Teaching Assistant Professor
Ph.D., Interdisciplinary Arts (Ohio University); M.A., African Studies (Ohio University); M.A., English & African American Studies (Université Cheikh Anta Diop de Dakar); B.A., English (Université Cheikh Anta Diop de Dakar).
African literature, global Black popular cultures, decolonial studies, postcolonialism, popular culture in Islamic Africa, African religious philosophy, cultural digitization and preservation, Wolof language.
Samba Camara is an interdisciplinary scholar of African literature and popular culture, and he takes a keen interest in the study of cultural flows in the Black Atlantic. Camara has taught Global Black Popular Cultures (AAAD 288), African Film and Performance (AAAD 202), Introduction to African Literature (AAAD 201), Introduction to Africa (AAAD 101), Contemporary Cultures of Islamic Africa (AAAD 303), and all levels of the Wolof language course.
Camara is currently working on two book projects. The first is a monograph titled, A Muslim Afropolitanism: Islam and the Poetics of Ethical Personhood in Senegalese Popular Music. The book combines ethnography and the content analysis of songs, music media and performance to document how urban artists in Dakar (Senegal) mobilize music to mediate interreligious and intra-religious dialogue. Camara is also the co-editor of African Languages, Literatures, and Modernity, a volume under contract with Cambridge Scholars Publishing. This book offers a multidisciplinary collection of chapters showcasing the importance of the language-culture nexus in African and African diasporic representations of modernity in literature, popular music, film, and language pedagogy. Camara has recently completed a major digitization project in 2021, funded by The British Library, in which he was Co-Pi and preserved over 6,000 pages of endangered Pulaar Islamic manuscripts from Senegal and Mali (West Africa). His third book project will analyze selected Pulaar poems from this digital collection and examine traditional poetry’s long-standing influence on Pulaar identity and culture in the Senegal River Valley.
As a former Fulbright Scholar, Camara has a strong interest in international educational initiatives and curricula globalization. These interests feature saliently his teaching, and he invests efforts in initiating university partnership programs aimed for encouraging international academic exchange.
- 2023 Review of Senegalese Stagecraft: Decolonizing Theater-Making in Francophone Africa by Brian Valente-Quinn, in African Arts. Accessible here.
- 2019 “Youssou N’dour: I Bring What I Love as a Window into the Frictions between Islam and popular Music in Senegal,” Journal of African Cultural Studies. Accessible here
- 2019 “Negotiating a Feminist Musical Language in a Twenty First Century Senegalese Muslim Society,” Book Chapter, in African Languages and Literatures in the Era of Globalization, Eds. Esther Mukewa Lisanza and Leonard Muaka. Palgrave Macmillan. pp. 213-238. Accessible here
- 2018 “Film Review of Children of the Mountain, Priscilla Anany (Ghana, 2016),” in Research Africa Reviews. Duke University Press. Accessible here.
- 2014 “Political Islam and the Negotiation of Political Roles among Sufi Peripheral Leaders in Senegal.” International Journal of Political Science and Development 2(6): 105- 116. Accessible here.