Islam and Creativity

Online Short Course

June 7-21, 2021

Institute for the Study of Muslim Civilisations

Islam has played a crucial role for creativity over time. Muslim as well as non-Muslim artists have commented on the religion – its narratives, symbols, leading proponents, ideas, central rituals – in numerous art forms and for very different reasons.

The aim of this online short course is to learn about and gain analytical tools to understand contemporary creativity in relation to Islam. During the course, participants will discuss Islamic discourse, ethics, aesthetics and creative processes in popular music, films, paintings and novels among other things. The course will discuss how artists push and cross boundaries in an increasingly entangled world.

This online course will make use of the latest technologies for online teaching and will include: lectures, chats, live discussions and tutoring. A mix of films, texts, music videos, webpages, social media will be referred to in order to provide the participants with a rich understanding of Islam and contemporary creativity.

Course Convenor:

Jonas Otterbeck is a Professor of Islamic Studies at the Aga Khan University's Institute for the Study of Muslim Civilisations (AKU-ISMC). Professor Otterbeck is a leading expert about creativity and Islam and currently researching the artistic expressions of European and North American artists with a Muslim background. Among his many books are Muslim in Western Europe (4th ed) with J. Nielsen (2016), The Awakening of Islamic Pop (2021) and articles in journals like Ethnic and Racial Studies and Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies. He has taught at International Migration and Ethnical Relations, Malmoe University, Sweden.


7, 14, and 21 June 2021, 13:30 - 16:00 (London Time).

Tickets and Booking:

Tickets: £75 professionals | £45 students, AKU alumni and staff. Book as soon as possible.

*The course will be delivered via Zoom. Readings and further details will be provided later upon registration.

*This course will not be recorded.


Online via Zoom