About the Programme – University of Copenhagen

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The New Islamic Public Sphere Programme > About the Programme

About the Programme

The New Islamic Public Sphere Programme at the University of Copenhagen maps and analyses how new media such as satellite TV and the Internet are changing Islamic norms, politics and identity in the contemporary Middle East. Since the 1990s, transnational media have created new public realms, making it possible for Muslims to communicate and interact with fellow believers across states and regions, and weakening the ability of individual states to control culture and religion in their media. The appearance of new media has coincided with a large scale Islamic revival since the 1980s. The confluence of these two developments presents a challenge to the secular modern publics which have dominated most Middle Eastern societies since the Second World War. The research unit at Copenhagen University seeks to place itself centrally in the emergent research on new Islamic public spheres, partly through contacts to the new media, and partly through preparing a series of conferences and international publications.

The Programme, which has been part of the University of Copenhagen Islam Initiative (www.islam.ku.dk), is housed at the Department of Cross-Cultural and Regional Studies. The programme has functioned in five years from 2008 to 2013. The project was headed by Professor Jakob Skovgaard-Petersen. Other participants have been assistant professor Sune Haugbølle,  assistant professor Daniella Kuzmanovic, assistant professor Ehab Galal and assistant professor Rasmus Elling. Three PhD fellows have also been affiliated with the programme: Rikke Hostrup Haugbølle, Donatella Della Ratta and Anne Kirstine Waage Beck.

The Programme now exists as a research group at the Department of Cross Cultural and Regional Studies. The present homepage will not be regularly updated.