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Lecture Series | Single Events | Exhibitions | Conferences and Symposia


Lecture Series

ZMO-Colloquium: Winter Term 2015-2016

The Future of the City: Contested Urbanism in Asia, Africa, and the Middle East

Organized by Dr. Hew Wai Weng (ZMO) and Dr. Sanaa Alimia (ZMO)

Time and Location:
All the events will take place at ZMO. The lectures will start at 5 pm sharp and will last until 6:30 pm.


Annual theme: The Future of the City: Contested Urbanism in Asia, Africa, and the Middle East

Poster with programme



Thursday, 24 September 2015, 5 pm, ZMO
India's GIFT: The Hubris of Technotopia in a Future of Smart Urbanization, Ayona Datta, University of Leeds (cancelled due to illness)

Thursday, 22 October 2015, 5 pm, ZMO
Kuwait's Urban Alternative: Youth Activism and Rights to the City, Farah Al-Nakib, American University of Kuwait

Thursday, 26 November 2015, 5 pm, ZMO
Abide in Me: An Enduring Faith in the Disappearing City. Reflections from the 'Deep South', AbdouMaliq Simone, Max Planck Institute for the Study of Religious and Ethnic Diversity, Gottingen

Thursday, 17 December 2015, 5 pm, ZMO
The Architecture of 'Reprendre' and the Future City: Cases from Kinshasa, Filip de Boeck, University of Leuven

Thursday, 28 January 2016, 5 pm, ZMO
Streets and Walls: Mobility and Visibility in Tehran, Shahram Khosravi, Stockholm University

Thursday, 3 March 2016, 5 pm, ZMO
Authoritarian Urban Planning and The People's Response: Understanding the Protest in Gezi Park, Tarik Sengul, Middle East Technical University, Ankara


ZMO-Colloquium: Summer Term 2015

Thursday, March 26th, 2015, 6 pm, ZMO
Geology, Potentiality, Speculation: On the Indeterminacy of “First Oil”
, Dr. Gisa Weszkalnys (London School of Economics)

Thursday, April 23rd, 2015, 6 pm, ZMO            
Von Opfern zu Überlebenden: Trauma und Aufarbeitung im Erinnerungsforum für Anfal überlebende Frauen in Kurdistan-Irak
, Dr. Karin Mlodoch youtube

Thursday, May 28th, 2015, 6 pm, ZMO
Nazareth in the First World War: "stately, open and fragrant"
, Prof. William G. Clarence-Smith (School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London)

Thursday, Juli 2nd, 2015, 6 pm, ZMO
Local commitments, national aspirations: the making of an African middle class, Prof. Dr. Carola Lentz (University of Mainz and Hanse Institute for Advanced Studies)


ZMO-Colloquium: Winter Term 2014-2015

Who Speaks? The Global History of Intellectual Practices: Epistemological, Political, and Ethical Challenges

Thursday, 16 October 2014, 6 pm, ZMO
A Vernacular Politics of Political Economy in Bengal, Prof Andrew Sartori (New York University)youtube

Thursday, 30 October 2014, 6 pm, ZMO
Emotional Translation. Conceptual History beyond Language, Prof Margrit Pernau and Imke Rajamani (Max Planck Institute for Human Development, Berlin)

Thursday, 27 November 2014, 6 pm, ZMO
Chronicling the Early Modern Ottoman Empire: Historiography and Historical Thought, Ethan Menchinger, (PhD, University of Michigan, EUME-Fellow 2014/2015)

Thursday, 18 December 2014, 6 pm, ZMO
Conceptualizing the Social in 19th-20th Century Egypt: Who and for Whom?(al-hayʾa al-ijtimāʿiyya and the ʿāmma/khāssa Dichotomy Revisited), Prof Dyala Hamzah (Université de Montréal)youtube

Thursday, 29 January 2015, 6 pm, ZMO
Why we Need to Study Intellectual Practice Elsewhere: Conceptual and Ethnographic Reflections from the Swahili Coast, Prof Kai Kresse (Columbia University, New York)

Thursday, 26 February 2015, 6 pm, ZMO
Caliphates and Kings: Secular Anxieties in Islamic Thought, Prof James McDougall (Oxford University) youtube


Urban Studies Seminar 2015/2016

Organized by Prof. Dr. Ulrike Freitag (ZMO) and PD Dr. Habil. Nora Lafi (ZMO)

Time and Location:
The events will take place in the rooms of ZMO every second Monday from 5-7 pm.


