Liazzat Bonate

Liazzat Bonate is a lecturer in African History at the University of the West Indies (UWI), St Augustine in Trinidad and Tobago (since September, 2016). Previously she taught at Seoul National University in South Korea (2011-2015), and at the Centre for African Studies and the Department of History at the Eduardo Mondlane University in Mozambique (1993-2016, on and off). In 2009-2010 she was a Post-Doctoral Fellow at the Department of Religious Studies and the Centre for Contemporary Islam of the University of Cape Town in South Africa, where she researched contemporary Muslim publics and international Islamic NGOs in Mozambique. She has a PhD in Historical Studies from the University of Cape Town (2007), MA in African History from Northwestern University, USA (2002) and MA in Islamic Societies and Cultures from SOAS (School of Oriental and African Studies), University of London, UK (1998). She obtained her BA and first MA in World History from the al-Farabi University in Kazakhstan (USSR, 1990).

Dennis B. McGilvray

Dennis B. McGilvray is Professor of Anthropology emeritus at the University of Colorado, Boulder, where he served on the faculty from 1980-2013 and as departmental chair 2006-2010. From 2015-2017 he was President of the American Institute for Sri Lankan Studies. After completing his BA at Reed College, he did his graduate studies at Harvard University, and the University of Chicago. He also previously taught at the University of Santa Clara CA and the University of Cambridge UK, and was a postdoctoral fellow at Cornell University. The Tamil-speaking Hindu and Muslim communities in Sri Lanka and southern India are his anthropological focus, with publications on topics such as kinship, marriage, popular religion, caste, ethnicity, and recovery from the 2004 tsunami. His current book project, entitled A House for Every Daughter, will compare matrilineal and matrilocal marriage practices in Sri Lanka with similar patterns in Tamil Nadu and Kerala, south India. Email:

Daria Trentini

Daria Trentini is an Assistant Professor of Anthropology at Drake University (Des Moines, Iowa). Her PhD in anthropology is from the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) in London, with a dissertation on traditional healers in Mozambique. Before joining Drake, she was a Mellon postdoctoral fellow at the Department of Anthropology at the University of Witwatersrand in Johannesburg. Her areas of research are Eastern and Southern Africa and the Western Indian Ocean. Her research interests include African medicine, spirit possession, anthropology of Islam, and political anthropology. Daria conducted fieldwork in the city of Nampula in northern Mozambique since 2007. She is currently exploring how the coexistence of Islam and matriliny endures in prevailing forms of spirit possession in Nampula. She is also working on a manuscript on the life and the work of a female healer in Mozambique for Rutgers University Press. Additional ethnographic projects concern the relationship between spirit possession, memory, and political violence.

Signe Arnfred

Signe Arnfred is a sociologist and a gender scholar, associate professor at the department of Social Sciences and Business, Roskilde University, Denmark. Research on power relations of gender in Mozambique, with a special focus on northern Mozambique, where matriliny and Islam combine in interesting ways. Lived in Mozambique 1980-1984, working in the National Women’s Organization, Organização da Mulher Moçambicana, OMM. Fieldwork in northern Mozambique at intervals from 1982 to 2005. Worked at the Nordic Africa Institute in Uppsala, Sweden, 2000-2006, coordinating a research programme on Sexuality, Gender and Society in Africa.

Yasrul Huda

Yasrul Huda is a senior lecturer at the Sharia Faculty and the Postgraduate Faculty of the State Islamic University (UIN) Imam Bonjol Padang, West Sumatra, Indonesia. . He obtained his PhD degree at Leiden University in 2013 with a dissertation entitled Contesting Sharīʿa: State Law, Decentralization and Minangkabau Custom. His academic interests are the dynamic relations between Sharia, state law, and customary law in Indonesia. He has participated in a number of academic events held in Indonesia and abroad. His latest article is entitled, “Shariah engagement with the Martilineal Society in Minangkabau, Indonesia”, presented at the Exeter University, UK in September 2018. Currently, he is writing a book on Indonesian Islam and matrilineal customary law.

Aleena Sebastrian

Aleena Sebastrian completed her PhD at the University of Hyderbad in 2018. She is a South Asian feminist scholar engaged in the study of kinship and gender relations among the matrilineal Muslims of Malabar in southwest India. She She also holds a pertinent interest to move beyond the current regional location (South Asia) for a comparative analysis of matrilineal practices among the Muslim communities of South and Southeast Asia. As an initial step to this ethnographic endeavor, she has conducted a short fieldwork among the matrilineal Minangkabau Muslims of West Sumatra. She has published articles and book chapters, including each in Journal of South Asian Studies and Sociological Bulletin of Sage Publications.

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