The Berlin-based Forum Transregionale Studien invites researchers to apply for up to 5 postdoctoral fellowshipsfor the academic year 2020/21 in the research program EUROPE IN THE MIDDLE EAST—THE MIDDLE EAST IN EUROPE (EUME).
Location: Berlin / Closing Date: 4 January, 2020
EUME seeks to rethink key concepts and premises that link and divide Europe and the Middle East. The program draws on the international expertise of a growing network of scholars in and outside of Germany and is embedded in university and extra-university research institutions in and outside of Berlin. EUME supports historical-critical philology, rigorous engagement with the literatures of the Middle East and their histories, the social history and life of cities and the study of Middle Eastern political and philosophical thought as central fields of research not only for area or cultural studies, but also for European intellectual history and other academic disciplines. The program explores modernity as a historical space and conceptual frame. EUME is interested in questions relating to ongoing transformation processes in Europe and the Middle East, in re-imaginations of the past and present that contribute to free, pluralistic and just societies.
The program puts forward three programmatic ideas:
1) supporting research that demonstrates the rich and complex historical legacies and entanglements between Europe and the Middle East; 2) re-examining genealogical notions of mythical ‘beginnings’, ‘origins’, and ‘purity’ in relation to culture and society; and 3) rethinking key concepts of a shared modernity and future in light of contemporary cultural, social, and political divisions and entanglements that supersede identity discourses as well as national, cultural or regional canons and epistemologies that were established in the nineteenth century.
EUROPE IN THE MIDDLE EAST—THE MIDDLE EAST IN EUROPE supports and rests upon interconnected research fields and themes:
Travelling Traditions: Comparative Perspectives on Near Eastern Literatures
directed by Friederike Pannewick (Center for Near and Middle Eastern Studies/Department for Arabic Studies, Philipps-Universität Marburg) and Samah Selim (Rutgers University) reassesses literary entanglements and processes of translation and canonization between Europe and the Middle East.
Cities Compared: Urban Change in the Mediterranean and Adjacent Regions
directed by Ulrike Freitag and Nora Lafi (both Leibniz-Zentrum Moderner Orient, Berlin) contributes to the debate on plurality, migration, citizenship and civil society from the historical experience of conviviality and socio-cultural, ethnic, and religious differences in the cities around the Mediterranean.
Tradition and the Critique of Modernity: Secularism, Fundamentalism and Religion from Middle Eastern Perspectives
directed by Amnon Raz-Krakotzkin (Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Beer-Sheva) tries to rethink key concepts of modernity in the context of experiences, interpretations, and critiques from the Middle East in order to contribute to a more inclusive language of culture, politics and community.
Politics of Change, Archaeologies of the Present, and Processes of Change in the Middle East
are research themes that emerged during the last years and are represented by the work of several EUME Fellows and members of the Collegium (e.g. Cilja Harders, Friederike Pannewick, Rachid Ouaissa).
These research fields and themes mark the framework for the fellowship program that constitutes EUME. Since 1997, more than 280 scholars from and of the Middle East have been EUME Fellows, who, by their scholarly projects, engagement, and their questions relating to the order of knowledge, society and politics, shape the academic program of EUME.
The fellowships are intended primarily for scholars in the humanities and social sciences who want to carry out their research projects in connection with the Berlin program. Applicants should be at the postdoctoral level and should have obtained their doctorate within the last seven years. Fellows gain the opportunity to pursue research projects of their own choice within the framework of one of the above-mentioned research fields and in relation to the overall program Europe in the Middle East – the Middle East in Europe. Successful applicants will be fellows of EUME at the Forum Transregionale Studien, and associate members of one of the university or non-university research institutes listed below or connected to the Forum Transregionale Studien.
The fellowships start on 1 October 2020 and will end on 31 July 2021. Postdoctoral fellows will receive a monthly stipend of 2,500 € plus supplements depending on their personal situation. Organisational support regarding visa, insurance, housing, etc. will be provided. Fellows are obliged to work in Berlin and to help shape the seminars and working discussions related to their research field. Scholars are also invited to apply with own funding. The working language of EUME is English.
An application should consist of
– the application cover sheet (please download above on this site);
– a curriculum vitae (including a list of publications);
– a project description (no longer than 5 pages), stating what the scholar will work on in Berlin if granted a fellowship; and
– the names of two university faculty members who can serve as referees (no letters of recommendation required).
The application should be submitted by e-mail as one PDF file in English and should be received by January 4, 2020, sent to: eume(at)trafo-berlin.de
Europe in the Middle East—The Middle East in Europe (EUME)
Attn: Georges Khalil
c/o Forum Transregionale Studien
In case of questions, please consult the FAQ or write an email to eume(at)trafo-berlin.de.
EUROPE IN THE MIDDLE EAST—THE MIDDLE EAST IN EUROPE (EUME) has been initiated in 2006 as a joint research program of the Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences and Humanities, the Fritz Thyssen Foundation and the Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin. It builds upon the previous work of the Working Group Modernity and Islam (1996-2006). Since 2011 EUME is continued at the Forum Transregionale Studien.
In scholarly terms EUME is directed by a Collegium that currently consists of Ulrike Freitag (Leibniz-Zentrum Moderner Orient, Berlin), Cilja Harders (Otto Suhr Institute of Political Science, Freie Universität Berlin), Kader Konuk (Institut für Turkistik, Universität Duisburg-Essen), Nora Lafi (Leibniz-Zentrum Moderner Orient, Berlin), Rachid Ouaissa (Center for Near and Middle Eastern Studies, Philipps-Universität Marburg), Friederike Pannewick (Center for Near and Middle Eastern Studies, Philipps-Universität Marburg), Amnon Raz-Krakotzkin (Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Beer-Sheva), Samah Selim (Rutgers University), and Stefan Weber (Museum for Islamic Art, Berlin).
The Berlin-based Forum Transregionale Studien (Forum) is a research platform that promotes the internationalization of research in the humanities and social sciences. The Forum provides scope for collaboration among researchers with different regional and disciplinary perspectives and appoints researchers from all over the world as Fellows. In cooperation with universities and research institutions in Berlin and outside, it carries out research projects that examine other regions of the world and their relationship to Germany and Europe systematically and with new questions. The Forum currently supports the following research programs and initiatives: Europe in the Middle East – the Middle East in Europe (EUME), Prisma Ukraïna: Research Network Eastern Europe, Re:Constitution: Exchange and Analysis on Democracy and the Rule of Law in Europe. Zukunftsphilologie: Revisiting the Canons of Textual Scholarship and 4A Lab: Art Histories, Archaeologies, Anthropologies, Aesthetics are programs that are closely connected to the Forum.
The Forum is a founding member of the Academy in Exile and of the consortium of MECAM: Merian Centre for Advanced Studies in the Maghreb to be established in Tunis in 2020.
For more information on the Forum Transregionale Studien, please visit
For further information on EUME and for detailed information on the research fields, please visit www.eume-berlin.de
For information on the research institutions participating in EUME, please visit
Berlin Graduate School Muslim Cultures and Societies, Freie Universität Berlin
Center for Middle Eastern and North African Politics, Otto Suhr Institute of Political Science, Freie Universität Berlin
Leibniz-Zentrum Moderner Orient
Friedrich Schlegel Graduate School of Literary Studies, Freie Universität Berlin
Institute of Islamic Studies, Freie Universität Berlin
Museum for Islamic Art
Seminar for Semitic and Arabic Studies, Freie Universität Berlin
Center for Near and Middle Eastern Studies, Philipps-Universität Marburg
Institut für Turkistik, Universität Duisburg-Essen