Ousmane Kane, scholar of Islamic studies and comparative and Islamic politics, has been appointed as the first Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Professor of Contemporary Islamic Religion and Society at Harvard Divinity School (HDS). Kane’s appointment begins in July, and he will begin teaching in the 2013 spring term.

“The Alwaleed Chair of Contemporary Islamic Religion and Society is further recognition of the important, yet longtime neglected, fields of African studies and Islamic studies,” Kane said. “The professorship will give greater visibility to the study of Islam in Africa and bring it further into larger debates about Islam and politics, Islam and modernity, and Islam in international affairs. I am thrilled to join the distinguished faculty at the Divinity School.”

Kanee has been an associate professor of international and public affairs at Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs since 2002. He received an M.Phil. and a Ph.D. in political science from the Institut d’Études Politiques de Paris, as well as an M.A. in translation and documentation from the École Supérieure d’Interprètes et de Traducteurs.

“Professor Kane is a distinguished historian and interpreter of Islamic religion and practice in West Africa, as well as a discerning analyst of transnational connections between African immigrant communities and their West African homeland,” said William A. Graham, Harvard University Distinguished Service Professor and former HDS dean. “He will be a major new resource for both the Divinity School and the wider University in the study of African religion and society and transnational Islam.”

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