Nuha Alshaar, Beate La Sala, Jenny Oesterle and Barbara Winckler (eds.)

The Humanities in the 21st Century: Perspectives from the Arab World and Germany — New TRAFO Blog Series

TRAFO Blog series »The Humanities in the 21st Century: Perspectives from the Arab World and Germany«

All articles appear in two versions, English and Arabic.

Nuha Alshaar, Beate La Sala, Jenny Oesterle, Barbara Winckler
(Arabic version here)

Bashshar Haydar
The Humanities’ Constant Need for Self-Justification
(Arabic version here)

Antje Flüchter
History: An Important but Potentially Dangerous Part of the Humanities
(Arabic version here)

Julia Hauser
Out of the Ivory Tower: Broadening Global History in Germany
(Arabic version here)

Christian Junge
Why Non-European Languages Matter to European Humanities: Area Studies and Postcolonial Philology
(Arabic version here)

Amro Ali
Bringing Philosophy and Sociology to the Egyptian Public
(Arabic version here)

Andrea Geier
Challenges in Literary Studies and Gender Studies or Why I Began to Talk Publicly about Relevance
(Arabic version here)

Shereen Abouelnaga
The Urgency of Relocating Gender Studies Politically
(Arabic version here)

Aisha Deemas
Sharjah Museums: A Case Study on the Transfer of Knowledge in Society
(Arabic version here)

Daniel Weidner
Pluralities, Transfers, Memories: Some Reflections on the Humanities Today
(Arabic version here)

Haidar Lashkry
The Political Redefinition of Memory: The Problem of Studying History in Contemporary Iraq
(Arabic version here)

Sabine Schülting
Shakespeare, History and ‘Cancel Culture’
(Arabic version here)

Nadia Bahra
Archaeology in Algeria: Challenges of Multidisciplinary Research and the Identity Question
(Arabic version here)

Roman Singendonk
The Museum for Islamic Art in Berlin and its Quest for Socio-Political Relevance: The Example of the TAMAM Project
(Arabic version here)

Amani Albedah
The Humanities in the Age of Digital Information Exchange
(Arabic version here)

Sabine Behrenbeck
Humanities in Germany: Sciences Among Sciences
(Arabic version here)

Abdulhadi Alajmi
History without Debate: A Reading of the Crisis in Arab Hisoriography
(Arabic version here)

Hala Auji
Outside Looking in: On Teaching Art History from the ‘Margins’
(Arabic version here)

Marko Demantowsky
“Innovationitits” and Humanities
(Arabic version here)

Elizabeth Suzanne Kassab
On Contemporary Arab Philosophy as a Field of Study
(Arabic version here and French version here)

Azelarabe Lahkim Bennani
How the Values of Modernity Contribute to Cultural Mediation
(Arabic version here)

Jenny Rahel Oesterle
German Medieval Studies and the Arab World: Overcoming Disciplinary and Epistemic Boundaries within the Humanities
(Arabic version here)

Maria Elias
Teaching Between Spoon-Feeding and Dialogue: My Experience in Institutions of Higher Education and Interactive Theater
(Arabic version here)

Barbara Winckler
The Potential of Arabic Literary Studies: (Re)Situating the Field Between ‘Systematic’ Disciplines and Area Studies in Western Academia
(Arabic version here)


In recent years, the idea that the humanities are in a crisis has been a topic of much public debate in many parts of the world. In this TRAFO series, scholars from several branches of the humanities, policy makers, and outreach professionals from Germany and various Arab countries explore the potential and challenges of the humanities. They discuss recent developments and future visions of how to enhance the standing and the impact of the humanities in academia and beyond. This expands upon key issues that were discussed at the conference “The Place of Humanities in Research, Education and Society: An Arab-German Dialogue,” held in Berlin in November 2019. This series is curated by Nuha Alshaar, Beate La Sala, Jenny Oesterle and Barbara Winckler.

الفكرة التي مفادها أن الإنسانيات في أزمة كانت خلال السنوات الأخيرة موضوع نقاش عام وافر في أجزاء كثيرة من العالم. وفي سلسلة “ترافو” هذه، يستكشف باحثون من فروع الإنسانيات العديدة، وصانعو سياسات، ومتخصصون في نشر الخدمات وتوسيعها من ألمانيا ومختلف البلدان العربية إمكانات الإنسانيات وتحدياتها. ويناقش هؤلاء التطورات الأخيرة والرؤى المستقبلية المتعلقة بكيفية تعزيز مكانة الإنسانيات وأثرها في الأوساط الأكاديمية وخارجها. ويتوسّع هذا النقاش ليطاول قضايا رئيسة سبق تناولها في مؤتمر “مكانة الإنسانيات في البحث والتعليم والمجتمع: حوار عربي ألماني” الذي عقد في برلين في نوفمبر 2019. تجد/ين هنا المقدمة لهذه السلسلة التي كتبتها بربارة وينكلر وبيآتا لا سالا وجيني أوستيرله ونهى الشعار.

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