Sara Katz
Postdoctoral Associate

Sara Katz received her Ph.D. in history from the University of Michigan in 2019. Her research concerns the Nigerian hajj—the Islamic pilgrimage to Mecca—from the period of British colonial rule through the first two decades of independence. By examining government files alongside print culture and interviews conducted with pilgrims and Muslim leaders, she shows how the hajj is defined by a constant crossing of scales (local, national, global) and in this way contests the pernicious colonial fiction of Nigeria being divided by a “Muslim North” and “Christian South.” This attention to scale also serves to trace how in the postcolonial era the hajj–as a national Islamic project in a country with split religious demographics–engendered both pan-Nigerian Muslim collaboration as well as the first national stereotype against Nigerian Muslims. Thus, her work addresses broader questions of the relationship between religion and democracy in postcolonial Nigeria. 

She is also currently a host for the New Books Network - African Studies podcast.

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