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  • Prof. Dr. Hakim Abderrezak

    Hakim Abderrezak is an Associate Professor at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities. He teaches in the Department of French and Italian and is affiliated faculty in the Department of Asian Languages and Literatures, the doctoral program in Comparative Studies in Discourse and Society, the Program in Religious Studies, the interdepartmental graduate minor in Moving Image Studies and the Interdisciplinary Center for the Study of Global Change.

    His research focuses on Mediterranean, Maghrebi and Francophone studies. He is the author of Ex-Centric Migrations: Europe and the Maghreb in Mediterranean Cinema, Literature, and Music published in 2016. A major part of his work examines clandestine sea crossings in literary and artistic productions that have appeared in French, Arabic, Berber, Spanish and Italian. In 2018, he published two book chapters on the Mediterranean cemetery.

    His essays and articles have appeared in collected volumes and in journals such as the Journal of North African Studies, Expressions maghrébines and SITES: Contemporary French and Francophone Studies. In 2012, he co-edited a special issue of Expressions maghrébines on literary works produced in and about North Africa in languages other than French and Arabic.

    Read more about Hakim Abderrezak on his faculty's page or his personal page.

  • Prof. Dr. Randa Aboubakr

    Professor of English and comparative literature at Cairo University, and founder and principal coordinator of Forum for the Study of Popular Culture (FSPC). Her research interests include English literature, Egyptian colloquial poetry, sub-Saharan African literature, comparative literature, cultural theory, and translation.

    Among her publications are The Conflict of Voices in the Poetry of Dennis Brutus and Mahmud Darwish (Wiesbaden: Reichert Verlag, 2004). Among her latest work is The Role of New Media in the Egyptian Revolution of 2011: Visuality as an Agent of Change, in Popular Culture in the Middle East and North Africa: A Postcolonial Outlook (New York, Routledge, 2013), and New Directions of Internet Activism in Egypt, in Communications: The European Journal of Communication Research Vol. 38, Issue 3 (2013). She has translated a book of poetry from Arabic into English, Laila: The Honey of Solitude, published by Zaweil Publishers in Egypt, 1999, and Amy Tan's The Joy Luck Club, published by Azminah Publishing House in Amman, Jordan in 2006. She has also translated a number of books on Islamic feminism, and is currently translating Tariq Ali's Protocols of the Elders of Sodom.

    Has been visiting researcher at University of Texas, Austin, USA, University of Leiden, the Netherlands, University of Florence, Italy, and Zentrum Moderner Orient - Berlin, Germany. Has been research fellow of the Wissenschaftskolleg Berlin, Germany, and the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation. Has been visiting professor at Freie Universitaet Berlin and the Jagiellonian University of Krakow.

    Forum for the Study of Popular Culture

  • Dr. Refqa Abu Remaileh

    Refqa Abu-Remaileh received her DPhil and MSt in modern Middle Eastern Studies, with a focus on Arabic Literature and Film, from the University of Oxford (2010, 2004) and her BA in English Literature from the University of British Columbia (2002). After completing her PhD, Abu-Remaileh worked with the Oxford Research Group’s Middle East Programme, a conflict-resolution organization focusing on the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. She created a new strategic thinking group involving Palestinian citizens of Israel. In 2012-13 she was a EUME fellow at the Forum Transregionale Studien in Berlin and will continue her work with a project on “Resistance and Subversion in Palestinian Literature and Film” as a EUME Fellow in 2014-2015 with a scholarship of the Alexander von Humboldt Stiftung.

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  • Abdellatif Aghsain

    MA, studied German (major), Arabic, Islamic Studies and French at the University Mohamed Ibn Abdellah in Fez (Morocco). In 2003 he completed his studies with a work on the Moroccan author Mohamed Choukri and his autobiographical novels For Bread Alone and Time of Mistakes. From the winter semester 2004-05 until 2010 he studied Arabic and Literature at the University of Freiburg. In July 2010 he completed his degree with an interdisciplinary work On the Discourse of the ‘Other’ in the Enlightenment. Lessing and Islam.

