• E-mailAnne.Bang@uib.no
  • Phone+47 55 58 94 30
  • Visitor Address
    Øysteins gate 3
  • Postal Address
    Postboks 7805
    5020 Bergen

My research interest is in the Islamic history of the Western Indian Ocean in the 19thand 20thcenturies, including Yemen, Oman, Kenya, Tanzania and Mozambique. My work has mainly focused on various forms of religious change (text/book circulation, reforms of ritual- and teaching practices), but also social, legal and political change. My work has been mainly been based on Arabic sources, combined with field work. I have also conducted projects for the digitizing and conservation of manuscripts and texts which are in private ownership and in danger of environmental degradation. 


This project digitised the manuscript collection held at the Riyadha mosque in Lamu, Kenya. The Riyadha mosque college was founded in the late 19th century and is one of the oldest continuously functioning Islamic teaching institutions in East Africa. The digitised collection consist of 145 items dating from the 19th and 20th centuries. 





This project digitised the early printed materials contained in the library of the late Zanzibari scholar, Maalim Muhammad Idris (d.2012). The collection is a "snapshot" of an intellectual tradition in transition and a cross-section of an emerging Islamic print tradition in East Africa.

An introduction to the collection and information about the project can be found here (in Norwegian): 










Academic article
  • Show author(s) 2019. Islamic incantations in a colonial notebook: A case from interwar Zanzibar. Cahiers d'Etudes Africaines. 1025-1046.
  • Show author(s) 2019. Hadramis in Africa . Oxford Research Encyclopedias.
  • Show author(s) 2015. Pondering the text as change maker. Comparative Studies of South Asia, Africa and the Middle East. 375-381.
  • Show author(s) 2014. The Riyadha Mosque Manuscript Collection in Lamu: A {Hcombining dot below}a{dcombining dot below}rami¯ Tradition in Kenya. Journal of Islamic Manuscripts. 125-153.
  • Show author(s) 2012. Zanzibari Islamic knowledge transmission revisited: loss, lament, legacy, transmission - and transformation. Social Dynamics. 419-434.
  • Show author(s) 2011. Authority and Piety, Writing and Print: A preliminary study of the circulation of Islamic texts in late nineteenth and early twentieth century Zanzibar. Africa. 89-107.
  • Show author(s) 2009. Reflections on the creation of history in the Indian Ocean. The sources and their relation to local practices and global connectivities. Transforming Cultures ejournal. 1-17.
  • Show author(s) 2007. Teachers, scholars and educationalists. The impact of Hadrami-Alawi teachers and teachings on Islamic education in Zanzibar ca. 1870-1930. Asian Journal of Social Science. 457-471.
  • Show author(s) 1991. Kvalitetssikring av psykososialt arbeidsmiljø. Norsk Hydro - U&P drift. Evalueringsrapport for perioden mars 1990 til mars 1991. .
Popular scientific lecture
  • Show author(s) 2018. Panelsamtale: Kva er det med Saudi Arabia?
Academic lecture
  • Show author(s) 2015. The (selective) silence of the Hajis. The East African hajj c. 1880-1950.
  • Show author(s) 2015. "Shooting Stars. Living connectivity in early 20th century coastal East Africa (and tracing it 100 years later).
  • Show author(s) 2004. Cosmopolitanism Colonized? Three cases from Zanzibar 1890-1925.
Book review
  • Show author(s) 2015. Pondering the text as changemaker. Review/discussion of Isabel Hofmeyr’s Ghandi’s Printing Press. Comparative Studies of South Asia, Africa and the Middle East. 375-381.
  • Show author(s) 2011. Tradisjonelt og tilgjengelig om arabisk historie. Eugene Rogan, Araberne. Prosa - tidsskrift for skribenter. 38-39.
  • Show author(s) 2010. Red Sea Citizens: Cosmopolitan Society and Cultural Change in Massawa. International Journal of Middle East Studies. 717-719.
  • Show author(s) 2010. Book review. Abu Shouk and H. Ibrahim, The Hadrami diaspora in Southeast Asia. Intellectual Discourse. 18-24.
  • Show author(s) 2010. Anmeldelse av E. Goffeng, Doedelig Farvann. Oyenvitne til Israels angrep paa fredsflaaten. Prosa - tidsskrift for skribenter. 30-31.
  • Show author(s) 2008. The graves of Tarim: Genealogy and mobility across the Indian ocean. International Journal of Middle East Studies. 318-319.
  • Show author(s) 2003. Hadramawt and the Indian Ocean. Eight Years of Research on Diaspora and Homeland. Sudanic Africa - A Journal of Historical Sources. 140-148.
Academic monograph
  • Show author(s) 2014. Islamic Sufi Networks in the Western Indian Ocean (c. 1880-1940). Ripples of Reform. 16.
  • Show author(s) 2008. Zanzibar-Olsen - Norsk trelasthandel i Øst-Afrika 1895-1925.
  • Show author(s) 2003. Sufis and Scholars of the Sea. Family Networks in East Africa, 1860-1925.
Non-fiction book
  • Show author(s) 1996. The Idri state in Asir 1906-1934. Politics, religion and personal prestige as statebuilding factors in early twentieth-century Arabia. Centre for Middle Eastern & Islamic Studies, University of Be rgen.
Popular scientific article
  • Show author(s) 2007. Zanzibar-omanere og oman-zanzibarere. Bindestreker over Det indiske hav - og videre. Babylon - Nordisk tidsskrift for Midtøstenstudier. 122-129.
  • Show author(s) 2004. Virkelighetens hold i virkeligheten. Forfatteren.
Feature article
  • Show author(s) 2011. Tr;bbel i paradis. Oppror i Oman. Bergens Tidende. 1 pages.
  • Show author(s) 2011. Jemen. Regime for fall eller stat i opplosning. Dagsavisen.
  • Show author(s) 2004. Presse og Pressefrihet i Gulfen. Bergens Tidende.
  • Show author(s) 2003. Intet nytt fra Ordfronten. Ondskapens akse og andre våpen. UiB-magasinet : nytt fra Universitetet i Bergen.
  • Show author(s) 2001. Når Historien innhenter historiefaget. UiB-magasinet : nytt fra Universitetet i Bergen.
Doctoral dissertation
  • Show author(s) 2000. Dr. avhandling :Sufis and Scholars of the Sea. The Sufi and family networks of Ahmad ibn Sumayt and the tariqa cAlawiyya in East Africa c. 1860-1925.
Academic chapter/article/Conference paper
  • Show author(s) 2017. Islam in the Swahili World. Connected Authorities. 9 pages.
  • Show author(s) 2015. Localizing Islamic Knowledge: Acquisition and Copying in the Riyadha Mosque Manuscript Collection in Lamu, Kenya. 33 pages.
  • Show author(s) 2015. Business communication in Colonial Times: The Norway-East Africa Trading Company in Zanzibar, 1895-1925. 21 pages.
  • Show author(s) 2010. When there are no foreign lands and all lands are foreign. Two texts from the Indian Ocean. 14 pages.
  • Show author(s) 2009. En norsk trelastagent pa Zanzibar, 1894-1920. Kolonien som arena for sosial mobilitet. 11 pages.
  • Show author(s) 2007. Cosmpolitanism colonized? Three cases from Zanzibar 1890-1920. 21 pages.
  • Show author(s) 2006. ”My generation. Umar b. Ahmad b. Sumayt (1886-1973): Inter-generational Network transmission in a trans-oceanic Hadramı Alawı family, ca. 1925-1973”.
  • Show author(s) 2006. “Another scholar for all seasons? Tahir b. Abi Bakr al-Amawi (1877-1938). Qadi of Zanzibar”.
  • Show author(s) 2006. Tause tingmenns tale.
Encyclopedia article
  • Show author(s) 2002. Ahmad b. Abi Bakr b. Sumayt. . In:
    • Show author(s) 2002. Encyclopedia of Islam (New edition).