Annual theme:
Refugees in the City

Poster with programme



(Every Second Monday, 5 pm at ZMO)
Annual Theme : Cities and Refugees (Middle-East, Africa, Asia)

November 2nd, Ulrike Freitag and Nora Lafi (ZMO), Introduction: Urban Studies and the Question of Refugees: Considerations on Historiography and Present-Day Challenges

November 16th, Erol Ülker (Istanbul Kemerburgaz University / EUME Fellow 2015/16), Refugees, Foreigners, Non-Muslims: Nationalism and Xenophobia in Interwar Istanbul

November 30th, Maija Susarina (ZMO), Peruvian Amazonian Indigenous Peoples as Refugees in their Own Country: The Urban Condition in Lima

December 14th, Marwa el-Chab (EHESS) and Rajaa Bechara (Ana Aqraa), A Case Study of the Syrian Displacement in Beirut: Sabra and Chatila

January 11th, Gerhard Hoffstaedter (University of Queensland), Urban Refugees in Kuala Lumpur: Living a Life in Limbo

January 18th, Double lecture: Julia Hauser (University of Kassel), Ambiguities of Altruism: The Kaiserswerth Deaconesses and Relief Rivalries in post-1860 Beirut, Ayham Dalal (TU Berlin), Reflections on Displacement and Urbanism – The case of Zaatari Camp in Jordan

January 25th, Luigi Achilli (EUI), The Spatial Evolution of the al-Wihdat Palestinian Refugee Camp in Jordan (1948-2015)

February 8th, Philipp Misselwitz (TU Berlin, Habitat Unit), Urban Refugees in the Middle East and Germany: A Comparative Approach

March 7th, Beya Abidi (FISHTC-Université de la Manouba, Tunis), Refugees from al-Andalus and the Urban Evolution of the Lower Medjerba Valley in the 17th and 18th Centuries

April 18th, Romola Sanyal (LSE), Urbanizations  of  Refugees: Understanding Displacements in the Global South

May 2, Livia Gerster (FU Berlin), “Asylum Tourists”: Lebanese Civil War Refugees in West Berlin

May 23th, Abdoulaye Sounaye (ZMO), “Ils viennent du Nord”: Refugees Reviving Social Ties in Niamey in the Aftermath of the 2012 War in Mali

June 6th, Nazan Maksudyan (Istanbul Kemerburgaz University / EUME Fellow 2009/10), Refugee Children in Istanbul after the Crimean and the Ottoman Russian Wars

June 20th, Sanaa Alimia (ZMO), Afghan Refugees in Peshawar: Making the City (1978-2015)

July 4th, Raed Bader (Birzeit University), The Toponymy of Refugee Camps in Palestine: An Urban Mirror of Displacement

July 18th, Agathe Menetrier (ZMO), Do Urban Settings Enhance Refugees Livelihood and Local Integration? A Case Study of Urban Refugees in Dakar and Svenja Linnemann (Humboldt Universität), The Making-of of a Wilkommenskultur (Culture of Welcome): Emergency Accommodation for Refugees in Berlin-Moabit and the Importance of 'Third-Places' in the Production of the Local Opinion

Conclusion round-table with Frédéric Bocquet (Médecins du Monde)


Urban Studies Seminar 2014/2015

Organized by Prof. Ulrike Freitag and PD Dr. Habil. Nora Lafi

(Every Second Monday, 5 pm at ZMO)
Annual theme: Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Urban Marginality in Africa, the Middle-East and Asia

November 10th 2014, Azita Bathaïe (ZMO, Fernand Braudel Fellow):
Mobility from Iran to Kabul: 'Newcomers' as Margins

Special session to be held at 4 pm at the Centre Marc Bloch, Georg Simmel Saal, Friedrichstraße 191, D-10117 Berlin
November 20th, Jean-François Pérouse (Institut Français d'Etudes Anatoliennes, Istanbul): The Tremendous Making and Unmaking of the Peripheries in Current Istanbul

November 24th 2014, Simon Gunn (University of Leicester):
Containing Urban England: The Green Belt in the Twentieth Century

December 8th 2014, Ufuk Adak (EUME Fellow 2014-2015 at ZMO):
On the Margins of the City: Izmir Prison

January 12th 2015, Katharina Zöller (University of Bayreuth):
The Manyema of Dar es Salaam (Tanzania) between Urban Margin and Regional Connections

