Annachiara Raia awarded Veni grant

Annachiara Raia has received funding from the Dutch Research Council (NWO) for the research project 'Forging Transoceanic Muslim Histories: Swahili Literary Networks on the 20th-Century Indian Ocean Coast'. Dr Raia is a university lecturer and senior researcher at the African Studies Centre Leiden and the Centre for the Arts in Society.
From the 1930s onwards in East Africa, a massive print production of Swahili religious pocket literature started: this vernacular literature was more accessible than Arabic and became the prime medium to spread new knowledge in the Indian Ocean. The study on how the network of booklets together with their authors, publishers and readers reshaped traditions of learning will rectify simplistic notions of inert Islamic learning traditions. Research, open access databases and outreach reading clubs in the Netherlands will contribute to a fruitful dialogue with African Muslim cosmopolitan communities.