The board of the NSMES is elected for a three year period at the Nordic Conference which takes place every third year.

The current board is:


Leif Stenberg – (Chairperson), Aga Khan University (International) in the United Kingdom
Leif Stenberg is a director of Institute for the Study of Muslim Civilisations, Aga Khan University (International) in the United Kingdom.
Email: leif.stenberg@aku.ed

Susanne Olsson - (Secretary), Stockholm University
Susanne Olsson is a professor in the history of religions, specializing in Islamic Studies. Her research focuses on contemporary reinterpretations of Islam and the fragmentation of authority, including hermeneutical and juridical perspectives.


Magnus Dølerud – University of Bergen
Magnus Dølerud is a PhD candidate in history at the University of Bergen (UiB) and an observer with the Temporary International Presence in Hebron (TIPH). His PhD research focuses on civil society, political and social movements and peace activism in Lebanon, particularly during the 1975-90 civil war period. He is also a freelance research assistant at the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS), working on the Lebanon section of the Armed Conflict Database.

Charlotte Lysa – University of Oslo
Charlotte Lysa is a PhD-Candidate at the University of Oslo. Her research focuses on women issues and social change in Saudi Arabia and Qatar.


Mark Sedgwick – (Vice-chair), Aarhus University
Mark Sedgwick is professor mso of Arab and Islamic Studies at the Department of the Study of Religion in the School of Culture and Society. He is responsible for the program in Arab and islamic Studies and the Islamic Cultures and Societies Research Unit. His research interests are in Sufism, global Islam, and terrorism. His research covers both the Arab world, especially Egypt, where he lived for twenty years, and the West.

Ulla Prien – (Treasurer), University of Copenhagen
Ulla Prien is associate teaching professor in Arab at Middle-Eastern Studies at the Department of Cross-Cultural and Regional Studies. Her interests are Arabic language contemporary Arabic literature and the development of the teaching of Arabic, especially Communicative Arabic. She is currently the local responsible for the development of the student – and staff exchange programs to the Arabic countries.


Hannu Juusola – (Vice-chair), University of Helsinki
Hannu Juusola is Professor of Semitic Languages and Cultures at the University of Helsinki. He is responsible for modern Middle Eastern studies as well as for Semitic and Jewish Studies at the Department of World Cultures. His current research interests are related citizenship, secularization and democracy in the ME.

Pekka Tuominen – University of Helsinki
Pekka Tuominen has PhD in Social and Cultural Anthropology and is currently Post-Doctoral researcher at the University of Helsinki. His research deals with the sociocultural dimensions of urban transformation in Istanbul and he has recently initiated a multidisciplinary research project in the stigmatised Kontula district of Helsinki, studying the urban transformation of the area and examining new possibilities of participatory urban culture connecting its neighbourhoods.


Þórir Jónsson Hraundal – University of Iceland
Thorir Jonsson Hraundal is a PhD in Medieval Studies from the University of Bergen, and currently an adjunt lecturer and director of Middle Eastern Studies at the University of Iceland. His research is focused on medieval Arabic sources on the eastwards expansion of Scandinavians during the Viking age.

Chairs of the NSMES

The chairs of the NSMES have been:

  • Heikki Palva (Helsinki) 1989-1992
  • Tryggve Kronholm (Uppsala) 1992-1998
  • Bjørn Olav Utvik (Oslo) 1998-2007
  • Jakob Skovgaad-Petersen (Copenhagen) 2007-11
  • Leif Stenberg (Lund) 2011-


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