Nordic Research Network - Centre of African Studies – University of Copenhagen

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Nordic Research Network

The Centre of African Studies at the University of copenhagen is participating in two Nordic research networks; "Nordic African Institute Network focussing on Islamic movements in Africa, south of the Sahara " and "Nordic Africa Institute Network focussing on Nigeria".

  Photo: Mikkel Grabowski 

Nordic African Institute Network focussing on islamic movements in Africa, south of the Sahara 

Description of the Thematic Field of the Network

Religious revival movements have attracted great attention in the study of religion in Africa. Until recently much emphasis has been placed on Christian institutions, their organisation and political influence, while there has been rather limited focus on the paralleling expansion of Muslim movements: Interest in the way individuals experiences their religious involvement, in how their involvement comes about and in the consequences this has for Muslim engagement in ‘modernisation' processes. Furthermore, the studies made have generally stressed the need to come closer to an understanding of the ‘practitioners', i.e. the views of African Muslims on the role of Islam in contemporary Africa.

Within the last 5-6 years studies on the rising Islamic movements has taken up an even greater space in European, North American and African research. The studies made on Islam in Africa have been concentrating on educational reforms within the Muslim communities, and the consequences of these for the development of the civil society in for example Mali, Ghana, and Cote d'Ivoire. Also the consequences of the rise of Islamic related political engagement have attracted great interest, for example in studies made on new Islamic related institutions in Nigeria, Tanzania and Sudan. Other studies again have been especially concerned with the opportunities and hazards that meet young people when they establish and engage in Islamic institutions, for example in Senegal and Nigeria. Within the last few years it has become obvious that the study of Islam from a social movement perspective, i.e. focusing on recent mobilisation, agency and practices rather than texts, offers the possibility to understand why and how contemporary Muslim communities in Africa south of the Sahara relate to modernisation. Thus, from the studies already done in Europe, Africa and the US it would appear that Islam plays a still bigger influencing role on the societal developments in Africa south of the Sahara than what is often assumed. Certainly, it seems clear that Islamic movements play various significant roles in many contemporary African societies and hence in Africa's modernisation.

Who can become a Member of the Nordic network?

Those 6 persons signing the application to the Nordic Africa Institute 2004 are the initial members. Others can become members on the following condition, namely that they are:

Researchers/Academics, conducting research on Islamic Movements, south of the Sahara, who are attached to an academic institution in one of the Nordic countries, as researcher, lecturer, guest researcher, or Ph.D. student. Students at MA level can, pending of their merits, be included as well. Applying members must give information about their ongoing project (s), academic affiliation, etc. Please contact network coordinator Annette Haaber Ihle for further information on how to become a member of the network.

Contact Persons in the Nordic Countries

Eva Evers Rosanders, Associate Professor, Department of Theology, Uppsala University:

Holger Daun: Professor, Director, Institute of International Education, Stockholm University:

Leif Manger, Professor, Department of Social Anthropology, University of Bergen:

Holger Weiss, Professor, Åbo Academy University:

Søren Gilsaa, Ph.D. candidate, Centre for African Studies, University of Copenhagen:

Annette Haaber Ihle, Research Fellow, The Carsten Niebuhr Department, University of Copenhagen: ahi@hum.ku.dkTil toppen

Nordic African Institute focussing on Nigeria

Members of Nordic Africa Institute Network focussing on Nigeria

Onyanta Ajonye
Doktorand, Department of Human Geography.
Stockholm University.
Main area of research: Urban environments, governance and solid waste management in Abuja.

Ulrika Andersson
PhD. researcher, Department of Cultural Anthropology and Ethnology
Uppsala University.
Main area of research: The Bori cult in Hausa culture, views and uses of medicine.

Gunilla Andrae
Associate Professor, University Lecturer, Department of Human Geography, Stockholm University.
Main area of research: Popular organisation and urban provisioning in poor countries.

Björn Beckman
Professor, Department of Political Science.
Stockholm University.
Nigerian trade unions and the politics of reform, state and class formation, globalization.

Ben Jones
Postdoctoral researcher, Development Studies Institute.
Roskilde University.
Main area of research: urban politics in Ibadan, religious and student associations.

Niels Kastfelt
Associate Professor, Department of Church History and Centre for African Studies.
University of Copenhagen.
Main area of research: Christianity in Nigeria, missiology, Adamawa region.

Cyril Obi
Project Co-ordinator: Post-Conflict Transition, the State and Civil Society in Africa.
Nordic Africa Institute.
Researcher: West Africa, Nigeria, conflict and peace, environmental politics and security, African politics and development.

Joseph Onyeche
Researcher, Institute of Oriental and African Languages.
Göteborg University.
Main area of research: Language change among the Ika, a minority language spoken in Delta State.

Bjarke Paarup-Laursen
Associate Professor, Department of Ethnography and Social Anthropology.
University of Aarhus.
Main area of research: Cultural perceptions of health and the environment, northern Nigeria.

Kirsten Holst Petersen
Associate Professor, Department of Language and Culture.
Roskilde University.
Main area of research: Post-colonial theories of the nation and African literature, Chinua Achebe.

Raisa Simola
Senior Researcher, University of Joensuu and Docentur of African literature, University of Helsinki.
Main area of research: World views in Chinua Achebe's work.

Mahamadou Traore
Associate Professor, Department of Social Anthropology.
University of Tromsø.
Main area of research: Islamic institutions, sultanates in Nigeria and Cameroon, political conflict.

Trond Waage
Associate Professor, Department of Social Anthropology.
University of Tromsø.
Main area of research: youth culture and urbanisation in northern Cameroon.

Holger Franz Weiss
Professor in General History, Åbo Akademi Univeristy.
Docent in African history, Institute for Asian and African Studies, University of Helsinki.
Main area of research: Islamic economics and the critique of the secular state in Ghana and Nigeria.

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