Wednesday, 3 November 2021



Das ZMO ist mit drei Themen bei Book a Scientist am 10. November dabei!


Am 10. November 2021 ist es wieder Zeit für das Speeddating mit der Wissenschaft. Bei Book a Scientist haben alle Interessierten die Chance, sich 25 Minuten lang mit Expert*innen der Leibniz-Gemeinschaft auszutauschen und alles zu fragen, was sie schon immer zu ihrem Lieblingsthema wissen wollten.

Drei Forschende vom ZMO bieten Gespräche zu den folgenden Themen an:

David Leupold – Relikte der Zukunft? Das Nachleben der sozialistischen Stadt in Zentralasien und im Südkaukasus
Noura Chalati – Geheimdienste und internationale Kooperation: Geht das? Der Fall von Stasi und den syrischen „Mukhabarat
Robin Schmahl –
Imperialismus im Namen der Demokratie? Bonapartes Ägyptenfeldzug und seine Folgen für den Modernen Nahen Osten
Die Gespräche können auch auf Englisch geführt werden.

Für weitere Informationen und zur Terminbuchung klicken Sie bitte HIER.


3 November 2021, 5:30 pm, virtual event
Domestic and Transnational Factors in Sudan’s 2018 Popular Uprising and the Challenge of Transition from Autocracy to Democracy
Lecture by Khalid Mustafa Medani (McGill University) as part of the Red Sea Lecture Series.


On 25 October 2021, the Sudan witnessed a military coup that gravely threatens to reverse the country’s path towards a transition to democracy which first began in the aftermath of Sudan’s historic revolution of December 2018. This lecture will examine the underlying causes and consequences of the popular uprising of 2018 and 2019, the key factors that led up to the recent military coup, and the prospects for the resumption of a transition to a civilian democracy in the context of the ongoing wide-scale pro-democracy protests throughout the country. In addressing the obstacles as well as the prospects of a return to civilian rule, the lecture will evaluate the relative strength of the current regime’s capacity for coercion vis-à-vis what is a resurgent civil society opposition, the state of Sudan’s political economy and fiscal health, the level of international support, and the degree to which the state security sector is entrenched in Sudanese civil society.
Please register here:

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8 November 2021, 5 pm, hybrid event
Shared Margins: An Ethnography with Writers in Alexandria after the Revolution
Book presentation by Samuli Schielke (ZMO, Berlin) and Mukhtar Saad Shehata (Alexandria, Egypt).


Shared Margins tells of writers, writing, and literary milieus in Alexandria, Egypt’s second city. It de-centres cosmopolitan avant-gardes and secular-revolutionary aesthetics that have been intensively documented and studied since 2011. Instead, it offers a fieldwork-based account of various milieus and styles, and their common grounds and lines of division.

Structured in two parts, Shared Margins gives an account of literature as a social practice embedded in milieus that at once enable and limit literary imagination, and of a life-worldly experience of plurality in absence of pluralism that marks literary engagements with the intimate and social realities of Alexandria after 2011.

To participate via zoom, please register here:
If you would like to participate in person at ZMO, please send an email to

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10 November 2021, 5:30 pm, virtual event
The Myth and Reality of Poverty-Criminality Nexus: Discourse on Maritime Violence along the Somali Coast
Lecture by Awet Weldemichael (Queens University) as part of the Red Sea Lecture Series.


The explosion of maritime piracy off the coast of Somalia in the 21st century was so enigmatic to many that its origins had to be located in the deeper history of the region. The quest for such historical explanation to the contemporary problem was laced with pervading notions of enduring poverty across time and space along the Somali coast. This paper offers a critical re-reading of historical explanations that link presumed shipwrecking in the 19th century Somali shores to maritime predation in the 21st century Somalia. Without discounting the role of real poverty, it argues that the foreign creation and perpetuation of poverty amidst domestic plenty fuelled violence – and, to some degree, migration.
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17 November 2021, 5:30 pm, virtual event
International, Local Norms and Ethiopian Migration to the Gulf Countries: Some Critical Reflections
Lecture by Asnake Kefale (Addis Ababa University) as part of the Red Sea Lecture Series.


The main purpose of this paper is to critically examine Ethiopia's migration to the oil-rich Arab Gulf countries in light of international and norms. The rate of international migration from Ethiopia is still comparatively lower than the sub-Saharan Africa average. There has been, however, a recent increment in the outward migration of Ethiopians. The oil-rich Arab Gulf countries are major destinations for Ethiopian migrants. The majority of migrants to the gulf countries are irregular and their purpose of migration is to work in these countries and support themselves and their families. I contend in this paper that Ethiopian irregular migration to the gulf countries challenges in many ways global and local norms.
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25 November 2021, 5 pm, virtual event
Rentier Capitalism and Countermovements in Central Asia:
The Moral Economy Perspective
Lecture by Balihar Sanghera (University of Kent) as part of the ZMO Colloquium Political Economies of Original Inhabitation.


This lecture examines the moral economy of rent extraction in Central Asia. The rentier class has extracted rent through the ownership and control of scarce assets, such as credit money, shares, real estate, natural resources, radio spectrum and intellectual property. Rent is unearned income and parasitic, siphoning off surplus value produced by others. Neoliberalism has justified, promoted and normalised this form of income. The lecture is divided into three parts. The first part will explain how rent extraction has been justified and legitimised by economic elites, the judiciary and international financial institutions in Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan. The second part will discuss the harmful and damaging effects of rentier activities on economic development, people’s well-being, the environment and democracy. The third part will examine how grassroots movements have emerged to counter the neoliberal commodification of land, money and labour.

