Tuesday, 2 March 2021



Book a Scientist – Das Speeddating mit der Wissenschaft


Am 18. März veranstaltet die Leibniz-Gemeinschaft erneut ein "Book a Scientist". Dabei haben Sie die Chance, sich 25 Minuten lang mit einer Expertin oder einem Experten der Leibniz-Gemeinschaft auszutauschen und alles zu fragen, was Sie schon immer zu Ihrem Lieblingsthema wissen wollten.  

Drei unserer ZMO-Kolleg*innen bieten zwischen 17 Uhr und 18:30 Uhr die folgenden Gesprächsthemen an:

  • Hip-Hop in Zentralasien: Auf der Suche nach einer Klangidentität (Florian Coppenrath)
  • Geheimdienste und internationale Kooperation: Der Fall von Stasi und den syrischen „Mukhabarat“ (Noura Chalati)
  • Development and underdevelopment in a state periphery: the case of Papua, Indonesia (Jacob Nerenberg)

Anmelden können Sie sich direkt bei der Leibniz-Gemeinschaft per Email: Veranstaltungen@leibniz-gemeinschaft.de


11 March 2021, 3 pm, virtual event
The Question of Power in Classical Islam: Searching for the roots of deliberative processes
Lecture by Abdul-Hameed Al-Kayyali (Institut français du Proche Orient, Amman) as part of the "The Historicity of Democracy Seminar"


In the Islamic tradition, after the death of the prophet Muhammad in 632 C.E., a series of successors called khulafâ’ or caliphs, claimed political authority over the Muslim community. The emergence of the institution of the Caliphate during this formative period of Islam (sadr al-Islâm) saw the convergence of elements of various origins, the interaction of which had a strong influence on the redefinition of questions of power, legitimacy and deliberation. This lecture, on the basis of a reading of a series of manuscripts and treaties, by al-Tabari (839-923 C.E), al-Balathuri (d. in 892 C.E.), al-Masoudi (d. in 956 C.E.) and others, will analyse the contrast between narrations of elections and selection processes during the period described as the Rashidun and the consolidation of processes of hereditary nature under the Umayyad and then the Abbasid dynasties.
For registration, please send an email to HISDEMAB@gmail.com

More info

25 March 2021, 3 pm, virtual event
Contemporary Visions of Historical Deliberative processes in Egypt
Lecture by Amr Elshobaki (Alahram center for political & strategic studies, Cairo) as part of the "The Historicity of Democracy Seminar"


This lecture will analyse the relationship between contemporary debates on deliberative processes in Egypt and perceptions of the various historical layers of constitutional history. This perspective will be the base for reflections on the historicity and nature of processes of political deliberation in Egypt. Amr Elshobaki will then focus on the question of the role of the Egyptian Parliament in relation to the concept and practice of democracy, as well as on matters of deliberation and decision-making following the events of 2011. He will also reflect on such issues through his own experience as a Member of Parliament involved in constitutional reform in Egypt and as a columnist involved in debates on political Action.
For registration, please send an email to HISDEMAB@gmail.com

More info

1 April 2021, 5 pm, virtual event
Esoteric authority and Sufi networks of the hajj. East African hajj accounts, 1898-1951
Lecture by Anne K. Bang (University of Bergen) as part of the ZMO Colloquium


This talk presents a selection of East African travel- and hajj accounts and takes note of how the hajj itself is described.The pilgrimage, besides it’s religious value for the traveller, if often stated to have two evident social and potentially also political effects: Enhancing the status of the pilgrim upon return (becoming haji) and expanding the network of the haji to include fellow Muslims beyond his or her immediate community. This talk explores how these two aspects of the pilgrimage is expressed in East African accounts. It argues that travellers tended to emphasize the esoteric authority they had obtained on their journey (encounters with shaykhs dead and alive) over normative rituals such as the hajj. This will be discussed in the context of the Sufi paradigm that governed East African Islamic scholarship well into the 20th century.
Please register at registration@zmo.de