More information in national current research information system (CRIStin)

2019: “Islamic Incantations in a Colonial Notebook. A case from Interwar Zanzibar”, Cahiers d’Études Africaines, LIX (4), 236, 2019, 1025-1046. 


2019: “Hadramis in Africa.” In Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Asian History. Oxford University Press. Article published March 2019. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acrefore/9780190277727.013.324.

2017: “Islam in the Swahili World”. In: La Violette & S. Wynn-Jones, The Swahili World, London: Routledge, 2017, 557-565. 

 2015: “Localizing Islamic Knowledge: Acquisition and Copying in the Riyadha Mosque Manuscript Collection in Lamu, Kenya”, in: Maja Kominko (ed.), From Dust to Digital. Ten Years of the Endangered Archives Programme, London, 55-88.

2014: Islamic Sufi Networks in the Southwestern Indian Ocean (c. 1880-1940). Ripples of Reform. Monograph, 227 pages, Leiden (Brill).

 2014: “The Ḥaḍramaut in Lamu. The manuscript collection of the Riyadha mosque of Lamu, Kenya”, Journal of Islamic Manuscripts, special issue (ed. A. Regourd), Manuscripts of Yemen, circulation of ideas and models, Vol 5:2-3, 125-153.

2014: “The Norway-East Africa Trading Company in Zanzibar, 1895-1925. Business communication in colonial times”, In: K. A. Kjerland & B. Bertelsen (eds.), Navigating colonial orders. Norwegian Entrepreneurship in Africa and Oceania, Berghahn Books.

2013: “Danish and Norwegian travel accounts of Oman, 1765-1995: Changing views across land and sea”. In: M. Hoffmann-Ruf & A.R. al-Salimi (eds.), The Ibadism of Oman. Its overseas Development and its Perception Overseas, Tübingen (Georg Olms Verlag), Germany, 403-410.

2012: “Zanzibari Islamic knowledge transmission revisited: Loss, lament, legacy, transmission – and transformation”, Journal of Social Dynamics, 38:3, 419-434.

2012: “Remembrance of Maalim Muhammad Idris Muhammad Saleh”, Islamic Africa, 3:2.

2012: “Cultural Heritage and Social Context. Research and Management in Post-Colonial Mozambique,” In: T. Halvorsen & P. Vale (eds.), One world, many knowledges. Regional experiences and cross-regional links in higher education, Sanord, 249-264. With Tore Sætersdal.

2011: “Authority and Piety, Writing and Print. A preliminary study of Islamic texts in late 19th and early 20th century Zanzibar”, Africa, 81, 63-81.


MPrinT@EAST_AFRICA. Islamic Manuscript, Print and Practice: Textual adaptations in coastal East Africa, c. 1880-2020




This project will examine the use of text on the East African (Swahili) coast during the manuscript-to-print transition (c. 1880-1950) and the onwards lives of these texts from c. 1950 until the present.We will examine editorial choices and investigate the ways in which manuscripts and print texts continued their social lives as recited words. By combining bibliographical studies of “street texts” (smaller texts, often prayers and litanies) and mapping the continuous re-interpretation of these texts in the form of communal recitation, this project will illuminate the heretofore overlooked continuity between manuscript and print. In so doing, the project will challenge the existing understanding of “traditional” Islam and “global” Islam as fundamentally opposite.