January 26th 2015, Katrin Bromber (ZMO):
"They Thought that We Were Criminals": Sports and Urban Marginality in Addis Ababa, 1920s to 1970s

April 13th 2015, Aksana Ismailbekova (ZMO) :
Urban Uzbeks at the Margins of Osh

April 27th 2015, Marie Rodet (SOAS London):
Kayes' Marginalised Histories of Slavery: Telescoping of Memories, Telescoping of Meanings

May 4th 2015, Yektan Turkyilmaz (EUME Fellow 2014-2015 at ZMO):
War, Revolution and Re-making the Urban Margins of Van Province,
May-August 1915

May 11th 2015, Franck Mermier (CNRS-EHESS Paris):
Markets and Marginality in Beirut

June 1st 2015, Saskia Schäfer (Columbia University New York):
Religious Diversity & Urban Space: Intersecting Mechanisms of Exclusion in Jakarta and Kuala Lumpur

June 15th 2015, Jeanine Dagyeli (ZMO):
Whose Margins? Sacred Space and Marginalized Populations in pre-Soviet Bukhara

June 29th 2015, Stefan Knost (Humboldt University of Berlin):
Marginality in 18th and 19th Century Aleppo: Some socio-economic observations


Engaging with Contemporary Philosophy in the Middle East and Muslim South Asia

Organized by Roman Seidel (BGSMCS) and Nils Riecken (ZMO). Funded by the Graduate School Muslim Cultures and Societies of the Free University Berlin.

Time and Location:
All the lectures will take place from 6-8 pm in room 2.2058 of the "Holzlaube" at Free University Berlin (2nd floor, Fabeckstraße 23-25, 14195 Berlin, metro trainstation Dahlem-Dorf, U3).


Poster | Flyer with programme


November 5th, 2015, Anke von Kügelgen (Universität Bern):
Philosophie in der nahöstlichen Moderne – ein Rundblick

November 19th, 2015, Jan-Peter Hartung (School for Oriental and African Studies, University of London): Saving Religion? – The Uneasy Engagement of Contemporary Indo-Muslim Philosophers with Western Philosophical Alternatives

December 10th, 2015, Ali Gheissari (University of San Diego):
Reception of Modern European Philosophy in Iran

January 14th, 2016, Elizabeth Kassab (Universität Marburg):
Contemporary Arab Thought and Philosophy: their Significance to Contemporary Arabs

January 28th, 2016, Sarhan Dhouib (Universität Kassel):
Intoleranz und Toleranz in der arabischen Moderne

February 11th, 2016, Zeynep Direk (Koç University, Istanbul):
The Problem of Depropriation in the Islamic Approach to Philosophy in Turkey


Single Event

Thursday, December 3rd, 2015, 4 pm, FU Berlin, "Holzlaube" (Fabeckstraße 23-25, 14195 Berlin, Room 2.2051)

Oman's Maritime Relations in Modern History

Lecture by Prof. Dr. Mohammed ben Saad Al Muqadam (Sultan Qaboos University Muscat, Oman)


Tuesday, December 1st, 2015, 2 pm, ZMO

In the Lap of the Mountains: The Irrigation Systems of Ladakh's Farming Communities

Film screening and discussion with Joe Hill


Thursday, November 24th, 2015, 6-8 pm, HU Berlin, Institut für Afrika- und Asienwissenschaften (Invalidenstraße 118, 10115 Berlin, Raum 315, 3. OG)

Zones of Being and Non-Being in the Post-Colony / The Architecture of Colonisation in Pakistan

Lectures by Oscar Guardiola-Rivera (Birkbeck College, London) and Qalandar Bux Memon (Editor of Naked Punch Review), organized by Sanaa Alimia (ZMO)


Thursday, November 19th, 2015, 5 pm, ZMO

Together and Apart: The Case of Gilgit-Baltistan in the Context of the Kashmir Question

Vortrag von Aziz Ali Dad, in the framework of the programme Crossroads Asia


Thursday, November 12th, 2015, 7 pm, Centre Marc Bloch, Friedrichstraße 191, 10117 Berlin

Vom Nutzen der area studies in Zeiten der Globalisierung

Panel diuscussion on the occasion of the book publication Phantomgrenzen - Räume und Akteure in der Zeit neu denken


Thursday, November 5th, 2015, 5 pm, ZMO

Scholarly Interlopers? German Indologists, British India and Colonial Knowledge: Using German university archives to study modern Indian history

