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Lecture Series | Single Events | Exhibitions | Conferences and Symposia


Lecture Series

Thinking and Re-Thinking the World in the Decolonial Era:
Thinkers and Theorizing from the Global South

Intellectual cultures, intellectual histories, and theoretical contributions of thinkers from marginalized regions of the world in the so-called ‘Global South’ are largely still underexplored and undervalued. Building on the conviction that the dominance of Eurocentrism needs to be reined in and overcome, both conceptually and instutionally, this lecture series seeks to work towards redressing such imbalance in scholarship and public consciousness.

Conceptualization and Coordination: Kai Kresse, ZMO & FU Berlin, and Berlin-based working group ‘Thinkers and Theorizing from the Global South’.


All lectures are held at ZMO and start at 5 pm sharp, with the exception of the talk on 11 December 2019. This event will take place at FU Berlin and starts 6 pm.

Programme Poster






26 September 2019, 5 pm, ZMO
Re-thinking towards We-thinking. Reflections on Epistemic Decolonization
Claudia Derichs, Institute for Asian and African Studies, HU Berlin

31 October 2019, 5 pm, ZMO
South and North, East and West: Knowledge Circulations and Connections in a Disordered World
Seteney Shami, Arab Council for the Social Sciences, Social Science Research Council

28 November 2019, 5 pm, ZMO
The Purva-Paksha of the Indian Modern: History, Critique, and Constructive Philosophy
Rakesh Pandey, Centre for the Study of Developing Societies, New Delhi

11 December 2019, 6 pm, Ethnologisches Museum, Lansstraße 8, 14195 Berlin
First Annual Berlin Southern Theory Lecture organized in cooperation with the Institute of Social and Cultural Anthropology, FU Berlin
Felwine Sarr, Gaston Berger University, Senegal

30 January 2020, 5 pm, ZMO
Arts, humanities, and social science knowledge making: Thoughts on research on, for, with, in, and of Africa
Saleem Badat, Andrew W. Mellon Foundation

27 February 2020, 5 pm, ZMO
More than a Critique? Revisiting the ‘Third World Approach to International Law’ (TWAIL)
Nahed Samour, Law & Society Institute, HU Berlin


Central Eurasian Studies and Translocality. A Debate Unfolding

While Central Eurasia, by definition, lies at the heart of the Eurasian continent, it tends to be treated as a periphery, as a region at the edge of overlapping cultural spaces such as the post-Soviet, Turkic, or Muslim worlds. It tends to be exoticised and perceived as an era of transit and transition, an object of great power politics (the ‘Great Game’), a religious and ethnic powder-keg, and a playground for eccentric autocrats and their kin. It is commonly framed in terms of its distant and recent pasts (being examined predominantly as ‘post-Soviet’, ‘post-socialist’, or as part of the ancient and modern Silk Roads), while elements of culture – Islam, clan networks etc. – are frequently foregrounded in the analysis. 

The lecture series planned for the autumn of 2019 and spring of 2020 will bring doctoral and postdoctoral scholars working on Central Eurasia to ZMO and allow them to present their research in the context of the centre’s unfolding discussions of translocality, with which they are asked to engage in preparation.


Veranstaltungsort und Uhrzeit:
All lectures are held at ZMO and start at 5 pm sharp.

Programme Poster







21 October 2019, 5 pm, ZMO
From ‘Post-’ to ‘Trans-’…?: Why and How Translocality Matters in New Central Eurasian Studies
Prof. Dr. Manja Stephan-Emmrich (HU Berlin)

11 November 2019, 5 pm, ZMO
What is in the Air: Global Environmentalism and Local Activists in Bishkek and Almaty
Xeniya Prilutskaya (Tübingen University)

9 December 2019, 5 pm, ZMO
Intersecting Paths. Sufi Connections across the North Caucasus and the Russian Urals
Dr. Shamil Shikhaliev (Russian Academy of Sciences Makhachkala) & Dr. Jesko Schmoller (ZMO)

13 January 2020, 5 pm, ZMO
Farmers’ Cooperation in Water Management in Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan
Dr. Nodir Djanibekov (Leibniz Institute of Agricultural Development in Transition Economies, Halle)

