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Call for Papers Northern Europe And Islam. Borders And Non-contact Zones In Late Medieval And Early Modern Times, With A Focus On Scandinavia

Deadline: 15thApril 2023
Date: 6th– 9thJune 2023
Place: Stockholm, Sweden

Scientific Coordinators: Kurt Villads Jensen (Stockholm University), Joachim Östlund (Lund University), Jan Loop (Copenhagen University)

Abstract: Over the past decades, Marie Louise Prat’s concept of “contact zone” has made a huge impact on studies of cultural encounters in travel writing and colonial settings. In current historiography contacts between Europe and Islam have mainly been studied in the context of a shared border, with its specific cultural and political dynamics, and thereby produced a certain theoretical/historical knowledge. Much less attention has been paid on how networks, encounters and knowledge were produced in the context of non-contact zones. This is the case for the Nordic region, which is geographically clearly separated from “Muslim Lands”. Nonetheless, imaginary borders were still produced.  The aim of this training school is to discuss the dynamics of encounters between Christian Europe and the Islamic world in non-contact zones, particularly, but not only, in Scandinavia in medieval and early modern times. It will study the transmission of objects, texts and people and analyse the ways in which they were interpreted and understood and how they affected individual and collective identities.

Main objectives of the activity:  a) To study Late Medieval and Early Modern networks between the Islamic worlds and Europe, with focus on Scandinavia;  b) To discuss trade, exchange and mobility of objects and knowledge between the Mediterranean and the Baltic basin;  c) To analyse how such phenomena had an effect in the creation of individual and collective identities;  d) To develop a student network on long-distance encounters and Islamic legacy in Europe and Scandinavia;  e) To promote a dialogue between junior and senior scholars.

Deadline and details:  Students interested to participate in this training school are invited to submit their cover letters and CVs before 6th March 2023 to the course secretary (, and to Professor Kurt Villads Jensen (, Dr. Joachim Östlund (, and Professor Jan Loop (