Islam, Art and Popular Culture
Course infoSchedule
Course moduleFTR-RSMI211
Credits (ECTS)5
CategoryBA (Bachelor)
Language of instructionEnglish
Offered byRadboud University; Faculty of Philosophy, Theology and Religious Studies; Opleiding Religiestudies;
dr. N. Sonneveld
Other course modules lecturer
dr. N. Sonneveld
Other course modules lecturer
Contactperson for the course
dr. N. Sonneveld
Other course modules lecturer
Academic year2017
PER1-PER2  (04/09/2017 to 07/01/2018)
Starting block
Course mode
Registration using OSIRISYes
Course open to students from other facultiesYes
Waiting listNo
Placement procedure-

After following this course you will be able to grasp the importance of popular culture as a way to study religion and recognize the different relationships between religion and popular culture. You will also be able to deconstruct popular expressions concerning Islam and identify the symbolic power as well as political and religious interests connected to popular culture. 


The study of popular culture is increasingly considered a good way to examine everyday life. To what extent does this statement apply to religion, and in particular, to the everyday life of Muslims? What is the relationship between Islam and popular culture? How is Islam represented in popular culture? Popular culture is often used as a tool in (political) struggles and contestations and is instrumentalized by different actors to realize their aims. Popular art can be used to resist certain regimes of power (resistance art) or for mobilization purposes by the state or political and religious movements (mobilization art). What makes (popular) art so powerful? And how is she utilised by different actors? In this course the different relationships between Islam and popular art are examined. After a theoretical exploration of the concept of popular culture, the power of art, and the celebrity culture, different discourses on Islam and art/music will be dealth with, followed by a discussion on the representation of Islam and Muslims in popular culture, the cultural politics of regimes in the Middle East, "Islamic Aesthetics" and resistance by (Islamic) art.  

Test information
Reading assignments (4x), presentations (2x)

Required materials
Title:Halal Soaps and Revolutionary Theater
Author:Van Nieuwkerk, K. van, Muslim Rap
Publisher:University of Texas Press, 2011
Reader with different articles

Instructional modes
Attendance MandatoryYes

Seminar; discussions, participation and assignments.

Test weight1
Test typeEssay
OpportunitiesBlock TENT2, Block TENT3