10 February 2020, 5 pm, ZMO
Bukhara or Istanbul, Cairo or Tsakhur? Centres of Power in the History of the Volga Tatars’ Islamic Education
Prof. Leila Almazova (Kazan Federal University)

9 March 2020, 5 pm, ZMO
Between Tashkent and Kokand: Connected Social Lives in Turkestan under Russian Colonial Rule
Nasriddin Mirzaev (Islamic Academy of Uzbekistan)

30 March 2020, 5 pm, ZMO
The Socialist Project in the Soviet and Post-Soviet South: Materiality and Translocality in Central Asia and the Caucasus
PD Dr. Stefan Kirmse & Dr. David Leupold (both ZMO)

11 May 2020, 5 pm, ZMO
Globalization and Youth Culture in Post-Soviet Central Asia: The Cases of Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan
Nazgul Mingisheva (Astana, Kazakhstan) & Florian Coppenrath (ZMO and HU Berlin)

8 June 2020, 5 pm, ZMO
Photography of Russian Turkestan: The Construction of Colonial Representations and their Reuse in Today’s Social Networks
Dr. Svetlana Gorshenina (Observatory ‘Alerte Héritage’)

13 July 2020, 5 pm, ZMO
Sacred Place, Emerging Spaces: Urban-Religious Configurations in Azerbaijan and Georgia
Dr. Tsypylma Darieva (Centre for East European and International Studies/ZOiS, Berlin)


ZMO-Colloquium: Summer Term 2019

28 March 2019, 5 pm, ZMO
Zahir Bhalloo (BGSMCS)
Translocal Ritual Practices in a Shi’a Community of Oman

2 May 2019, 6 pm, Room 2.2058, Holzlaube, FU Berlin
Ben Fortna (University of Arizona)
Married to It:  The War Years as Seen by the Wife of a Late Ottoman Special Organization Officer

23 May, 5pm, ZMO
John Heathershaw (University of Exeter)
Dictators Without Borders: the Globalization of Central Asian Authoritarianism and the Ethical Challenges of International Research Cooperation

6 June, 5pm, ZMO
Ursula Rao (University of Leipzig)
Anthropology of Development, today. Towards an Analysis of the Role of Critique as Mover of Social Processes

27 June, 5pm, ZMO
Samita Sen (University of Cambridge)
Maids in Movement: Domestic Workers and Trade Unions in India


Why Do Elections Matter? Analyzing the 2019 Elections in Indonesia, India, Tunisia and Turkey

Organized by Saskia Schäfer (Institute of Asian- and African Studies, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin). The lecture series is part of the Research Project “Secularity, Islam, and Democracy in Indonesia and Turkey” funded by the VolkswagenStiftung at Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin. The series is co-sponsored by Leibniz-Zentrum Moderner Orient.


Time and Venue:
All lectures are held in room 11 at the Institute of Asian- and African Studies, Invalidenstraße 118, 10115 Berlin and start at 6.15 pm.





29 April 2019, 6.15 pm
Dr. Gülay Türkmen (University of Göttingen)
The Local Elections in Turkey.
Discussant: Dr. Ergün Özgür (ZMO)

20 May 2019, 6.15 pm
Eva Schmidt (FU)
Ahead of the Parliamentary and Presidential Elections in Tunisia.
Discussant: PD Dr. Nora Lafi (ZMO)

27 May 2019, 6.15 pm
Dr. Saskia Schäfer (HU)
Presidential Election in Indonesia.
Discussants: Prof. Dr. Claudia Derichs (HU) and Prof. Dr. Vincent Houben (HU)

3 June 2019, 6.15 pm
Dr. Anandita Bajpai (ZMO/HU Berlin)
General Election in India.
Discussant: Prof. Dr. Nadja-Christina Schneider (HU)


ZMO-Colloquium: Winter Term 2018-2019

Performing Gender and Sexuality in the Middle East, Africa, and South Asia

Organized by Nazan Maksudyan, Ali Nobil Ahmad and Philipp Liegmann.