    In the summer semester of 2012 he joined the CNMS as a research associate in the department of Arabic Literature and Culture, focusing on the short stories of the Syrian author Zakaria Tamer.

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  • Yvonne Albers

    MA, studied Arabic Studies, Theatre Studies and Philosophy at Leipzig University and Damascus University. She wrote her Masters on the role of the audience in contemporary theatre and performance art in Lebanon (published 2011). In 2007/08 she was an ensemble member in an Iraqi-German theatre project supported by the Goethe Institut that gave guest performances in different Arab countries. During her studies Yvonne Albers worked as an assistant at the Simon Dubnow Institute for Jewish History and Culture, taking part – amongst other activities – in a German Research Foundation project on the Arab reception of the Holocaust and an academy project for compiling a multivolume encyclopedia of Jewish cultures.

    She joined the CNMS in July 2010 as a research associate for Arabic Studies. After completing her assignment as a library scout to establish the special library for Arabic Studies and her collaboration in the interdisciplinary research project “Triumph of Subversion? The End of mass ideologies and new dynamics of opposition in the Middle East and North Africa”, she is currently active in the German Research Foundation-supported Leibniz project of Prof Dr Pannewick.

    Her dissertation project on the avant-garde cultural magazine Mawāqif and aesthetic thought after 1967 is funded by the Heinrich Böll Foundation.
    Yvonne Albers is member of the editorial board of Middle East – Topics & Arguments.

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  • Prof. Dr. Michael Allan

    Michael Allan is Assistant Professor of Comparative Literature. His research focuses on debates in world literature, postcolonial studies, literary theory, film and visual culture, and the history of reading, primarily in Africa and the Middle East. In both his research and teaching, he bridges textual analysis with social theory, and draws from methods in anthropology, gender studies, queer theory, religion, and area studies.

    He is the author of In the Shadow of World Literature: Sites of Reading in Colonial Egypt (Princeton 2016) and of articles in venues such as Comparative Literature Studies, Early Popular Visual Culture, the International Journal of Middle East Studies, and the Journal of Arabic Literature. He is also a guest editor of a special issue of Comparative Literature (Reading Secularism: Religion, Literature, Aesthetics), and with Elisabetta Benigni, a forthcoming issue of Philological Encounters (Lingua Franca: Toward a Philology of the Sea).

    Michael holds his Ph.D. from the Department of Comparative Literature at the University of California, Berkeley, where he worked under the direction of Judith Butler and Karl Britto.

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  • Prof. Dr. Sinan Antoon

    Sinan Antoon is associate professor at NYU Gallatin School of Individualized Study. His teaching and research interests lie in pre-modern and modern Arabic literature and contemporary Arab culture and politics. His scholarly works include The Poetics of the Obscene: Ibn al-Hajjaj and Sukhf (Palgrave-Macmillan, 2014) and numerous essays on the poetry of Mahmoud Darwish, Sargon Boulus, and on contemporary Iraqi culture. His essays and creative writings in Arabic have appeared in major journals and publications in the Arab world and on and in The New York Times, The Nation, Middle East Report, Journal of Palestine Studies, Journal of Arabic Literature, The Massachusetts Review, World Literature Today, Ploughshares, and Washington Square Journal.

    Professor Sinan Antoon received the 2014 Saif Ghobash Banipal Prize for his translation of his own novel The Corpse Washer, published by Yale University Press.

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  • Eylaf Bader Eddin

    Eylaf Badr Eddin studied English Language and Literature at the University of Damascus. After that, he started his Master studies in Comparative Literature at the Lebanese American University in Beirut. In 2013-14 he continued studying the M.A. Comparative Literature at the University of Paris.
    Since 2015 he is a PhD student at the University of Aix-Marseille and the Center for Near and Middle Eastern Studies in Marburg, where he also works for the Turning Points research project.

