AHKR, University of Bergen

Research Group in Middle Eastern and African studies

The Research Group in Middle Eastern and African Studies at the Department of Archaeology, History, Culture Studies and Religion was set up in spring 2008. Its purpose is to provide a forum for researchers at the Department and outside, working broadly in this field.
Research on the Middle East and Africa is extensive at the department and in Bergen, and the group will focus on several main areas each of which comprises a number of junior and senior researchers in Bergen. These are:

Cape Town mosque

Research seminar:
Africa, the Middle East and Beyond: Border Zones and Connectivity.

Africa has often been seen as "the other side", the "periphery" and the object of other people's agendas. But how would our perceptions change if we see Africa as the centre from which impulses are spread out? The Middle East is Africa's closest neighbour, across the Sahara or the Indian Ocean, and thus the first point for "the African connection", which also goes beyond it to other continents.

This seminar series will look at various aspects of such a shift in perceptions, from the viewpoint of the Middle East and from Africa, and with a particular eye to the concept of "border zone" or the creation of frontiers and peripheries. How do such "liminal" or "marginal" areas come about, from what perspective, and what are the effect of their defintion as such?"

New appointments:
Turid Hillestad Nel has in October 2008 taken up a Ph.D. scholarship at the AHKR department. She works on the Middle Stone Age archaeology of South Africa.
We note also the appointment of Karine Aasgaard Jansen to a Ph.D. scholarship at AHKR from the same time. She works within culture studies on a project of disease in Réunion, and will primarily be attached to the research group on Health and Welfare.

From the fall term of 2008, professor Chris Henshilwood has become a full-time professor of Archaeology at the AHKR department, where he previously held a professor II position. Professor Henshilwood works on the history of early Man in particular in a South African setting.

A particular topic under this heading of "Africa and Beyond", is the study of Islam in Africa, which involves a number of research projects, and is presented on a separate web page:
Islam in Africa

Earlier events


Research Group in Middle Eastern and African Studies, AHKR
Phone + 47 55 58 26 47, fax + 47 55 58 98 91, e-mail:
Postal address: AHKR, University of Bergen. PO Box 7800 Bergen, Norway
Visiting address: Øysteinsgt. 3, 5007 Bergen
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