Time and Venue:
All lectures are held at ZMO and start at 5 pm sharp, with the exception of the talk on 12 December 2018. This event will take place at bi'bak, Prinzenallee 59, 13359 Berlin


Annual Theme: Performing Gender and Sexuality in the Middle East, Africa, and South Asia

Poster with programme




Thursday, 27 September 2018, 5 pm, ZMO
Performing Critique in Chaza Charafeddine's "Divine Comedy"
Charlotte Bank (Berlin)

Thursday, 25 October 2018, 5 pm, ZMO
Köçeks in the "Culture of Beloveds": Gender, Love, and Dance Performance in the Late Ottoman Empire
Mustafa Avcı (Altınbaş University, Istanbul)

Thursday, 29 November 2018, 5 pm, ZMO
Hymens, Sex, and Money: Interrogating the Economics of Virginity in the Middle East
Ebtihal Mahadeen (University of Edinburgh)

Wednesday, 12 December 2018, 5 pm, bi'bak, Prinzenallee 59, 13359 Berlin-Wedding
Pembe Hayat KuirFest: A Queer Film Festival from Ankara to Berlin
Selim Özadar (bi'bak, Berlin) & Esra Özban (Pink Life KuirFest)

Thursday, 31 January 2019, 5 pm, ZMO
Gender, Sexuality and the Socialist Interlude: Pakistani Cinema’s Long 1960s and Turbulent Seventies
Ali Nobil Ahmad (ZMO)

Thursday, 28 February 2019, 5 pm, ZMO
Queer Futures
Henriette Gunkel (Goldsmiths College, London)


Urban Studies Seminar 2018-2019

The Urban Spatialities of Religion in the Middle East, Africa and South-East Asia

Organized by Jan Brauburger, Claudia Ghrawi und Nora Lafi.

Time and Venue:
The events will take place in the rooms of ZMO every second Monday from 5-7 pm. On 13 May, the seminar will begin at 6 pm.


Annual Theme:
The Urban Spatialities of Religion in the Middle East, Africa and South-East Asia



19 November 2018, Yahia Shawkat (Co-founder 10 Tooba, Berlin): Pacta Sunt Servanda: Socialism, Islamism, Neoliberalism and Rent Conflicts in Egypt

3 December 2018, Susanne Rau and Jörg Rüpke (Project leaders of the Religion and Urbanity DFG Programme, Erfurt): Religion and Urbanity: A Research Agenda

17 December 2018, Menashe Anzi (Ben Gurion University, Beersheba - Bi’r al-Sab’, EUME Fellow 2014-15): The Jewish Neighborhood in Sanʿāʾ and the Relationship between Jews and Muslims: Physical Separation and Cultural Closeness

14 January 2019, Himmat Zoubi (EUME Fellow 2018-19, Berlin): Forming Space and Collective/Religious Identities in post-1948 Haifa

28 January 2019, Farhan Karim (University of Kansas): Islamic Pop: A Postcolonial Invention of Islamic Architecture 

11 February 2019, Magdi Guirguis (Kafrelsheikh University, Cairo): Reconstructing Eastern Christianity under Ottoman Rule: Cairo's Christian Spatialities

25 February 2019, Lucía Cirianni Salazar (Berlin Graduate School of Muslim Cultures and Societies): (Un)closed Lodges: Sufism and Space in “Post-Secular” Turkey

8 April 2019, Abdal-Razzaq Moaz (Gerda Henkel Foundation): Destructive Ideologies: Spatializing the Destruction of Religious and Cultural Heritage in Syria (2011-2017)

13 May 2019, 6 pm (!), Nora Cherfan (ENSA, Strasbourg): Changing Confessional Boundaries in Contemporary Beirut

20 May 2019, Murtala Ibrahim (Berlin Graduate School Muslim Cultures and Societies): Spatial Piety: Shia Religious Processions and the Politics of Contestation of Public Space in Northern Nigeria

3 June 2019, Rahal Boubrik (Institut des Études Africaines, Université Mohammed V-Rabat): Religiosity and Spatial Configurations in Pre-Colonial Saharan Cities 

17 June 2019, Johara Berriane (Centre Marc Bloch, Berlin): "Conquering New Territories for Jesus": Displacement and Place-Making of Christian Migrants in Moroccan Cities

1 July 2019, Tika Ramadhini (ZMO, Berlin): Creating Spaces: Women's Mobility and the Emergence of Islamic Women Education in the Early Twentieth Century Indonesia

15 July 2019, Ahmed Saadaoui (Faculté des Lettres, des Arts et des Humanités de l'Université de La Manouba, Tunis): Islam and the Urban Space in Ottoman Tunis.
Please note: The presentation will be in French with an English powerpoint presentation.


