10 Postdoctoral Fellowships - "Europe in the Middle East - The Middle East in Europe" - Berlin - Deadline: Jan. 10, 2011

The Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences, the Fritz Thyssen Foundation and the Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin invite scholars to apply for ten post-doctoral fellowships for the research program


This research program seeks to rethink key concepts and premises that link and divide Europe and the Middle East. The project draws on the international expertise of scholars in and outside of Germany and is embedded in university and extra-university research institutions in Berlin. 'Europe in the Middle East – The Middle East in Europe' supports historical-critical philology, rigorous engagement with the literatures of the Middle East and their histories, the social history of cities and the study of Middle Eastern political and philosophical thought (Christian, Jewish, Muslim, and secular) as central fields of research not only for area or cultural studies, but also for European intellectual history and other academic disciplines. The program explores modernity as a historical space and conceptual frame.

The program puts forward three programmatic ideas:
1) supporting research that demonstrates the rich and complex historical legacies and entanglements between Europe and the Middle East;
2) reexamining genealogical notions of mythical 'beginnings', 'origins', and 'purity' in relation to culture and society; and
3) rethinking key concepts of a shared modernity in light of contemporary cultural, social, and political entanglements that supersede identity discourses as well as national, cultural or regional canons and epistemologies that were established in the nineteenth century.

The program 'Europe in the Middle East - The Middle East in Europe' supports and builds upon the following interconnected research fields:

- Cities Compared: Changing Modes of Urban Life in the Eastern Mediterranean and Adjacent Regions'
This research group is directed by Ulrike Freitag and Nora Lafi, both of the Zentrum Moderner Orient, Berlin. It contributes to the debate on plurality, citizenship and civil society from the historical experience of conviviality and socio-cultural, and religious differences in the cities around the Mediterranean;

- Islamic Discourse Contested: Middle Eastern and European Perspectives
This research group is directed by Gudrun Krämer, Institute for Islamic Studies, Freie Universität Berlin. It analyzes modern Middle Eastern thought and discourses in the framework of theories of multiple or reflexive modernities;

- Perspectives on the Qur'an: Negotiating Different Views of a Shared History
This research group is directed by Angelika Neuwirth, Seminar for Arabic Studies, Freie Universität Berlin, and Stefan Wild, Universität Bonn. It situates the foundational text of Islam within the religious and literary landscape of late antiquity, early Islamic History and Arabic philology, and combines a historicization of its genesis with an analysis of its hermeneutics, its reception and perception in Europe and the Middle East;

- Travelling Traditions: Comparative Perspectives on Near Eastern Literatures
This research group is directed by Friederike Pannewick, Centrum für Nah- und Mitteloststudien, Philipps-Universität Marburg, and Samah Selim, Rutgers University. It reassesses literary entanglements and processes of canonization between Europe and the Middle East.

- Tradition and the Critique of Modernity: Secularism, Fundamentalism and Religion from Middle Eastern Perspectives
This is a special forum, directed by Amnon Raz-Krakotzkin, Ben Gurion University, that attempts to rethink key concepts of modernity like secularity, tradition, or religion in the context of the experiences, interpretations, and critiques of Jews, Arabs, and Muslims in the Middle East and in Europe.


The fellowships are intended above all for scholars of art history, history, literature, philology, political philosophy, political science, religion and sociology who want to carry out their research projects in connection with the Berlin program. Fellows gain the opportunity to pursue research projects of their choice within the framework of one of the above-mentioned research fields and in relation to the program 'Europe in the Middle East - the Middle East in Europe'. In Berlin, they will be integrated into a university or non-university research institute. The working language of the research program is English.

Fellows will receive a monthly stipend of 2.250 € (supplement for accompanying spouses: 250 €), and are obliged to work in Berlin and to help shape the seminars and working discussions related to their research field.

As a rule, the fellowships begin on 1 October 2011 and end on 31 July 2012. The applicant's doctorate should have been completed no earlier than 2003.

An application should be made in explicit relation to one of the research fields and consist of
1.) a curriculum vitae,
2.) a 2 to 4 page project sketch,
3.) a sample of scholarly work (maximum 20 pages from an article, conference paper, or dissertation chapter) and
4.) a letter of recommendation by one university instructor.

The application should be submitted by e-mail as four separate word documents or PDF Files in English and should be received by

10 January 2011,

sent in to:
E-mail: eume@wiko-berlin.de
Europe in the Middle East - the Middle East in Europe
c/o Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin
Attn: Georges Khalil
Wallotstrasse 19, 14193 Berlin
Fax +49 30 - 89 00 12 00

For further information on the program 'Europe in the Middle East - The Middle East in Europe' and for detailed information on the research fields, please see:

For information on the research institutions in Berlin participating in the program, please visit:

Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences and Humanities: www.bbaw.de

Center for Literary and Cultural Research: www.zfl.gwz-berlin.de

Center for Middle Eastern and North African Politics, FU Berlin: www.polsoz.fu-berlin.de/en/

Zentrum Moderner Orient: www.zmo.de
Institute for Islamic Studies, FU Berlin: userpage.fu-berlin.de/~islamwi/

Museum for Islamic Art: www.smb.museum/smb/sammlungen/details.php?objectId=12

Seminar for Arabic Studies, FU Berlin: web.fu-berlin.de/semiarab

Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin: www.wiko-berlin.de

Georges Khalil
EUME c/o Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin
Wallotstr. 19, 14193 Berlin
030 89 001 258
030 89 001 200