Friday, 18 December 2020



Happy Holidays and a Happy New Year!


Dear colleagues and friends of ZMO,

The past year has been challenging for all of us in different ways. Field research and visits to archives had to be postponed or even cancelled, work and family life had to be rearranged during times of Lockdown and face-to-face meetings with colleagues were hardly possible. Still, we found ways to make the most of that situation at ZMO and are full of hope for the year 2021.

No matter where you are based, we hope this special edition of our newsletter finds you safe and healthy and that we can welcome you at ZMO again soon.

The ZMO Team wishes you a peaceful and relaxing holiday season and all the best for the new year!


Highlights 2020

Virtual Events at ZMO


After the first "shock" in spring, the ZMO Team got soon back on track and moved both internal meetings (see photo) and public events to the virtual space.
Since the beginning of autumn we were happy to host a number of fascinating book presentations by our colleagues and also the ZMO Colloquium has been taking place online. Two of the Colloquium lectures were recorded and can be listened to on ZMO's Soundcloud channel. Also the Baraza la Kiswahili la Berlin continued, event reports of these sessions are available. Check also the lecture by Gerhard Dannemann out on Plagiarism and Research Integrity! We particularly enjoyed having an audience from all over the world at most of these events.
In cooperation with Modul e.V., our colleague Noël van den Heuvel organized a lecture series for teachers and other interested persons on "Basiswissen Islam", an important contribution to our knowledge transfer activities.

New research programme and staff


With the start of it's new research programme "Thinking through Translocal Entanglements: Perspectives from Asia, Africa, and the Middle East", ZMO welcomed a number of new colleagues in January 2020. Fortunately they could still be introduced in person on ZMO's Induction Day on 9 January (see photo). They are now working in four research units: Age & Generation, Environment & Justice, Representations of the Past, and Contested Religion.
In October 2020, the new collaborative research project "Historicity of Democracy in the Arab and Muslim Worlds" (HISDEMAB) initiated it's work. Project leader is Nora Lafi (ZMO), cooperation partners are ZZF Potsdam, IEG Mainz, IFPO in Amman and Manouba University in Tunis.
The Project "Timely Histories: A Social History of Time in South Asia", funded with an ERC consolidator grant and led by Nitin Sinha, will start in January 2021.

Corona Dossier


Since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic, we have asked our researchers, colleagues, alumni and former academic visitors to share with us their thoughts, observations, reflections and reports on this unique situation. We have now collected texts from different parts of the world, amongst them newspaper articles, academic texts and journal entries. Read for example about the management of pandemics during the Hajj in past times, learn how the Indian government is managing it's current crisis and see videos from the situation in Mombasa during Ramadhan!

Fritz-Steppat-Prize 2020


In September 2020, the Fritz-Steppat-Prize for the Promotion of young researchers was awarded by the Gesellschaft zur Förderung des ZMO e.V. Rahina Muazu (ZMO) has been awarded for her dissertation "Qurʾan Recitation and the Nudity of the Female Voice in Nigeria" and Shaul Marmari (Dubnow Institute) for his MA thesis "Red Sea Horizons. Palestine and the Jewish-Yemeni Diaspora, 1881–1948".
The awarding ceremony was also an excellent opportunity for the ZMO staff to gather with distance in the courtyard over lunch.
A video with the awardees will be available soon.

ZMO on Twitter


Thank you to the 360 people and institutions who followed us in our first year on Twitter!
Since June, also our Research Group "Learning Intelligence" is active on Twitter.

Open Access for ZMO-Studien


Volume 38 of the ZMO-Studien was not only the first book of the series with the new ZMO design, but also marks the beginning of publishing the ZMO-Studien  in Open Access. Together with the publisher De Gruyter, we are happy to continue this for the years to come.

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