ZMO News

Wednesday, 4 December 2019

11 December 2019, 6 pm, Foyer of the Staatliche Museen zu Berlin in Dahlem, Lansstraße 8, 14195 Berlin
Rewriting the humanities from Africa: for an ecology of knowledge
1st Berlin Southern Theory Lecture with Prof Felwine Sarr, Université Gaston Berger, St. Louis

Discussant: Kai Kresse (ZMO/FU Berlin)
Welcome, Introduction & Moderation: Alexis von Poser (Staatliche Museen zu Berlin); Hansjörg Dilger, Sandra Calkins, Kristina Mashimi (FU Berlin)

Felwine Sarr's lectures and academic research focus on epistemology, economic policies, and the history of religious ideas. Amongst his publications are Méditations Africaines (Mémoire d'Encrier, 2012), Afrotopia (Philippe Rey, 2016), Ishindenshin (Mémoire d’encrier, 2017) and Habiter le Monde (Mémoire d’encrier, 2017). In 2018, Sarr and French art historian Bénédicte Savoy, published Restituer le patrimoine Africain (Seuil/Phillipe Rey), a report on the restitution of African artifacts taken by France during the colonial period, commissioned by the French president, Emmanuel Macron.

The annual Berlin Southern Theory Lecture is organized by the Institute of Social and Cultural Anthropology of the Freie Universität Berlin and the Leibniz-Zentrum Moderner Orient.

Weitere Infos

Georg Forster Research Award for Prof Abdulkader Tayob

We congratulate Prof Abdoulkader Tayob on the Georg Forster Forschungspreis, granted by the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation. He was nominated by Leibniz-Zentrum Moderner Orient and will be cooperating with the center closely in the course of the next year.
Tayob currently holds the chair in Islam, African Publics and Religious Values at the University of Cape Town, South Africa. His research has set standards for the contemporary study of Islam in South Africa, and his approach was applied and extended to the study of Muslim contexts in other countries in Africa and elsewhere. Furthermore, his work also has relevant general conceptual and methodological implications for Religious Studies more broadly.
ZMO has a long-ranging history of personal academic collaborations with Tayob as his research interests overlap with several working groups and individual researchers. Conceptual decolonization and the overcoming of Eurocentrism in scholarship, especially insofar as it concerns the problematic of area studies and the (mis-)representation of Africa, is one major field of shared interest. ZMO is looking forward to working with Tayob more closely in the future and to host him in Berlin in 2020.


9 December 2019, 5 pm, ZMO
Intersecting Paths. Sufi Connections across the North Caucasus and the Russian Urals.
Double-lecture by Dr. Shamil Shikhaliev (Russian Academy of Sciences Makhachkala) and Dr. Jesko Schmoller (Perm State University/ZMO) as part of the lecture series “Central Eurasian Studies and Translocality: A Debate Unfolding”

The two presenters attend to transnationally operating mystical paths (tariqa) in wider Central Eurasia and particularly the connection between the North Caucasus and the Russian Urals. Employing a historical approach, Dr. Shikhaliev works with “ijazat-name” in Arabic scripture, certificates of competence that Sufi adepts (murids) receive from their masters. Dr. Schmoller presents his ethnographic material gathered in meetings with current Tatar and Bashkir Sufi murids from the Naqshbandi Mujaddidi brotherhood in the Urals. The old transnational connections continue to exist, as some of the younger murids are trained at a madrassa in Istanbul and the sheikh of the brotherhood regularly assembles his followers in neighbouring Kazakhstan.

More info

17 December 2019, 5 pm, ZMO
Discussion with Deepak Unnikrishnan
Moderated by: Lorenzo Casini (University of Messina)

Deepak Unnikrishnan is a writer from Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates (UAE) whose work has won various awards, including the inaugural Restless Books Prize for New Immigrant Writing for his book "Temporary People". His book comprises linked stories about the different experiences of migrant workers and residents in the UAE, where foreign nationals make up over 80 percent of the population. All foreigners are eventually required to leave or secure yet another visa, as there is no set path to naturalization. His writing gives an insight into the multilingual environment of Abu Dhabi, as well as the psychological effects of living for extended periods in a state of transience. One of his stories which was later incorporated into the book is available online in Guernica magazine, entitled “Gulf Return”. Educated in the United States, Unnikrishnan first taught at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and is currently a lecturer in the writing program at New York University in Abu Dhabi.

More info

Tenders & Calls

International Parliamentary Scholarships (IPS)

The German Bundestag, in cooperation with the Freie Universität Berlin, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin and the Technische Universität Berlin, offers scholarships to young university graduates from 42 countries. The IPS programme lasts a total of five months (1 March to 31 July) and involves a number of special events, seminars and a work placement with a Member of the German Bundestag.
The deadline for applications was extended to 15 December 2019.

New Publications

Stefan B. Kirmse 
The Lawful Empire. Legal Change and Cultural Diversity in Late Tsarist Russia

Cambridge University Press, 2019, 310 pp.

A preview is available on Google Books



Stabilität und Gewalt: Die Ruhe vor dem Sturm

Video von der Bundeszentrale für politische Bildung und Zenith über den Arabischen Frühling. Im Interview: Samuli Schielke (ZMO).



Rap in Kyrgyz

ZOiS Spotlight 42/2019 by ZMO Associate Florian Coppenrath.



New Logo at ZMO

New look, but same Expertise...ZMO has a new logo that is now used also in the NEwsletter...soon new website

Seasons Greetings

Merry Christmas and best wishes for a happy and successful New Year to you and your family!

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