Mi 14 Nov 2012

Zukunftsphilologie Fellowships 2013/14

(Ort: Berlin / Bewerbungsschluss: 15 Januar 2013)

Das Forum Transregionale Studien lädt Wissenschaftler ein, sich für 5 Postdoc-Stipendien im Rahmen des Forschungsprogramms Zukunftsphilologie: Revisiting the Canons of Textual Scholarshipszu bewerben.

(PDF) Zur Ausschreibung

Call for Applications


Zukunftsphilologieis a Berlin-based research program, which supports research in marginalized and undocumented textual practices and literary cultures with the aim of integrating texts and scholarly traditions from Asia, Africa, and the Middle East as well as from Europe itself. The program takes as its point of departure the increasingly growing concern with the global significance of philology and the potential of philology to challenge exclusivist notions of the self and the canon.

The title “Zukunftsphilologie” [Future Philology] is inspired by the 1872 polemic between the classicist Ulrich von Wilamowitz-Moellendorff and Friedrich Nietzsche on the method and meaning of classical studies. The program draws on recent calls for a return to philology as particularly emphasized by Sheldon Pollock in his essay “Future Philology?” and the late Edward Said’s essay “The Return to Philology”.

The program encourages research in the following areas: the genealogy and transformations of philological practice, philology’s place in the system of knowledge (e.g. its relation to science, theology, and jurisprudence), philology and the university, and philology and empire. Zukunftsphilologie aims to examine the role mobility, calamities, expulsions, and natural catastrophes play in the dissemination and globalization of knowledge. How does the mobility of scholars, books, and manuscripts bring about scientific innovation (e.g. in tenth-century Baghdad, during the European Renaissance, or during the Ming dynasty)? What types of knowledge systems are also displaced by these processes of reorganization? What transformations and translations accompany such mobilizations?

Zukunftsphilologieis associated with and located at the Friedrich Schlegel Graduate School for Literary Studies at Freie Universitaet Berlin. The program is directed by Angelika Neuwirth and Islam Dayeh (both Freie Universitaet Berlin), and is supported by an international group of scholars, including Manan Ahmed (Columbia University), Michael Allan (University of Oregon), Whitney Cox (School of Oriental and African Studies, London), Ananya Jahanara Kabir (University of Leeds), Marcel Lepper (Deutsches Literaturarchiv Marbach), Markus Messling (University of Potsdam), Pascale Rabault-Feuerhahn (CNRS Paris) and Nicolai Sinai (University of Oxford).


The fellowships are intended primarily for scholars of the major linguistic and philological traditions from Africa, Asia and Europe (for example, Arabic, Hebrew, Chinese, Japanese, Persian, Sanskrit, Syriac, Turkish), whose research explores linguistic practices and disciplinary entanglements in intellectual and literary history, comparative linguistics, philology, religion and the history of science. The fellowships are intended for scholars who currently reside outside Berlin and who wish to carry out their research projects in the framework of the program Zukunftsphilologie in Berlin. Applicants should be at the postdoctoral level and should have obtained their doctorate within the last seven years. Fellows are given the opportunity to pursue research projects of their own choice, provided the topic falls within the research agenda of the program. Fellows are expected to participate in the regular lecture series, as well as in workshops, conferences and summer or winter academies, organized by the program and by the Forum Transregionale Studien. The program seeks to create a context of intellectual synergy, where scholars from various textual and philological traditions can work together comparatively and develop a common language necessary for an engagement in more fundamental political and cultural concerns.


Individual research projects should fall within the intellectual framework of Zukunftsphilologie. Projects should have a comparative perspective, whereby the plurality of textual practices, polyphonic textuality, and the trajectories and genealogies of philological traditions are explored.
Research projects focusing on intellectual debates, polemics, correspondences, and transregional encounters are especially welcome. In revisiting important philological debates, the goal is not to merely evaluate the argumentative worth of these debates, but to reflect on the wider cultural and political context in which these debates emerged and how they have shaped our knowledge of the past. Moreover, an examination of philological debates will shed light on marginal philological traditions and undocumented intellectual positions as well as the ways in which canonical positions were consolidated and normalized.


The fellowships start on 1 October 2013 and end on 31 July 2014. In certain cases, shorter fellowship terms may be considered. Postdoctoral fellows will receive a monthly stipend of € 2.500 plus supplements depending on their personal situation. Organizational support regarding visa, insurances, housing, etc. will be provided. Successful applicants will be fellows of the program Zukunftsphilologieat the Forum Transregionale Studien and Associate Members of the Friedrich Schlegel Graduate School of Literary Studies. Through this association they will be integrated into the Department of Philosophy and Humanities at the Freie Universitaet Berlin and will have access to an academic milieu of literary and philological studies as well as to libraries and other research facilities.

Application Procedure

To apply, please send the following documents in English exclusively by e-mail as separate word or PDF files:

— a curriculum vitae
— a project description (not longer than five pages), stating what you will work on in Berlin if granted a fellowship
— a sample of scholarly work (maximum 20 pages from an article, conference paper, or dissertation chapter)
— a letter of recommendation from one academic faculty. It can be sent as a separate e-mail.

The application should be submitted in English and should be received by

                                        15 January 2013

addressed to:

Forum Transregionale Studien
c/o Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin
Attn: Georges Khalil
Wallotstraße 19, D-14193 Berlin / Germany

Institutional Framework

The Forum Transregionale Studien is a research platform of the Land of Berlin designed to promote research that connects systematic and region-specific questions in a perspective that addresses entanglements and interactions beyond national, cultural or regional frames. The Forum works in tandem with established institutions and networks engaged in transregional studies and is supported by an association of the directors of universities, research institutes and networks mainly based in Berlin. It supports four research programs: Zukunftsphilologie: Revisiting the Canons of Textual Scholarship, Rechtskulturen: Confrontations Beyond Comparison, Global Prayers: Redemption and Liberation in the City, and Europe in the Middle East—The Middle East in Europe. The Forum Transregionale Studien cooperates with the Max Weber Stiftung and is funded by the Senate of Berlin.



For more information on Zukunftsphilologie, please visit:
— www.zukunftsphilologie.de

For more information on the Forum, please visit:
— www.forum-transregionale-studien.de

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