David Robinson is a University Distinguished Professor of History and African Studies at Michigan State University. and the author of several studies in francophone and Islamic West Africa.

Paths of Accommodation

Muslim Societies and French Colonial Authorities in Senegal and Mauritania, 1880–1920

By David Robinson

Between 1880 and 1920, Muslim Sufi orders became pillars of the colonial regimes and economies of Senegal and Mauritania. In Paths of Accommodation, David Robinson examines the ways in which the leaders of the orders negotiated relations with the Federation of French West Africa in order to preserve autonomy within the religious, social, and economic realms while abandoning the political sphere to their non-Muslim rulers.


When Grandma Gatewood Took a Hike
In 1955, sixty-seven-year-old Emma “Grandma” Gatewood became the first woman to solo hike the entire length of the Appalachian Trail in one through hike. Michelle Houts and Erica Magnus bring us the first children’s book about her feat and the unexpected challenges she encountered on the journey she initially called a “lark.”


Citizenship, Belonging, and Political Community in Africa
Dialogues between Past and Present
Africa, it is often said, is suffering from a crisis of citizenship. At the heart of the contemporary debates this apparent crisis has provoked lie dynamic relations between the present and the past, between political theory and political practice, and between legal categories and lived experience.


Making the Mark
Gender, Identity, and Genital Cutting
Why do female genital cutting practices persist? How does circumcision affect the rights of girls in a culture where initiation forms the lynchpin of the ritual cycle at the core of defining gender, identity, and social and political status?


Crazy Quilts
A Beginner’s Guide
This definitive, meticulously illustrated how-to book is far more expansive than previous guides. Pillsbury—a master of the form—shows us why crazy quilting belongs firmly in the category of fine art and serves as an inspiring primer for beginners.


Winold Reiss and the Cincinnati Union Terminal
Fanfare for the Common Man
After designing and installing the massive murals for the Cincinnati Union Terminal in the 1930s, German immigrant artist Winold Reiss fell into relative obscurity, despite the vibrancy and boldness of his meticulous mosaic works.