Baraza la Kiswahili la Berlin (BALAKI-BE)

The Swahili term baraza describes informal meetings and regular discussion rounds among neighbours and friends that occur in everyday street life on the Swahili coast, usually in front of houses and in a casual atmosphere.

The Baraza la Kiswahili la Berlin (BALAKI-BE) is a Swahili-speaking meeting point, a kind of jour fixe for Swahilophone researchers, advanced students and interested members of the public. Each meeting is ranked around a talk or presentation that may be more or less academic in character; from research papers to biographical accounts a broad range of topics can be covered in this ongoing series of informal discussions. On the one hand, as a platform for academic exchange on research-related topics, the baraza is open to contributions in disciplines ranging from linguistics, literature and history, over to political science, philosophy and social anthropology. It thus acts as a platform for the presentation and discussion of research as well as literary documentation and translation. On the other hand, it also offers a space for literary and biographical presentations by East African authors, poets and other personalities, and for discussions with them.

After Kai Kresse's return to ZMO in 2018 the Baraza la Kiswahili la Berlin (BALAKI-BE) is again organized in collaboration with Lutz Diegner (Humboldt University, Berlin). More information on past and upcoming events can be found here:

Baraza Events 2019

If you want to be informed about upcoming announcements via email please contact .


Single Event

17 December 2019, 5 pm, ZMO

Temporary People: Making Space in the Gulf

Roundtable discussion with Deepak Unnikrishnan (author of "Temporary People") as part of the workshop "Migration in the Making of the Gulf Space: Political, Cultural and Social Dimensions". Moderation by Lorenzo Casini (University of Messina).


Thursday, 7 November 2019, 4 pm, ZMO

Translatability and Open Architecture as Antidotes of Nationalism: A Response to the Travel Ban

Keynote lecture by Esra Akcan (Cornell University) as part of the Workshop "Spaces of Unnationalism" organised by Farhan Karim (ZMO) and Duanfang Lu (University of Sydney).


Thursday, 7 November 2019, 5 pm, Leibniz-Zentrum für Literatur- und Kulturforschung, Schützenstraße 18, 10117 Berlin

The Legacy of Slavery, Race and Racism in Morocco

Lecture by Prof. Dr. Chouki El Hamel (Arizona State University), moderated by Dr. Sonja Hegasy (ZMO)


Tuesday, 29 October 2019, 7 pm, Heinrich-Böll-Stiftung Berlin, Schumannstraße 8, 10117 Berlin

Syrien nach dem Einmarsch der Türkei: Wie kann Europa Zivilist/innen unterstützen?

Roundtable discussion hosted by the Heinrich-Böll-Stiftung with Ferhad Ahma (PEL - Civil Waves), Inana Othman (ZMO) and Kristin Helberg (journalist). A video recording of the even can be found here.


Thursday, 24 October 2019, 8 pm, Katholische Akademie Berlin, Hannoversche Straße 5, 10115 Berlin

Größenwahn am Golf? - Modernisierung und Autoritarismus in Politik, Gesellschaft und Kultur

Roundtable discussion with Prof. Dr. Ulrike Freitag (ZMO), Prof. Dr. Henner Fürtig (GIGA Hamburg) and Prof. Dr. Claudia Lux (Qatar National Library Doha).


Wednesday, 16 October 2019, 6 pm, Begegnungsstätte der Volkssolidarität, Torstraße 190, 10115 Berlin

Aktuelle Konfliktlinien in Westasien

Lecture and discussion with Sophia Hoffmann (ZMO).


6-8 September 2019, Friedrich Schiller Universität Jena

Exploring Opportunities to Strengthen Academic and Civil Society Cooperation in the South Caucasus

Workshop organized by Ergün Özgür und Stefan Relitz (FSU Jena).