Please register here:

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30 November 2021, 5 pm, hybrid event
A Critical Rereading of Oman’s Labour and Development Story
Lecture by Crystal A. Ennis (Leiden University).


This lecture offers a critical re-reading of Omani development and work history. Dr. Ennis will reflect on what we can learn when we shift the entry point of our analysis from oil to human beings, or in this case, from one ‘factor of production’ to another – labour. Because the oil industry is capital rather than labour intensive, the story of work remains at the margins. By “centring” these margins — the living and working — she explores some of the lineages of differentiation and resistance that have shaped the contemporary labour market young Omanis face. Such analytical shifts do not discount the importance of oil, but signal that we lose valuable comparative insights by focusing on one puzzle and emphasizing exceptional narratives. Using labour as a lens allows us to build our understanding of development trajectories, the human impact of Oman’s embeddedness in global markets, the changing nature of work and workers, and the production of difference, regulation, and governance over time.

To participate via zoom, please register here:
If you would like to participate in person at ZMO, please send an email to

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Tenders & Calls

Call for Papers 
Women’s Leadership in the Religious Domain: Perspectives from South Asia and Beyond

Panel at the 34th Deutscher Orientalistentag (DOT) in Berlin in September 2022.


Anandita Bajpai (Ed.)
Cordial Cold War. Cultural Actors in India and the German Democratic Republic


SAGE 2021, 294 p.

Contributions from ZMO:
Anandita Bajpai: Warm Wavelengths. Radio Berlin International during the Cold War in India.

Reyazul Haque: A Witness to History. Production of Images of India in GDR Newsreels.

Nazan Maksudyan 
Refuge in research: Walter Ruben’s exile and internment in Turkey


ZMO Working Papers, 29, 2021, 14 p.




Aksana Ismailbekova 
Informal Governance, ‘Clan’ politics and Corruption


In: Rico Isaacs, Erica Marat (Eds.): Routledge Handbook of Contemporary Central Asia. Routledge, 2021, p. 87-100. 




Samuel Wright 
The Ontology of Now: reading time through 16th-and 17th-century nyāya philosophy


In: Shonaleeka Kaul (Ed.): Retelling Time. Alternative Temporalities from Premodern South Asia. Routledge, 2022, p. 172-184. 




Robin F. C. Schmahl 
"Was Kant a racist?": The public discussion on Germany's belated intellectual decolonisation


In: V. Luntumbue, P. Lefevre, S. Raab et al. (Eds.): Places in the Sun. Post-colonial dialogues in Europe and beyond. Institute for a Greater Europe, Brusels, 2021, p. 57-73.




Deepra Dandekar
An Ethnographic Exploration of Muharram(s) in Pune, Maharashtra


In: Pushkar Sohoni, Torsten Tschacher(Eds.): Non-Shia Practices of Muḥarram in South Asia and the Diaspora. Beyond Mourning. Routledge, 2022, p. 24-40. 




Aksana Ismailbekova 
Native son Japarov: The embodiment of injustice?

In: Anthropology Today, 37, 5, p. 14-17.

Sezai Ozan Zeybek, Hilal Alkan
Meyve Sineği ile %61 / 61% with the Fruit Flies

In: Mekanda Adalet Derneği/Center for Spatial Justice (Ed.): Salgın Sonrası İçin Ekolojik Manifestolar/Ecological Manifestos for a Post-pandemic World. Mekanda Adalet Derneği, Istanbul, 2021.

ZMO in the Media

Russlands Signal an Europa. Ernennung Peters I. zum Kaiser von Russland


Article by Stefan Kirmse.

Der Tagesspiegel, Jg. 77, Nr. 24 705 (2 November 2021), p. 18.


DDR-Auslandsrundfunk: Warme Wellenlängen im Kalten Krieg Das Hindi-Programm des DDR-Auslandsrundfunks


Interview with Anandita Bajpai.

Politik & Kultur, Nr. 11/21 (27 October 2021), p. 31.

Der Klang der Freundschaft – ein neuer Dokumentarfilm über Radiogeschichte zwischen der DDR und Indien


Article about the film screening of Anandita Bajpai's documentary., 25 October 2021.


Memories of injustice – for the liberation of Arab identity


Article by Sonja Hegasy., 18 October 2021.

Artikel hier auf Deutsch lesen.


Mehr als Religion: Vielschichtiger Konflikt in Mali


Interview with Ulrike Freitag and Judith Scheele.

Deutschlandfunk Kultur, 12 October 2021.


Muslimische Predigerinnen in Niger. Vorkämpferinnen mit traditionellem Weltbild


Interview with Abdoulaye Sounaye.

Deutschlandfunk Kultur,  3 October 2021.



Alumni News


Expertise zur Geschichte der Universität Kabul: Doktorarbeit von Kyara Klausmann bietet Hintergrundinformationen für einen Artikel im DIE ZEIT Dossier

Der Artikel "Die Übernahme" in der Wochenzeitung DIE ZEIT (Nr. 42/2021) berichtete im Oktober, wie um die Zukunft der Kabul University gerungen wird. Als Quelle zur Geschichte der Hochschule diente die noch unveröffentlichte Doktorarbeit unserer ehemaligen wissenschaftlichen Mitarbeiterin Kyara Klausmann über politischen Aktivismus an der Kabul University zur Zeit des Kalten Krieges.

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