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Accepted paper:

Digitization and Commodification of Islamic Learning through Poems and Dances


Suleiman Chembea (Bomet University College)

Paper long abstract:

Muslim clerics have traditionally held absolute authority to knowledge production and transmission either in learning circles or class settings. With advancement in media technology, however, this is bound to change. Young males and females seem to challenge the status quo giving alternative sources of not only knowledge production and transmission but also religious authority. This study seeks to highlight this view taking religious poems (qasida) and dances (zamuni) lately composed and transmitted through various media channels including radio stations, television as well as youtube. The study argues that use of qasida and zamuni not only challenges traditional settings on knowledge dynamics but also religious authority. Moreover, use of media in the transmission of knowledge through qasida brings into light the aspects of commoditization of religious knowledge as well as challenging traditional settings and beliefs on women voices and mixing of genders in public spaces.

panel D26
Multiplicity of learning events: the relationality of learning in Africa and beyond