Saturday, 7 September 2019, 1 pm, ZMO

Open Day - European Heritage Days

Open day with lectures, guided tours and a concert at Leibniz-Zentrum Moderner Orient and Historische Kommision zu Berlin e.V.


Monday, 24 June 2019, 3 pm, Berlin Graduate School Muslim Cultures and Societies, Altensteinstraße 48, 14195 Berlin

Columbus the Muslim

Roundtable with Prof. Alan Mikhail (Yale University) and Prof. Ulrike Freitag (ZMO).


Tuesday, 11 June, 2 pm, ZMO

Soviet Madrasah Students‘ Practices at the Universities
of the Middle East, 1955-1990

ZMO work talk by Zilola Khalilova (Academy of Sciences Uzbekistan, ZMO).


Tuesday, 11 June, 8.30-11.30 pm, Rosengarten e. V., Weinbergsweg 13, 10119 Berlin

OpenAirKino "The Poetess" - Amnesty International HU & Charité

Open air filmscreening with an introduction by Claudia Ghrawi (ZMO).


Tuesday, 4 June, 7 pm, Einstein Forum, Am Neuen Markt 7, 14467 Potsdam

Thinking (with) Africa. Philosophy and Intellectual Practice

Lecture by Kai Kresse (ZMO).


Thursday, 23 May, 7 pm, KulturMarktHalle Berlin, Hanns-Eisler-Straße 93, 10407 Berlin

Lesung & Konzert: Der Muslim und die Jüdin

Ronen Steinke will read from his book Muslim und die Jüdin followed by a performance of Trio SCHO (Klezmer, RussaNova). The reading will be moderated by Sonja Hegasy (ZMO).


Wednesday, 22 May, 4 pm, Berlin Graduate School Muslim Cultures and Societies,
Altensteinstraße 48, 14195 Berlin

Book Presentation: Swahili Muslim Publics and Postcolonial Experience

Book presentation by Prof. Dr. Kai Kresse (ZMO, FU Berlin). Discussants: Dr. Abdoulaye Sounaye (ZMO) and Dr. Hassan Mwakimako (Pwani University, Kilifi, Kenya).


Thursday, 16 May, 5 pm, ZMO

Tracing Nuances: The Role of Art in Talking about Political Conflict and Violence in Kashmir

Lecture by Malik Sajad chaired by Hilal Alkan (ZMO), discussed by Nicole Wolf (Goldsmiths College London).


Wednesday, 15 May, 7 pm, bi'bak Kino, Prinzenallee 59, 13359 Berlin

Skin - A Film by Afraa Batous

Filmscreening and subsequent Q&A with director Afraa
Batous moderated by Lisa Joeris (ZMO).


Friday, 10 May, 4 pm, ZMO

Das moderne Indien in deutschen Archiven (MIDA):
Online-Launch des offiziellen Archivportals

Opening event with lectures by Heike Liebau (ZMO), Ravi Ahuja (CeMIS), Michael Mann (IAAW), Martin Christof-Füchsle (CeMIS) und Anandita Bajpai (ZMO).


Thursday, 11 April, 2 pm, ZMO

Human Rights in North Africa after the Arab Uprisings:
Challenges and Prospects

Lecture by Dr Melek Saral (SOAS School of Law).


Thursday, 14 March 2019, 14 Uhr, ZMO

The Goodells: Towards a Global History of a Missionary Family

Lecture by Dr. Owen Miller (Bilkent University, Ankara).


Tuesday, 5 March 2019, 2 pm, ZMO

Shabbiha: Assad's Paramilitaries and Mass Violence in Syria

Lecture by Dr. Uğur Ümit Üngör (Utrecht University).


Tuesday, 29 January 2019, 2:30-6 pm, Werkstatt der Kulturen, Wissmannstraße 32, 12049 Berlin

Changing Neighbourhoods

Workshop with Hilal Alkan (ZMO), Nazan Maksudyan (ZMO) und weiteren Gästen.

