Islam and Creativity (Online)

Layal Mohammad's picture
June 7, 2021 to June 21, 2021
United Kingdom
Subject Fields: 
Art, Art History & Visual Studies, Fine Arts, Islamic History / Studies, Music and Music History

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.

Read and download course structure.

Watch this video on Islam and Popular Culture.

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:

The number of tickets is limited. Book as soon as possible.


Aga Khan University's Institute for the Study of Muslim Civilisations (AKU-ISMC), London.

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

Contact Info: 



Layal Mohammad

Senior Coordinator, Marketing & Communications

Institute for the Study of Muslim Civilisations

The Aga Khan University (International)

Aga Khan Centre, 10 Handyside Street, London N1C 4DN

Tel: +44 [0] 20 7380 3839


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