Lecture Indra Segupta in the framework of the project meeting "Modern India in German Archives" (MIDA)


Wednesday, October 14th, 2015, 5-6:30 pm, Forum Transregionale Studien, Wallotstr. 14, 14193 Berlin

War in the City: Violence, Counter Violence and Sectarian Polarisation in Istanbul's Kurdish and Alevi Neigbourhoods

Lecture by Deniz Yonucu (EUME, Alexander-von-Humboldt-Foundation)


Monday, October 5th, 2015, 7:30 pm, Urania Berlin e. V., An der Urania 17, 10787 Berlin

Fragil stabil – der Libanon 25 Jahre nach dem Bürgerkrieg

Discussion moderated by Sonja Hegasy


Monday, October 5th, 2015, 7 pm, Zentrum für Literatur- und Kulturforschung, Schützenstr. 18, 10117 Berlin

Islamische Selbstkritik - gibt es sie überhaupt?

Reading und discussion with Islamic Studies scholar and writer Enes Karić


Sunday, September 13th, 2015, ZMO and Historische Kommission, Berlin

Opene Day - European Heritage Days


Friday, July 10th, 2:15 pm, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Dorotheenstr. 24, Room 1.402

Stamping out the Threat: Passports and Threat Perceptions during the Late Ottoman Empire (1876-1908)

Lecture by Dr. İlkay Yilmaz, Berliner Forschungskolloquium Südosteuropa


Thursday, July 9th, 2015, 6 pm, Department of South Asian Studies Institute for Asian and African Studies, Invalidenstr. 118, Room 217

Refugee Cities: Afghan Refugees, Undocumented Migrants, and 'Devalued' Citizens in Urban Pakistan.

Guest lecture by Dr. Sanaa Alimia


Thursday, July 9th, 2015, 4 pm, Centre Marc Bloch, Georg-Simmel Saal, 3. floor, Friedrichstraße 191, 10117 Berlin

Kunstdenkmäler an der doppelten Grenze: Osteuropa vor und nach 1945

Phantomgrenzen - Werkstattgespräch with Michaela Marek


Thursday, June 18th, 2015, 4 pm, Centre Marc Bloch, Georg-Simmel Saal, 3. floor, Friedrichstraße 191, 10117 Berlin

Grenze und regionale Geschichtspolitik heute: Sachsen und Tschechien

Phantomgrenzen - Werkstattgespräch with Miloš Řeznik


felaWednesday, May 27th, 2015, 8 pm, Hackesche Höfe Cinema, Rosenthaler Straße 40/41, 10178 Berlin

Fadhma N'Soumer - Joan Arc of Kabylia

German Premiere with Director Belkacem Hadjadj and an open discussion with Nora Lafi


Thursday, May 21st, 2015, 4 pm, Centre Marc Bloch, Georg-Simmel Saal, 3. Etage, Friedrichstraße 191, 10117 Berlin

Eisenbahnnetzentwicklung in Mitteleuropa: Die Materialisierung von Phantomgrenzen?

Phantomgrenzen - Werkstattgespräch with Uwe Müller


Tuesday, April 21st, 2015, 6 pm, Zentrum für Literatur- und Kulturforschung, Trajekteraum, 3. floor, Schützenstraße 18, Berlin

Saudi Women´s Participation in National Development

Lecture by Dr Basmah M. Omair


Thursday, April 16th, 2015, 4 pm, Centre Marc Bloch, Georg-Simmel Saal, 3. floor, Friedrichstraße 191, 10117 Berlin

Freies Europa? Zur Funktion und Sichtbarkeit europäischer Grenzen

Phantomgrenzen - Werkstattgespräch with Dr Angela Siebold


felaSunday, April 12th, 2015, 4 pm, Babylon Kino, Rosa-Luxemburg-Str. 30, 10178 Berlin

Home Sweet Home

Film screening in the framework of the Arab Film Festival - ALFILM with an Introduction by Saadi Nikro


Wednesday, February 11th, 2015, 6 pm, Deutsch-Arabische Freundschaftsgesellschaft

Arab regionalism: a post-structural perspective

Lecture by Dr Silvia Ferabolli
Registration requested:


Thursday, January 8th, 2015, 6 pm, Institut für Islamwissenschaft der FU, Altensteinstr. 40, Berlin

Musulmans dans l´histoire de l´Europe : Repenser la Méditerranée

Lecture by Jocelyne Dakhlia (EHESS).
Registrarion with is requested.


