar College