The AZIMUT thematic line aims at the promotion and scientific dissemination of cutting-edge knowledge grounded on ethnographic research concerning Islamic contexts. While acknowledging the essentialist danger that may haunt a gathering of studies on Islam, this thematic line is devoted to a comparative approach, in order to better grasp, develop, monitor, and apprehend different areas of research in contexts where Islam is present in different ways. This comparative effort, grounded on ethnographic expertise, wishes to compete against rash analyses and conclusions that might emerge out of political urgency, as it has been often the case with such topics.
AZIMUT draws together different researchers affiliated with CRIA (from distinct research groups and institutional divisions) as well as other national and international researchers – namely from the Foro de Investigadores del Mundo Árabe y Musulmán (FIMAM), GRACIAS (Grupo de Antropologia em Contextos Islâmicos e Árabes), Grup de Recerca Sobre Exclusió I Control Socials (GRECS), Centre for European Islamic Thought, University of Copenhagen, Cork University, Mel-Net (Muslims in Lusophone Spaces), CAM (Campo Arqueológico de Mértola), Casamémoire (Casablanca) –, with different disciplinary backgrounds, having the common goal of engaging in a transversal theoretical discussion based on updated ethnographies from different contexts where Islam is either a majority or minority religion. AZIMUT thus integrates researches from different geographical contexts, covering a diverse array of topics.
The kind of expertise associated with these researchers is presently centered on the Western Mediterranean region. The main topics of research include contemporary trends of Islam, gender and women rights, memory, migration and transnationalism, tourism, social movements, and political activism, heritage polities, Islam and colonialism, north-south-north connections, and international relations, orientalism, and its present reconfigurations.
AZIMUT also articulates synergies with the research project CAPSAHARA, funded by the European Research Council, with whom it has developed different scientific dissemination actions.