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Call for Applications: Forum Transregionale Studien: Postdoctoral Fellow, Europe and Middle East
April 22, 2019
The Berlin-based Forum Transregionale Studien invites scholars to apply for up to five postdoctoral fellowships for the academic year 2019/20 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 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) re-examining 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 divisions and entanglements that supersede identity discourses as well as national, cultural or regional canons and epistemologies that were established in the nineteenth century.
EUME builds upon the following interconnected research fields:
Cities Compared: Urban Change in the Mediterranean and Adjacent Regions
contributes to the debate on plurality, citizenship and civil society from the historical experience of conviviality and social, cultural, ethnic, and religious differences and conflict in the cities around the Mediterranean (Ulrike Freitag and Nora Lafi, both Leibniz-Zentrum Moderner Orient, Berlin).
Travelling Traditions: Comparative Perspectives on Near Eastern Literatures
reassesses literary entanglements, translations, and processes of canonization between the Middle East and other regions (Friederike Pannewick, Center for Near and Middle Eastern Studies, Philipps-Universität Marburg, and Samah Selim, Rutgers University)
Islamic Discourse Contested: Middle Eastern and European Perspectives
analyzes modern Middle Eastern thought in the framework of discourses on modernity, religion, secularity, good governance and justice (Gudrun Krämer, Institute of Islamic Studies, Freie Universität Berlin).
Perspectives on the Qur’an: Negotiating Different Views of a Shared History
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 (Angelika Neuwirth, Berlin).
Tradition and the Critique of Modernity: Secularism, Authoritarianism and Religion from Middle Eastern Perspectives
is a special forum, that attempts to rethink key concepts of modernity like secularity, tradition, or religion in the context of experiences, interpretations, and critiques from the Middle East (Amnon Raz-Krakotzkin, Ben-Gurion University).
EUME is interested in bridging the gap between social science approaches and the humanities in questions relating to ongoing transformation processes in Europe and the Middle East, in re-imaginations of past and present that contribute to free and pluralistic societies.
The fellowships are intended primarily for scholars in the humanities and social sciences 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 or connected to the Forum Transregionale Studien.
The fellowships start on 1 October 2019 and will end on 31 July 2020. Postdoctoral fellows will receive a monthly stipend of 2.500 € plus supplements 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. Scholars are also invited to apply with their own funding. The working language of EUME is English.
An application should be made in explicit relation to one of the research fields and consist of
— the application cover sheet (please download the form hereor above [PDF or DOC]);
— a curriculum vitae (including publications);
— a project description (no longer than 5 pages), stating what the scholar will work on in Berlin if granted a fellowship; and
— the names of two university faculty members who can serve as referees (no letters of recommendation required).
The application should be submitted by e-mail as one PDF file in English and should be received by April 22, 2019, sent to: