The Near and Middle Eastern Civilizations Student Union's new virtual lecture series titled Highlighting Hidden Stories: Examining the Relationship Between the African Continent and the Middle East looks to challenge the artificial boundary between these two regions, and explore the lives, experiences and roles played by marginalized voices in Middle East history. This lecture series consists of a series of lectures/panel discussions taking place over the course of the year, each on a new theme and engaging with a different region of Africa.
Dr. Chouki El Hamel is a professor of history in the School of Historical, Philosophical and Religious Studies at Arizona State University, specializing in West and Northwest Africa. His training and doctoral studies were at the University of Sorbonne (Paris I & VII, France). He taught courses in African history at Duke University in Durham, N.C. He was a scholar in residence at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture in New York City. In the year 2017, he was awarded a Fulbright grant for research in Morocco. His research interests focus on the spread and the growth of Islamic culture and the evolution of Islamic institutions in Africa. He is particularly interested in the subaltern relationship of servile and marginalized communities to Islamic ruling institutions. His research into these relationships revolves around issues of slavery, race/ethnicity/color, gender, power/class, and restorative justice. He published two books and many scholarly articles in academic journals and popular magazines. His interviews, commentaries and essays have appeared in international venues such as the French newspaper Le Monde, the German magazine Bilatéral, the Moroccan magazines Zamane and TelQuel, and Jadaliyya (produced by the Arab Studies Institute in the US). His most recent book is Black Morocco: A History of Slavery, Race, and Islam (Cambridge University Press, 2013). This book was translated into French in 2019. He is now working on a new book project entitled “The Hidden Story of Maroons in Morocco and the Epistemology of Silence.”