Areas of study

Area 1: Intellectual and cultural history

This area focuses on the intellectual and cultural history of Islamicate societies. We focus here on the history of human thought and on how people in Islamicate societies conceptualized, discussed and wrote about ideas. For examples, we offer in this area courses on Islamic law, Islamic mysticism, philosophy, historiography, but also material culture, history of education or history of the natural sciences.

Area 2: Political, social and economic history

This area focuses on the history of the Middle East and North Africa from the rise of Islam up to the contemporary period, with a focus on political, social and economic aspects. For example, we look in this area in a historical perspective at political events and at the relation between political elites. This includes for example introductory courses to Islamic history, but also courses on specific countries or courses on global phenomena, like nationalism, colonialism or orientalism.  In this area we also look at the “lived experience” of the past, offering for example courses on gender history, history of sexuality or labour history, and we focus on the interaction between gender, class and race in a historical perspective.

Area 3: Cultural and social studies

This area includes the study of contemporary Muslim societies. The main focus is on the social practices of individuals and the environments in which they live. We become thus acquainted with the politics, socioeconomics and orders in which individuals and their environments are integrated. As such we offer courses on religious communities, social movements, youth, media, literature as well as creative artists among others. In order to contextualize these social and cultural phenomena we also dedicate courses to the study of the contemporary political and economic systems of the Middle East and North Africa. The courses emphasize the application of methods of social sciences and cultural studies.