Grant TypeDissertation Fieldwork Grant
Institutional AffiliationEdinburgh, U. of
Grant numberGr. 9620
Approve DateApril 13, 2018
Project TitleRandall, Lindsay B., U. of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, UK - To aid research on 'Growing Up Under the Gaze of Saints: Youth, Islam, and Modernity in Harar, Ethiopia,' supervised by Dr. Tom Boylston
LINDSAY B. RANDALL, then a graduate student at University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, United Kingdom, received a grant in April 2018 to aid research on “Growing Up Under the Gaze of Saints: Youth, Islam, and Modernity in Harar, Ethiopia,” supervised by Dr. Tom Boylston. This research initially questioned how young Muslims in the ancient Islamic city of Harar fashion themselves as modern Islamic subjects amidst global and local debates about the place and practice of Islam. It evolved into an inter-generational inquiry about the specific modes of Harari Muslimness and how this Muslimness is inextricable from a spatially grounded Islamic Harari identity. Amidst rising ethnic conflict as well as emergent intrareligious tensions in the region, this project examined how vast networks of Harari kin of all age-groups aesthetically build, curate, and carefully tend to the development and maintenance of Harariness and Harari Muslimness amongst Harari children and youth as well as all members of the transnational Harari community. It explored how the core of this Muslimness and Harariness is the physical city of Harar as well as its corresponding, rich history. It showed how when aesthetic, symbolic, and physical challenges to the authority of that city occurred, the notion of history emerged as a vector through which the historical Sufist Islam of the Harari and the history of the Harari people in the city became a symbolic marker of modernity, or the proper way to live a Muslim life.