Rasmus Bech Olsen

Rasmus Bech Olsen

Part-time lecturer

I work as a part-time lecturer in Arabic and teach Arabic language, literature and society from the middle ages untill today. In addition to this I work as a curator at The David Collection where I am responsible for registering recent acquistions in the Islamic collection.

Main research areas

 In addition to this, I teach and conduct research in arabic language, literature and society from the Middle Ages to the present. 

My latest research has been focused on manuscripts and reading culture among Ethiopian Muslims untill 1950.

Earlier my main focus was on arabic political thought and political culture in Syria and Egypt between 12 and 1600 AD. In 2017 I thus defended my Ph.d. thesis which focused on the relationship between the civilian population of Damascus and the Mamluk Sultanate during the 14. century AD. Taking its point of departure a series of Damascene tax-protest my thesis maps out how the relationship between state and population consisted of a constant process of negotiation structured around the use of religious symbols and performative activities in urban space. 

You can find my LinkedIn profile here and my academia.edu profile here

 

Research interests 

Arabic history and historiography 1200 - 2000

Islamic art

Islamic political thought

Politics and material culture

Urbanism in the Middle East

Arabic popular literature

Identity-shaping in modern arabic literature

Israel - Palestine

Arabic Manuscript studies

 

Teaching 

I currently teach a BA course called "Religionstekster" at The University of Copenhagen. This is a special introductury course in arabic religious texts offered to BA-students in Religion "Arabic Propaedeutics B".                                                                                                               

Previously I have taught as a guest lecturer in the BA course "Arabic Literature" and the MA course "Communicative Profeciency" at The University of Copenhagen. 

 

Selected publications

  1. Submitted

    If a Governor Falls in Damascus: Early Mamluk historiography analyzed through the story of Sayf al-Din Karay al-Mansuri

    Olsen, R. B., 15 Jan 2019, (Submitted) Proceedings of the Fifth Conference of the School of Mamluk Studies . Van Steenbergen, J. & Taormina, M. (eds.). Leiden: Brill Academic Publishers, (Islamic History and Civilization).

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingArticle in proceedingsResearchpeer-review

  2. Published

    Just Taxes? Tracing 14th century Damascene politics through objects, spaces and historiography

    Olsen, R. B., 31 Oct 2017, 251 p.

    Research output: Book/ReportPh.D. thesisResearch

Selected activities

  1. Praise be onto he who made the pen deputy of the foot - Arabic letters in the Limmu-Ghannat collection

    Rasmus Bech Olsen (Speaker)
    13 Dec 2018

    Activity: Talk or presentation typesLecture and oral contribution

  2. If a Governor Falls in Damascus: Early Mamluk historiography analyzed through the story of Sayf al-Din Karay

    Rasmus Bech Olsen (Speaker)
    7 May 2018

    Activity: Talk or presentation typesLecture and oral contribution

  3. An Urban Protest in Medieval Damascus - Or how to fight taxes with the prophets sandal

    Rasmus Bech Olsen (Lecturer)
    6 Oct 2017

    Activity: Talk or presentation typesLecture and oral contribution

  4. Skat og Islam: En indskrift fra Umayyade Moskeen, Damaskus 1463-4 e.Kr.

    Rasmus Bech Olsen (Lecturer)
    Apr 2017 → …

    Activity: Talk or presentation typesLecture and oral contribution

  5. The Sultan and the City: The topography of power in 14th century Damascus

    Rasmus Bech Olsen (Speaker)
    20 Nov 2016

    Activity: Talk or presentation typesLecture and oral contribution

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