NNJCI excursion to Andalusia, 5 – 11 November 2018

The historical record of the Spanish region of Andalusia, in the south of the Iberian Peninsula, provides us with a unique look into patterns of cultural and religious coexistence and sharing, but also of exclusion, marginalization, conflict and war. For almost a millennium, from the Umayyad conquest in 711 to the expulsion of the Moriscos during the reign of Philip III (1598–1621), the Iberian Peninsula was home to sizable Jewish, Christian and Muslim populations. Traces of the interplay and exchange between these religious communities can be found in architecture and city plans, art, paintings and architectural ornaments, in manuscripts and their texts, as well as in the narratives and stories attested in them. Importantly, medieval Iberia is also part of the living memory of different religious communities inhabiting the area today. While many villages stage the battle between Christians and Moors in annual festivals, Muslim communities in Granada construct new mosques on historical ground, claiming not to convert but to revert to Islam.

Its history of religious cohabitation, cultural interchange and conflict makes present-day Andalusia a unique place to visit. This excursion takes Nordic PhD students writing on relevant topics to the three cities Cordoba, Seville and Granada. We will explore surviving material and immaterial remains of the medieval cohabitation of and interchange between Jewish, Christian and Muslim communities and study how they are utilized today. The aim of the excursion and its seminars is to increase knowledge about the history of medieval Iberia, to study the interplay between imaginations of the past and concerns of the present and to shed light on how multicultural societies today are informed by multicultural and multi-religious societies of the past. 


The excursion and seminar is the third of a number of Nordic PhD seminars arranged by the Nordic Network for the Study of Judaism, Christianity and Islam in the First Millennium (NNJCI), a network of PhD students and faculty from Nordic academic institutions.

Structure of the seminar

The duration of the seminar will be one week. The program covers the major relevant sites of Cordoba, Granada and Seville. In addition to excursions, there will be seminars and lectures. Each participant is required to read the course literature and to be prepared to engage actively in course activities.

Practical information

Participants: The number of participants is restricted to 15 students. The course is designed for Nordic PhD students, but it will also be open for advanced master’s students and postdoctoral researchers if the available places are not filled by PhD students. International PhD students are also welcome to apply.

Cost: The cost for the course is approximately 6000 NOK, excluding international airfare. This includes all domestic transport, half-board accommodation, all entrances, guide and lectures. The amount covers the actual costs of the trip. Depending on the outcome of grant applications, the costs may be reduced.

All participants are themselves responsible for booking their international flights, destination Malaga, and domestic travel from Malaga Airport to Cordoba, where the group meets (Monday, 5 November).

Other domestic travel, by train and by bus, will be organized and covered by the organizers. Participants will be accommodated in mid-range hotels, located in close connection with the main sites of each city.

Reading list: All participants should prepare for the seminar by reading approximately 300 pages. The reading list will be distributed before September 1. All students are encouraged to buy the book Medieval Iberia: Readings from Christian, Muslim and Jewish Sources, edited by Olivia Remie Constable (second edition; Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2012), as this collection of source texts will figure prominently in the course.

Credits: The seminar equals 5 ECTS, but participants are themselves responsible for having these credits accepted by their doctoral programmes.

Organizers: Liv Ingeborg Lied and Kristin B. Aavitsland (MF Norwegian School of Theology) and Ragnhild Johnsrud Zorgati (IKOS, University of Oslo).

Information: Follow our Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/groups/1625904417675426/) or contact Liv Ingeborg Lied (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.), Kristin B. Aavitsland (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) or Ragnhild Johnsrud Zorgati (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.).

Application: The application deadline is 1 February 2018.

Please find the application form here.