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  • Dr. Atef Botros

    DPhil, studied German at the Heinrich Heine University, Düsseldorf and completed his studies in 2000 with a Masters on the “Jewish” in Kafka’s work. He subsequently completed his doctorate at the University of Leipzig, taking an interdisciplinary approach – Comparative Literary Studies, Arab Studies and Cultural Studies – towards the Arab reception of Kafka. From 2001 to 2004 he was a scholarship holder of the Heinrich Böll Stiftung. After completing his doctorate in 2006 he worked as a research associate at the Georg Eckert Institute for International Textbook Research in Braunschweig. He joined the CNMS in November 2007. In his teaching and researching Arabic Studies in Marburg he is concentrating on modern Arabic literature and intellectual history. In the spring of 2012 he was guest researcher at the University of Michigan and is a liaison lecturer of the Heinrich Böll Stiftung.

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  • Prof. Dr. Yoav Di Capua

    Read about him on his faculty's page.

  • Ilka Eickhof

    Ilka Eickhof (MA Islamic Studies, Sociology and Modern History) works at the Netherlands‐Flemish Institute in Cairo as a PhD researcher and lecturer. Until 2014 she was a research associate and lecturer at the Center for Middle Eastern and North African Studies at Freie University Berlin and worked at the 'Haus der Kulturen der Welt' in Berlin (2009-2011). 

    Publications include Anti‐Muslim Racism in Germany. A Theoretical Approach (2010), Old Orientalism in New Dresses? On the Representation of Women in the So‐Called Arab Spring (article, 2013), Angry Mocking. Racism and Sexism in German Comedy (eds., 2014), My Friend, the Rebel. Structures and Dynamics of Cultural Foreign Funding in Cairo (article, 2014), Graffiti, Capital and Deciding What's Inappropriate (article, 2015), and All that is Banned is Desired: ‘Rebel Documentaries’ and the Representation of Egyptian Revolutionaries (article,2016). 

    Research focus: postcolonial critique, politics of representation, Bourdieusian theory. 

    Dissertation project: Northern European Cultural Institutions in Cairo, 2011-2015 (University of Amsterdam).

  • Prof. Dr. Alexa Firat

    Professor Firat was awarded a Scholars Fulbright for her research project, “The Tangle of Historical Literature: A Study of Three Contemporary Jordanian Novels.” She spent spring 2013 in Amman at the University of Jordan. 

    Professor Firat’s areas of interest are modern Arabic literature and cinema; contemporary historical fictions; histories of ideas in the modern middle east; and theories of literary and cultural geography. 

    Scholarly writings and reviews can be found in print and online: Middle Eastern Literatures, Journal of Arabic Literature, Society for Contemporary Thought and the Islamicate World, Jadaliyya ezine, the publication of the Syrian Studies Association, The Oxford Handbook of the Arabic Novel (forthcoming), and Encyclopedia of Islam (forthcoming).

    Additionally, Firat is a literary translator. Her translations can be found in The Book of Gaza; Beirut 39; Words without Borders; The Anthology of Saudi Arabian Literature. She is also the translator of Khalil Sweileh’s award-winning novel Writing Love.

    Professor Firat teaches Arabic and modern Arabic literature and cinema courses at Temple.

  • Prof. Dr. Zeina G. Halabi

    Zeina G. Halabi is Assistant Professor of Arabic Literature at the American University of Beirut. She specializes in modern Arabic literature with particular interest in questions of loss, mourning, and dissidence in contemporary literature and visual culture. She was a 2012-2013 EUME fellow at the Forum for Transregional Studies in Berlin, where she began working on her first book titled The Unmaking of the Arab Intellectual: Prophecy, Exile, and the Nation (Edinburgh University Press, 2017) that examines the depiction of Arab intellectuals in post-1990s fiction and film. She has authored articles on the shifting notion of political commitment in the writings of canonical and emerging Arab writers. As a fellow of the Alexander von Humboldt Fellowship (2018-2020), she is working on her second book project provisionally entitled Excavating the Present: History, Power, and the Arab Archive, which explores archival practices in contemporary literature.

