Eric S. Ross


Born in Ankara, Turkey, I am a Canadian citizen with degrees in geography (M.Sc., Université du Québec à Montréal, 1989) and Islamic studies (Ph.D., McGill University, 1996). Since 1998 I have been teaching a variety of geography and research methods courses at Al Akhawayn University's School of Humanities and Social Sciences. I often organize field trips to sites of particular interest to these courses. Some of the sites are in and around Ifrane, while others are further a field in Morocco.

My prime research interest is in Muslim shrines, zâwiyas and Sufism. I have conducted studies of Sufi centers in Senegal, and of the modern Islamic holy city of Touba in particular. Other Senegalese Sufi centers I have studied and mapped include: Diourbel, Darou Mousty, Tivaouane, Kaolack, Tiénaba, Ndiassane, Yoff and Cambérène. High-resolution satellite images and large-scale cadastres were used to map these sites, with further observations and interviews being conducted in the field. High-resolution satellite images of most of these contemporary Senegalese Sufi shrines, and many others besides, can be viewed on Google Earth by downloading this file.

My research in Senegal has led to a number of spin-off projects. One relates to that country's monumental historic trees (French version published in Sénégalia, publication of English version pending). Another consists of a contribution to an edited volume on the trans-Saharan trade in books, one of the most underestimated phenomena in Africa history.

In Morocco, I have conducted a study on the siting of Muslim shrines at pre-Islamic archeological sites and another on how cultural heritage and urban planning relate to development, most notably in the seaside resort-town of Essaouira. More generally, I have contributed a number of short entries for the New Encyclopedia of Africa, the second edition of which is scheduled for release in November 2007. You will find a complete list of publications in my CV.




I can be contacted at:

Eric S. Ross, Ph.D.

Associate Professor

School of Humanities & Social Sciences

Al Akhawayn University

P.O. Box 1889, Ifrane, 53 000, Morocco

tel.: (+212) 35 86 24 81

fax: (+212) 35 86 29 77