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Benjamin Soares (Department of Religion & Center for African Studies) has been named the new Director of the Center for Global Islamic Studies (CGIS). He replaces the founding director Terje Østebø who will be on sabbatical during the 2017-2018 academic year. The new director, Professor Soares, recently came to UF from Leiden University and University of Amsterdam in the Netherlands, joining the Department of Religion & the Center for African Studies. He is an anthropologist and scholar of Islam and Muslim societies in Africa whose research primarily focuses on religious life from the early 20th century to the present. He has conducted research in Mali, Mauritania, Nigeria, Senegal, and Sudan, as well as among West African Muslims in Europe and Asia. In addition to interests in religious encounters and religion, media, and the public sphere, he is studying contemporary Muslim public intellectuals in Africa. His recent publications included the co-edited the volume, Muslim Youth and the 9/11 Generation.

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