  • Prof. Dr. Jens Hanssen

    Jens Hanssen is Associate Professor of Arab Civilization, Middle Eastern and Mediterranean history at the University of Toronto. In the Department of Near and Middle Eastern Civilizations he teaches modern and contemporary Arab intellectual history; the late Ottoman Empire; and the politics of Archaeology. In the Department of History, he teaches settler colonialism in Palestine; liberation struggles, decolonization and counter-insurgency in Asia and Africa; and urban colonialism in the modern Mediterranean.

    His past book publications include "Fin de Siècle Beirut" (OUP, 2005), "Arabic Thought beyond the Liberal Age: Towards an Intellectual History of the Nahda" (CUP, 2016); and a co-edited volume "Empire in the City: Arab Provincial Capitals in the Late Ottoman Empire" (OIB, 2002). A second edition of his co-authored book "Zokak al-Blat: History, Space and Social Conflict in Beirut" has been released by the Orient Institute in Beirut in 2016. He is currently co-editing the "OUP Handbook of Contemporary Middle Eastern and North African History" with Amal Ghazal. The second CUP volume, "Arabic Thought Against the Authoritarian Age", also co-edited with Max Weiss (Princeton), is forthcoming. He also holds a SSHRC Insight Grant (2014-2018) on German-Jewish Echoes in 20th Arab Thought which has yielded, inter alia, two articles: “Kafka and Arabs” (Critical Inquiry, 2012), and "Translating Revolution: Hannah Arendt and Arab Political Culture”.

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  • Prof. Dr. Richard Jacquemond

    Read about him on IREMAM's page.

  • Igor Johannsen

    M.A., studied Islamic Studies, History and Political Science at the University of Hamburg. After completing his M.A. in 2011 with a thesis on the political ideology of the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood as reflected in their 2007 draft party manifesto, he started preparatory work for a doctoral dissertation on Arab hip-hop. Since October 2013 Igor Johannsen is a research fellow at the research network “Re-Configurations: History, Remembrance and Transformation Processes in the Middle East and North Africa” at the University of Marburg.

    His current research project is about “Hip-Hop in Egypt: Aesthetics, Politics and Language in Revolutionary Cultural Practices”

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  • Christian Junge

    studied Arabic Studies and Comparative Literature in Berlin, Paris and Cairo. He wrote his Master thesis at the FU Berlin in 2008 on meta-fiction and identity in postmodern Egyptian literature. He worked as a research assistant for Semitic and Arabic Studies at the FU Berlin from 2008 to 2011. He is currently completing his PhD research on the connection between language thinking and cultural criticism in the Arab 19th century.
    Since 2015 he is working as a research assistant at the CNMS.

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  • Dr. Elizabeth Suzanne Kassab

    Elizabeth Suzanne Kassab is Associate Professor of Philosophy at Doha Institute for Graduate Studies. Her training is in Western continental philosophy, and her research interest for the last two decades has been in modern Arab thought. Her focus has been on questions of cultural and political malaise. Her recent book, Contemporary Arab Thought. Cultural Critique in Comparative Perspective, published by Columbia University Press, came out in 2010, just before the uprisings. The Arabic version of the book won the 2013 Sheikh Zayed Book Award for the category “Development of Nations.”

    She is now working on a new book called Critique, Enlightenment, and Revolution. Arab Intellectuals and the Uprisings. It will be published again by Columbia University Press.

    She has studied at the American University of Beirut and at the Fribourg University in Switzerland. She has taught for many years at the American University of Beirut and Balamand University in Lebanon. She has been a visiting scholar and professor at Columbia, Yale, and Brown in the US and in Bielefeld, Erfurt, Berlin, Bonn and Marburg in Germany.