More info

12 April 2021, 5 pm, virtual event
Islam in a Zongo. Muslim Lifeworlds in Asante, Ghana
Book presentation by Benedikt Pontzen (affiliated research fellow at ZMO)


Zongos, wards in West Africa populated by traders and migrants from the northern savannahs and the Sahel, are a common sight in Ghana's Asante region where the people of these wards represent a dual-minority as both foreigners and Muslims in a largely Christian area, facing marginalisation as a result. Islam provides the people of the zongos with a common ground and shared values, becoming central to their identity and to their shared sense of community. This detailed account of Islamic lifeworlds highlights the irreducible diversity and complexity of 'everyday' lived religion among Muslims in a zongo community. Benedikt Pontzen traces the history of Muslim presence in the region and analyses three Islamic phenomena encountered in its zongos in detail: Islamic prayer practices, the authorisation of Islamic knowledge, and ardently contested divination and healing practices.
Please register at registration@zmo.de

More info

Climate Change, Political Economy, and Connectivity in the Red Sea Region
Spring 2021 Webinar by the Red Sea Net

Webinar series organised by Nathalie Peutz (New York University Abu Dhabi, affiliated research fellow at ZMO) and Alden Young (University of California Los Angeles). The next presentation is on 3 March 2021 by Sophia Kalantzakos on "Strategic partnership or systemic Rivalry in a Microcosm: ΕU and China in Djibouti".
Nathalie Peutz herself will give a lecture at the American Academy (online lecture) on "Displacement in the Horn of Africa: Racialization, Migration, and the United Nations" on
11 March, 7:30 pm.

More info



Sonja Hegasy
"Der Text liest den Leser". Apropos Mohammed Abed Al-Jabri, 1935–2010

"Kann der Kapitalismus – oder der Imperialismus – sich in eine humanistische Bewegung transformieren? Das bezweifle ich!" Mohammed Abed Al-Jabri im Interview mit Sonja Hegasy. Casablanca, 6. Mai 1993


Both texts in: polylog. Forum für interkulturelles Philosophieren e.V., 44,      p. 129-136/137-149.



Zilola Khalilova
“Believers don’t do politics”: The practices of Soviet madrasa students and Soviet cultural policy in the Middle East, 1955–1991


ZMO Working Papers, No. 27, 2021.




Tenders & Calls

Open research position in the DFG long-term project "Modern India in German Archives" (MIDA)

To be filled at the earliest possible date (April/May).
Deadline for submitting the application: 31 March 2021

Open position of a student assistant in the research unit “Contested Religion"

Starting 1 April 2021
Deadline for submitting the application: 23 March 2021

ZMO in the Media

Spotify expandiert nach Zentralasien


Article by Florian Coppenrath.

Novastan.org, 25 February 2021.

Also available in English and French.


Young Omani Swahili-speakers and the Zanzibar Diaspora


Interview with Franziska Fay.

Podcast by the Anglo-Omani Society, 15 February 2021.


Deepra Dandekar, “The Subhedar's Son”

Podcast with Deepra Dandekar on her 2019 monograph, Hindu Studies, New Books in Indian Religions, 12 February 2021.


جدة بعيون ألمانية مدينة انفتحت على العالم

Book review of "A History of Jeddah" by Ulrike Freitag in Al Watan, 4 February 2021. 


Für ein dekolonisiertes Verständnis von Zeit

Report on the second Berlin Southern Theory Lecture in campus.leben, 4 February 2021.




Videos and Audio

Recordings from past events at ZMO

Did you miss an event at ZMO? We recorded a number of presentations in the past months and made them available on our YouTube and Soundcloud channels. There you Can find for example three lectures from the ZMO Colloquium "Understanding Populism: State, Academia, and Civil Society", the Second Berlin Southern Theory Lecture with Prathama Banerjee, a book talk by Mona Abaza on her latest publication "Cairo collages: Everyday life practices after the event" or a lecture by Franziska Fay on Young Swahili-speakers in Oman and the ‘Zanzibar Diaspora’.


Find us on:





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