Exhibitions / Performances / Films

5-6 October 2019, Heilig Kreuz-Kirche, Zossener Straße 65, 10961 Berlin

Paradies. Konzerte und Podiumsdiskussion.

Concert weekend of the Berlin choir Cantus Domus. Sonja Hegasy will participate on the roundtable discussion on Sunday entitled "Wie klingt das Paradies? Musik, Identität und Kulturaustausch". More detailed information on the events can be found in the programme flyer.


2-7 July 2019, Kino Arsenal - Institut für Film und Videokunst e.V., Potsdamer Straße 2, 10785 Berlin

Cimatheque - Alternative Film Centre presents:
Atteyat Al Abnoudy

Film series focusing on the work of Egyptian filmmaker Atteyat Al Abnoudy (1939-2018).


3-10 April 2019

Aarab Film Festival Berlin


Conferences and Symposia

17-18 December 2019, ZMO

Migration in the Making of the Gulf Space: Political, Cultural and Social Dimensions

Workshop organized by Antía Mato Bouzas (ZMO).


Friday, 6 December 2019, ZMO

The International Political Sociology and history of State Security and Surveillance

Workshop organised by Ilkay Yilmaz and Sophia Hoffmann.


26-27 November 2019, ZMO

Climate Justice and Migration: Mobility, Development and Displacement in
the Global South

Workshop organised by Kirsten Maas Albert (Heinrich-Böll-Stiftung) and Ali Nobil Ahmad (ZMO).


7-8 November 2019, ZMO

Spaces of Unnationalism

Workshop organised by Farhan Karim (ZMO) and Duanfang Lu (University of Sydney).


12-13 September 2019, ZMO

Cinema and the City

Workshop organized by Khaled Adham (ZMO).


20-22 June, Forum Transregionale Studien, Wallotstraße 14, 14193 Berlin

Women and the Transregional Circulation of Knowledge, 1800-1950

Workshop organized by Heike Liebau (ZMO), Tika Ramadhini (ZMO) and Thiago Pinto Barbosa (ZMO). The event is closed.


13-14 May, ZMO

Lost and Gained on the Way
Placing ‚Transit‘ Migration in Europe, Africa and Asia

Conference organized by Katharina Lange (ZMO) and Hilal Alkan (ZMO).


Claiming and Making Muslim Worlds:
Across and Between the Local and the Global
Conference, 3-5 April 2019, ZMO

The conference marks the completion of ZMO’s twelve-year research program 'Muslim Worlds – Worlds of Islam? Conceptions, Practices, and Crises of the Global'. In eight panels, the participants present their perspectives on the study of predominantly Muslim societies of Asia and Africa, as well as regional interconnections. Scholars specifically address the notion of Claiming and Making Muslim Worlds, exploring religious affiliations and practices, extending to social, economic and cultural modalities of life – for Muslim subjects and non-Muslims alike.

The conference reflects ZMO’s ongoing interdisciplinary research interest in translocal and globalizing processes from the perspective of the Global South. In her Keynote, 'Muslim Cosmopolitanism and the Writing of World History', Prof Seema Alavi (Delhi University) adds a historical perspective on how Muslim scholars and thinkers contributed to projects of modernity. The roundtable, 'What Are Muslim Worlds? Talking Back to the Global North' (in German) explores the relation between research and public debates. It addresses current controversies about how to represent Muslim Worlds critically by avoiding overly simplistic images - either stigmatizing or idealizing.


Conference Programme


Wednesday, 3 April 2019, 6 pm, ZMO

Muslim Cosmopolitanism and the Writing of World History

Keynote lecture by Prof. Seema Alavi (Delhi University).


Thursday, 4 April 2019, 6 pm, Leibniz-Gemeinschaft, Room Hannover, 5th floor, Chausseestraße 111, 10115 Berlin

Was sind muslimische Welten? Fragen an den globalen Norden

Panel discussion with Charlotte Wiedemann (journalist, Berlin), Prof Mamadou Diawara (Goethe-Universität Frankfurt), Prof Claudia Derichs (Philipps-Universität Marburg), Prof Bekim Agai (Goethe-Universität Frankfurt). Moderated by Prof Ulrike Freitag (ZMO).
The event will be held in German.