Islamic Cultures and Societies Research Unit

Sharjah seafront 2006, by Kunal Mukherjee, used with thanks under a Creative Commons license.

About us

The ICSRU is a trans-disciplinary research unit for all those at Aarhus University who are interested in Islamic cultures and societies, both in the Islamic world and transregionally. This means that the ICSRU also covers Islam and Muslims in the West, notably Europe and Denmark.

The area of interest of the ICSRU is defined in terms of a religion (Islam), but this does not mean that the ICSRU is only interested in the study of religion. There is a focus on the study of Islam, but there is also interest in the study of phenomena unrelated to religion, especially from the perspective of political science.

As well as a focus on the study of Islam, there is a focus on modern and contemporary phenomena, and on those that are transregional, but again this is not exclusive.

The central mission of the ICSRU is to provide a stimulating research milieu for both senior and junior researchers by promoting discussion and exchange. In addition, the ICSRU provides a forum for generating and carrying through group research projects. Finally, the ICSRU backs Aarhus University’s teaching, notably in the degree programs in Arab and Islamic Studies, but also in other relevant programs.

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New research project on the Ethnic Elderly

2017.01.23 | People and cultures

Mikkel Rytter (Anthropology) has received funding for a project on "The ethnic elderly and volunteer helpers: Family dynamics as a platform for municipal welfare innovation."

ICSRU member elected to board of Nordic Society for Middle Eastern Studies

2016.10.05 | Arts

Mark Sedgwick was elected to the board of the Nordic Society for Middle Eastern Studies in September 2016

State-building in fragile states: Strategies of embedment

2016.09.02 | PhD defence

Maria-Louise Clausen successfully defended her PhD dissertation, based on a Yemeni case study, at the Department of Political Science in September.


Thu 23 Feb
16:30-18:30 | 1441-113 (Auditorie 3)
Messages from Paradise #2
Messages from Paradise #2 opens a door into the lives of young people on both sides of the Mediterranean and how they experience their home in relation to "the other side". A showing of the movie will be followed by a panel discussion featuring the director, Daniela Swarowsky, and Karen Waltorp and Christian Suhr (Visual anthropology).
Tue 19 Jan
04:14-04:14 | TBA
Europe’s multi-cultural past and the (de-)Islamisation of medieval Italy
Alex Metcalfe talks about the Muslims of Sicily and south Italy and their fate.