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  • Prof. Dr. phil. habil. Verena Klemm

    Verena Klemm is Professor for Arabic Studies and Oriental Philology at the University of Leipzig. Her main research fields are history and literature of the Ismailiyya Shia, Islamic handwritings in a cultural historical context, modern Arabic literature in the social and political context, as well as religious, intellectual and literary formations of the Twelver Shia.

    Her newest book on Muslims in Saxonia was published in January 2016.

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  • Dr. Jakob Krais

    After studying History, Islamic Studies and Philosophy in Berlin and Rome, in 2014 Jakob Krais obtained his PhD from the Berlin Graduate School Muslim Cultures and Societies with a dissertation on Libyan historiography during the Qaddafi period. He worked as a lecturer at the Department of Islamic Studies, Freie Universität Berlin. Since 2016 he is a research fellow with the special program “Islam, the Modern Nation-State and Transnational Movements” at the Gerda Henkel Foundation and an associate member of the working group “Progress: Ideas, Agents, Symbols” at Leibniz-Zentrum Moderner Orient (ZMO). His current research project is entitled "Sports and Modernity in the Colonial Arab World: Algeria, 1910-1962".

  • Prof. Dr. Margaret Litvin

    Margaret Litvin is associate professor of Arabic and comparative literature at Boston University and founding director of the Middle East & North Africa Studies in BU's Frederick S. Pardee School of Global Studies.

    She is the author of "Hamlet’s Arab Journey: Shakespeare’s Prince and Nasser’s Ghost" (Princeton, 2011) and of articles on contemporary Arab theatre. Her current book project, "Another East: Arab Writers, Moscow Dreams", traces how Arab intellectuals acquired and metabolized their ideas of the Soviet Union (and pre- and post-Soviet Russia) during the long twentieth century, and how Arab-Russian and Arab-Soviet cultural ties affected Arabic literary culture.

    She is also translating Sonallah Ibrahim’s 2011 novel, "Al-Jalid" (Ice).

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  • Prof. Dr. Anne-Marie McManus

    Anne-Marie McManus' work studies the place of twentieth and twenty-first century Arabic literatures within world literature, and her research interests include translation studies, literary theory, postcolonialism, and circulation studies.

    Anne-Marie is currently completing a book manuscript that documents the centrality of language to postcolonial mobilities between the Maghreb (Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia) and the Mashriq (Egypt, Syria, Iraq, Palestine). Furthermore, she researches, translates and teaches twenty-first century Syrian literature and media. Her research has appeared in the International Journal of Middle East Studies, Arab Studies Journal, the Journal of Middle East Women's Studies, and Expressions Maghrébines.

    She was the co-translator for the anthology "Syria Speaks: Art and Culture from the Frontline" (Saqi Press, 2014). She has also translated literary essays by Abdellatif Laabi, which will appear in the forthcoming volume, "Souffles-Anfas: A Critical Anthology from the Moroccan Journal of Culture and Politics" (Stanford University Press, eds. Olivia C. Harrison and Teresa Villa-Ignacio).

    Anne-Marie McManus received her PhD in Comparative Literature from Yale University in 2013 and was named Harbison Faculty Fellow at Washington University in St. Louis in 2014. Read more about Anne-Marie McManus or follow her work on

  • Prof. Dr. Sonja Mejcher-Atassi

    Sonja Mejcher-Atassi is an Associate Professor in the Department of English and the Civilization Studies Program. Her research is in comparative literature with a focus on modern and contemporary Arabic literature, modern and contemporary art, interrelations of word and image, book art, collection and museum studies, postcolonial studies, gender studies, aesthetics and politics, and cultural memory and history. She is currently working on two book projects: "In Search of Jabra Ibrahim Jabra: a life in literature and art between Palestine and Iraq" (Edinburgh University Press, forthcoming) and a study on contemporary book art in the Arab world, especially Iraq. She is a member of the editorial board of "literatures in context: arabic - persian - turkish", a book series published by Reichert.

