background image Understanding Sudan


Cultures of Tolerance and Conflict Resolution in Central Sudan and especially in Khartoum


As with other conflict-prone polities of sub-Saharan Africa, scholars and policymakers are very interested in understanding existing, evolving and emerging institutions that best mediate conflict. For example, Nuer prophets served to lead in situations of acute tensions with colonial authorities, and their importance and power increased when oppression was most felt. Still blood feuds and complex clan-mediated payments also mediate conflict in Nuer communities. Another example is the role of Islamic law and courts. Qadis were not just tools of the colonial state but resisted in important ways; the tradition of mediation of the Qadi's position is important to underline, as is the role of Muslim scholars in mediating today's conflicts. This module will offer a broad sampling into the cultural world of Sudan, with an eye on aspects of the variegated cultural scene that aim explicitly to reduce and mediate conflict.

Intriguing Questions

  1. Can Muslims and Christians in Khartoum build a community?
  2. How are artists creating new forms of Sudanese cultural expression?
  3. What does youth music mean for the Sudanese?
  4. How can culture be understood through participant-observation in Sudan?
  5. What are religious traditions of tolerance in Sudan?
  6. Do you have an intriguing question? Contact us.

    This teaching module is coordinated by Martha Saavedra

    Last Updated: May 1, 2009

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International and Area Studies ~ University of California, Berkeley ~ copyright 2009-2011