Tuesday, 2 February 2021



Palestine Isn’t Just Another Country


ZMO's vice director Sonja Hegasy wrote an essay remembering Edward W. Saʿid, his class of 1990 in Cultural Studies at Columbia University and the role of music in his life. She draws a line to Kamel Daoud’s novel The Mersault Investigation, the debate around Achille Mbembe and the oily attacks during German Unity Day 2020, when unknown vandals damaged Egyptian and further artifacts in the New Museum in Berlin.
Her "German-Egyptian Memory of Edward Saʿid" was published on 6 January in Berlin Bazzar.

A shortened version in German can be found in the online magazine Latitude by the Goethe Instite.

Picture: edited by Cagan Okuyan


8 February 2021, 2 pm, virtual event
Vijitabu Vilivyopita bahari kuu. Uchapishaji wa Kiswahili wa Kiislamu na mtandao wake katika karne ya ishirini
Baraza la Kiswahili la Berlin


Tukiongozwa na Annachiara Raia, ataangazia historia ya uchapishaji wa vijitabu vya kiisilamu katika Kiswahili na historia yake kama ifuatavyo.
Inajulikana kuwa historia ya utamaduni wa uchapishaji imeathiri maendeleo ya jamii na fasihi duniani. Suala ambalo nitashughulika nalo katika wasilisho hili ni kuhusu historia na namna vijitabu vya Kiswahili vya Kiislamu vilivyosafiri, na vilivyochapishwa Afrika Mashariki. Kuanzia karne ya ishirini, uchapishaji wa Kiislamu ulianza kuenea na kujenga mawasiliano kati ya wasomaji na waandishi kutoka Afrika Mashariki na Bahari Kuu. Nitaonyesha uhusiano baina ya vijitabu hivi na nyumba zao za uchapishaji. Kwa njia hii nitaeleza vipengele vya mtandao wa vitabu, wauzaji kutoka maduka ya mijini Mombasa na Nairobi na nyumba za uchapishaji kutoka Bahari Kuu. Kama magazeti mengine ya Kiislamu yenye habari, lengo la vijitabu vya Kiswahili vya Kiislamu ni kuelimisha umma kuhusu nyanja mbalimbali, kama historia ya Uislamu, tafsiri za kidini na fasihi ya Kiswahili.

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15 February 2021, 5 pm, virtual event
Servants’ Pasts, 16th - 20th Century, South Asia
Book presentation by Nitin Sinha (ZMO), Nitin Varma (re:work, HU Berlin) and Pankaj Jha (Lady Shri Ram College for Women)


We cordially invite you to the discussion of two edited volumes on the long history of domestic servants and service in South Asia. The volumes cover the period from the early modern (going back to medieval and ancient times as well) to the contemporary, charting a regionally diversified and linguistically varied history of domestic service. The volumes are the result of the ERC-Starting grant project ‘Domestic Servants in South Asia’, which ran at Leibniz-Zentrum Moderner Orient and re:work (Humboldt University), Berlin from 2015 to 2018. We are extremely grateful to have two discussants holding diverse expertise in the fields of early modern South Asian and Global labour histories: Abhishek Kaicker, associate professor, department of History, UC, Berkeley; and Christian G. de Vito, researcher and coordinator of Research Group, ‘Punishment, Labour, Dependency’ at Bonn Centre for Dependency and Slavery Studies, Univserity of Bonn, Germany.
Please register at registration@zmo.de

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18 February 2021, 3 pm, virtual event
Debates on Representation and Democracy in early-Independent Jordan
Lecture by Tariq Tell (American University of Beirut)


This is the fourth lecture of "The Historicity of Democracy Seminar", organized within the framework of the HISDEMAB international and collaborative research programme of the Leibniz-Association (ZMO-ZZF-IEG) in collaboration with IFPO in Amman and Manouba University, Tunis.

The online seminar is free and open to the public upon registration.
For registration, please send an email to HISDEMAB@gmail.com

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25 February 2021, 5 pm, virtual event
How Europeans got engaged in the pandemic
Lecture by Swen Hutter (WZB) as part of the ZMO-Colloquium Understanding Populism: State, Academia, and Civil Society


The lecture focuses on the scope and type of protest and civic engagement in the COVID-19 pandemic. The starting point is the dilemma faced by civil society in these extraordinary times. As during past crises and catastrophes, civil society has a crucial role to play in coping with the situation. It connects citizens, promotes solidarity, and assists those unable to cope on their own. Also, it acts as a critical voice and calls attention to unheard grievances and keeps political elites accountable. At the same time, restrictions of freedom of movement and assembly have rendered traditional forms of protest and civic engagement difficult and, at moments, even impossible. Based on original survey data, the lecture empirically assesses the tension between activation and de-activation in Europe in the COVID-19 pandemic.
Please register at registration@zmo.de

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Christophe, Barbara; Kohl, Christoph; Liebau, Heike; Saupe, Achim (Eds.)
The Politics of Authenticity and Populist Discourses.
Media and Education in Brazil, India and Ukraine


Palgrave Macmillan 2021, 240 p. 




Nora Lafi
Urbanity as an Ethic: Reflections on the Cities of the Arab World


In: Ege, Moritz; Moser, Johannes (Eds.), Urban Ethics Conflicts Over the Good and Proper Life in Cities, Routledge 2021 p. 80-95.




Tenders & Calls

Position of a postdoctoral research fellow in the Research Unit Age & Generation

Starting 1 April 2021
Deadline for submitting the application: 15 February 2021

Position of an Academic Coordinator (m/f/d) for joint projects

Starting 1 March 2021
Deadline for submitting the application: 16 February 2021

Positions of two student assistants in the Research Unit “Representations of the Past as a Mobilizing Force”

Starting 1 April 2021 and 1 July 2021.
Deadline for submitting the application: 20 February 2021

ZMO in the Media

Sadyr Dschaparow, der Volksflüsterer


Article by Florian Coppenrath.

Novastan.org, 28 January 2021.

Also available in English and French.


Native son: the rise of Kyrgyzstan’s Sadyr Japarov


Article by Aksana Ismailbekova.

openDemocracy , 28 January 2021.


AktivistInnen in Bischkek für die Wiederbelebung des Planetariums


Article by Jana Rapp with David Leupold as interviewee.

Novastan.org, 24 January 2021.


Kirgistans Kulturminister liebäugelt nach Skandalshow mit Zensur


Article by Florian Coppenrath.

Novastan.org,  16 January 2021.


The Impoverishment of the African Red Sea Littoral, 1640-1845


Podcast with Steven Serels.

New Books Network, 11 January 2021.


Blogbeitrag zu Aleida Assmann: „Polarisieren oder Solidarisieren?“


Article by Sonja Hegasy.

Merkur 8 January 2021.


Niger: le bilan s'alourdit après l'attaque de deux villages dans l'ouest du pays


Interview with Abdoulaye Sounaye.

Radio France Internationale, 4 January 2021.






Alumni News

“They opened up a part of the world to us”

ZMO's former vice director and current chair of the Gesellschaft zur Förderung des ZMO e.V. (Friends of ZMO), Achim von Oppen, published an article on pre-colonial knowledge production between Africa and Europe in Latitude, an online Magazine by the Goethe- Institute. "Heinrich Barth's discoveries were a slap in the face to contemporary European conceptions that pre-colonial Africa was a continent without states, literatures or history, writes von Oppen


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