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  • Prof. Dr. Wendy Pearlman

    Associate Professor at Northwestern University
    Alexander-von Humboldt-Fellow (mit Co-Gastgeber EUME/Berlin), Juni bis August (2016-2021)

    Wendy Pearlman is the Martin and Patricia Koldyke Outstanding Teaching Associate Professor of Political Science at Northwestern University, where she specializes in Middle East politics.

    She is the author of three books, "We Crossed A Bridge and It Trembled: Voices from Syria" (HarperCollins 2017), "Violence, Nonviolence, and the Palestinian National Movement" (Cambridge University Press, 2011) and "Occupied Voices: Stories of Everyday Life from the Second Intifada" (Nation Books, 2003), and dozens of popular essays, academic articles, or book chapters.

    Her current research, building on interviews that she has conducted with hundreds of displaced Syrians across the Middle East and Europe since 2012, explores questions of identity, belonging, and self-realization among Syrians in exile.

    She earned a Ph.D. from Harvard University, a MA from Georgetown University, and a BA from Brown University.

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  • Dr. Christoph Schwarz

    During his civil service with pupils from indigenous communities in Guatemala, Christoph H. Schwarz took interest in adolescence and intergenerational relations in the Global South and in post-conflict and transitional societies. After studying sociology and pedagogics (M.A.), Spanish and civics (first state exam) at the universities of Freiburg, Porto (Portugal) and Frankfurt a.M., he worked as a high school teacher in Eschborn, before he started his Ph.D. in sociology on adolescence in a Palestinian refugee camp in the West Bank, funded with a scholarship from the Hans-Böckler Foundation. As a research and project coordinator at the Department of Social Work and Health at the Frankfurt University of Applied Sciences, he managed a DAAD-funded academic exchange program with the University Ibn Zohr, Agadir. In April 2014 he joined the CNMS research network “Re-Configurations” as a post-doc research fellow.

    His research interests include adolescence and intergenerational relations, gender and education, political socialisation and activism, questions of migration, and methodology. He recently organised and chaired a four-hour panel on “Faces of Uncertain Transitions to Adulthood across Cultures” for the XVIII. World Congress of the International Sociological Association in Yokohama.

  • Harald Viersen

    Originally from the Netherlands, Harald Viersen studied law, philosophy, and Arabic in Amsterdam and went on to attain an MPhil in philosophy at the University of Cambridge. In 2014, he lived in Cairo where he continued his studies in Arabic. During this time, he developed an interest in contemporary Arab thought, which has led him to pursue a Ph.D. at the Center for Near and Middle Eastern Studies at the University of Marburg. His research focuses on contemporary Arab thought in general and ethical discourse and its effects on society at large.

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  • Jun.-Prof. Dr. Barbara Winckler

    Barbara Winckler is Junior-Professor for Modern Arabic Literature and Culture at the WWU Münster since 2013.

    Her main research areas include modern Arabic literature, especially prose of the postmodern and nahda, war and post-war discourse in Lebanese literature, gender studies, cultural contact between orient and occident since the early 19th century, as well as periodical press and the new public during "the long 19th century".

    Her book "Grenzgänge. Androgynie – Wahnsinn – Utopie im Romanwerk von Hudā Barakāt", Wiesbaden: Reichert (Literaturen im Kontext; 33), was published in 2014.

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  • Hafid Zghouli

    M.A., studied German Philology, Arabic Studies and French at the University Fez from 2001 to 2003. From 2004 until 2010 he studied New German Literature and Islam Studies/arabic Studies at the University of Freiburg. He graduated with a work about reflecting relations between Orient and Okcident in Heinrich Heine. He lectured during winter semester 2011/12 and summer semester 2012 and has been working as a research associate at the Centre for Near and Middle East Studies since 2012. 

    His current research project is about the contemporary Arabic novel in Marocco.

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