Faculty Research Interests​

​Jonas Otterbeck 

The Awakening of Islamic Pop

This research focuses on the growing pop nashid trend. The Islamic media company Awakening and its artists is at the heart of the research. Built on media analysis, interviews, fieldwork, the research analyses the ambition of a central, entrepreneurial, commercial company to come across as producing Islamic music. Further, it looks into how the artists are participating in a discourse on ethical Muslim masculinity while, at the same time, being part of an overall consumer culture. 

Religion and migration

The general field of religion and migration benefits from an increasing number of fine studies, but there is a lack of synthesising books bringing different innovative methods and central theories together. Together with associate professor Magdalena Nordin, Otterbeck is authoring a book covering especially the research done on religion and migration to Europe.

Creativity and Islam

Creative Muslims are active in writing, directing, painting, drawing, designing, composing, etc. This research strives to discuss creativity and Islam with Muslim artists who seek to express different aspects of religiosity through their art. By engaging in in-depth conversations the research aims to analyse the complexities, opportunities and challenges of creativity in relation to Islamic discourse instead of repeating findings from prior research in Islamic art.​


Sarah Savant

KITAB : The KITAB project is a pioneering digital initiative that is providing new cultural insights from thousands of Arabic texts from the pre-modern Islamic world (700CE to 1500CE).   Led by AKU-ISMC's Dr Sarah Bowen Savant, the project recently received substantial funding from the European Research Council and is also working with the Qatar National Library. ​

The team is posing questions about how Islamic heritage was shaped and filtered during the period. Topics of special interest relate to how authors worked, the forms that the written tradition took over time, and how narratives were adapted and changed to reflect present realities. The team comprises historians, scholars of Arabic literature, and computer scientists and programmers. For regular blogs, see KITAB-project.org, and updates on the project at sarah.savant1@Twitter.​