felaWednesday, January 14th, 2015, 8 pm, Hackesche Höfe Kino, Rosenthaler Straße 40/41, 10178 Berlin

Berlin Premiere „Finding Fela“ (OengU)

with Fela´s manager Rikki Stein in attendance


Exhibitions / Performances / Films

spritual highwayFrom October 30th, 2014 until January 15th, 2015

The Spiritual Highway

Curator Marloes Janson, photographs by Akintunde Akinleye

In the framework of the conference Sermon in the city (October 30-31, 2014)

Conferences and Symposia

November 27, TU Berlin, Architekturgebäude (Straße des 17. Juni 152, 10587 Berlin, Raum A 060)

Begegnungen - Archäologie und Ethnologie im Dialog. Erfahrungen und
Reflexionen aus der Praxis in Vorder- und Zentralasien und Nordafrika

Flyer | Programme

Interdisciplinary colloquium, organized by the Zentrum Moderner Orient and the faculty for Historical Building Research of the TU Berlin in cooperation with SFB 1070 "Resource culturen" of the University of Tübingen as well as the Austrian Archaeological Institute Vienna. Supported by the Fritz Thyssen Foundation.


October 29 - 31, Center for Literary and Cultural Research Berlin (ZfL)

Annual Conference of the Center for Literary and Cultural Research Berlin (ZfL) on the topic "Die Wiederkehr der Religionen und die Kulturwissenschaften"
With a lecture of Nils Riecken (ZMO) on "Moderne und Islam provinzialisieren: Abdallah Laroui und die Dialektik von profaner und theologischer Zeit"


October 16, Symposium, film, concert, Volksbühne, Roter Salon, Berlin, Rosa-Luxemburg-Platz, 10178 Berlin

"Mit Besen und Kochlöffeln gegen den Diktator" - Burkina Faso zwischen Revolte und Wahl: Symposium, Film, Konzert


September 30 - October 2, Conference, ZMO

Life Writing - Writing Lives: Engaging Knowledge, Time and Self


September 9-10, Workshop, ZMO

Mauritania's Manuscripts – a critical evaluation former conversation projects and developing future strategies


Thursday, August 20th, ZMO

Workshop Multilingual Islamic literature in Wällo, North-Eastern Ethiopia


June 25-27, ZMO

Workshop and Project meeting: Cultural exchange in a time of global conflict: Colonials, Neutrals and Belligerents during the First World war (CEGC)


Tuesday, June 9th,ZMO

Workshop: Security, Crime, Punishment, and Prisons in the Late Ottoman Empire

This workshop is open to the public. Please register at:


June 4-5, ZMO

Interdisciplinary Workshop: A Sea that Links and Binds: Cooperation, Coercion and Compulsion across the Red Sea from the Eighteenth Century to the Present

This workshop is open to the public. Please register at:


May 8-9, ZMO

Internationaler Workshop: Print Culture and Islamic Thought, 1850-1950

This workshop is open to the public. Please register at:


April 21st, 2015, from 10 am onwards, ZMO

Conference: Crowds, Protests and Processions

This conference is open to the public. Organized by Dr Reza Masoudi Nejad.


March 16-19, 2015, GWZ

Conference Urban fragmentation(s) BORDERS & IDENTITY III
Programme l Flyer

Keynote Speakers:

- Tarek El-Ariss (Associate Professor of Arabic and Comparative Literature, University of Texas at Austin, The Sublime Now)

- Norma Mendoza-Denton (Associate Professor of Linguistic Anthropology, University of California, Los Angeles, Hemispheric Localism and Gang Membership among Latina/o Gangs in Northern California)

- Timothy Moss (Head of Department Deputy Director of the Leibniz Institute for Regional Development and Structural Planning (IRS) Erkner, Germany, Splintering Urbanism Revisited)


February 27-28, 2015, ZMO

Workshop of the Leibniz-Forschungsverbund "Historische Authentizität":
Lokale Geschichte(n), (Macht-)Politik und die Suche nach historischer Authentizität

Conference report

The workshop is open to the public, with advance registration at:


January 30-31, 2015, Seminar für Südasien-Studien, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin

Open Workshop "Modern India in German Archives, 1706 – 1989" (MIDA)

Organized by Dr. Heike Liebau (ZMO), Prof. Dr. Ravi Ahuja (Universität Göttingen) and Prof. Dr. Michael Mann (HU Berlin)