Call for Applications: 10 Postdoctoral Fellowships (2014/2015) in Berlin
The Berlin-based Forum Transregionale Studien invites scholars to apply for up to ten postdoctoral fellowships for the research program
Europe in the Middle East — The Middle East in Europe (EUME)
EUME seeks to rethink key concepts and premises that link and divide Europe and the Middle East. The program draws on the international expertise of scholars in and outside of Germany and is embedded in university and extra-university research institutions in Berlin. It 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 emphasis on 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.
EUME supports and builds upon the following interconnected research fields:
Cities Compared: Urban Change in the 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, ethnic, and religious differences in the cities around the Mediterranean;
Islamic Discourse Contested: Middle Eastern and European Perspectives
is directed by Gudrun Kraemer, Institute for Islamic Studies, Freie Universitaet Berlin. It analyzes modern Middle Eastern thought in the framework of discourses on modernity, secularity, and justice;
Perspectives on the Qur’an: Negotiating Different Views of a Shared History
is directed by Angelika Neuwirth, Seminar for Arabic Studies, Freie Universitaet Berlin, and Stefan Wild, Universitaet Bonn. This research group 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
is directed by Friederike Pannewick, Centrum fuer Nah- und Mitteloststudien, Philipps-Universitaet Marburg, and Samah Selim, Rutgers University. This research group 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
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.
A new field of research that attempts to bridge the gap between political science approaches and cultural studies will be developed during the coming year. It will be directed by Cilja Harders, Otto-Suhr-Institut fuer Politikwissenschaft, Freie Universitaet Berlin, and Rachid Ouaissa, Political Science Departement, Centrum für Nah- und Mittelost-Studien, Philipps-Universität Marburg.
The fellowships are intended primarily 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. Applicants should be at the postdoctoral level and should have obtained their doctorate within the last seven years. Fellows gain the opportunity to pursue research projects of their own choice within the framework of one of the above-mentioned research fields and in relation to the overall program ‚Europe in the Middle East – the Middle East in Europe‘. Successful applicants will be fellows of EUME at the Forum Transregionale Studien and associate members of one of the university or non-university research institutes listed below.
As a rule, the fellowships start on 1 October 2014 and will end on 31 July 2015. Postdoctoral fellows will receive a monthly stipend of 2.500 € plus supplement depending on their personal situation. Organisational support regarding visa, insurances, housing, etc. will be provided. Fellows are obliged to work in Berlin and to help shape the seminars and working discussions related to their research field. The working language of EUME is English.
An application should be made in explicit relation to one of the research fields and consist of
a curriculum vitae,
a project description (no longer than 5 pages), stating what the scholar will work on in Berlin if granted a fellowship
a sample of scholarly work (maximum 20 pages from an article, conference paper, or dissertation chapter)
a letter of recommendation by one university instructor (that can be sent by as a separate e-mail).
The application should be submitted by e-mail as four separate word documents or PDF files in English and should be received by 15 January 2014, sent in to:
Europe in the Middle East – the Middle East in Europe (EUME)
c/o Forum Transregionale Studien
Attn: Georges Khalil
Wallotstrasse 14, 14193 Berlin
Fax +49 30 – 89 00 1440
Europe in the Middle East — The Middle East in Europe (EUME) has been initiated in 2006 as a joint research program of the Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences and Humanities, the Fritz Thyssen Foundation and the Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin. It builds upon the previous work of the Working Group Modernity and Islam (1996-2006). Since 2011 EUME is continued at the Forum Transregionale Studien.
In scholarly terms EUME is directed by a Collegium that currently consists of the following persons: Ulrike Freitag (Zentrum Moderner Orient), Cilja Harders (Otto-Suhr-Institut fuer Politikwissenschaft, Freie Universitaet Berlin), Gudrun Kraemer (Institut fuer Islamwissenschaft, Freie Universitaet Berlin), Nora Lafi (Zentrum Moderner Orient), Angelika Neuwirth (Seminar fuer Semitistik und Arabistik, Freie Universitaet Berlin), Friederike Pannewick (Centrum fuer Nah- und Mitteloststudien/Arabistik, Philipps-Universitaet Marburg), Amnon Raz-Krakotzkin (Ben-Gurion University, Beer Sheva), Rachid Ouaissa (Political Science Departement, Centrum für Nah- und Mittelost-Studien, Philipps-Universität Marburg), Samah Selim (Rutgers University), Stefan Weber (Museum fuer Islamische Kunst, Berlin), and Stefan Wild (Islamwissenschaft, Universitaet Bonn).
The Forum Transregionale Studien is a Berlin-based research platform that connects systematic and region-specific questions in a perspective that addresses entanglements and interactions beyond national, cultural or regional frames. The Forum works in tandem with established institutions and networks that are engaged in transregional studies and is supported by an association of the directors of universities, research institutes and networks mainly based in Berlin. It supports four research programs: Arthistories and aesthetic Practices, Rechtskulturen: Confrontations beyond Comparison, Zukunftsphilologie: Revisiting the Canons of Textual Scholarship, and Europe in the Middle East — The Middle East in Europe (EUME). The Forum Transregionale Studien cooperates with the Max Weber Stiftung and is funded through a public-private partnership.
For more information on the Forum Transregionale Studien please see
For further information onEurope 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 EUME, please visit:
Berlin Graduate School of Muslim Cultures and Societies, FU Berlin
Center for Middle Eastern and North African Politics, FU Berlin
Corpus Coranicum, Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences and Humanities
Zentrum Moderner Orient
Friedrich Schlegel Graduate School of Literary Studies, FU Berlin
Institute for Islamic Studies, FU Berlin
Museum for Islamic Art
Seminar for Arabic Studies, FU Berlin