EUME seeks to rethink key concepts and premises that link and divide Europe and the Middle East. The project draws on the international expertise of scholars in and outside of Germany and is embedded in university and extra-university research institutions in Berlin. It supports historical-critical philology, rigorous engagement with the literatures of the Middle East and their histories, the social history of cities and the study of Middle Eastern political and philosophical thought (Christian, Jewish, Muslim, and secular) 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.
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) reexamining genealogical notions of mythical 'beginnings', 'origins', and 'purity' in relation to culture and society; and 3) rethinking key concepts of a shared modernity in light of contemporary cultural, social, and political entanglements that supersede identity discourses as well as national, cultural or regional canons and epistemologies that were established in the nineteenth century.
EUME supports and builds upon the following interconnected research fields:
Cities Compared: Urban Change in the Mediterranean and Adjacent Regions
This research group is directed by Ulrike Freitag and Nora Lafi, both of the Zentrum Moderner Orient, Berlin. It contributes to the debate on plurality, citizenship and civil society from the historical experience of conviviality and socio-cultural, ethnic, and religious differences in the cities around the Mediterranean.
Islamic Discourse Contested: Middle Eastern and European Perspectives
is directed by Gudrun Krämer, Institute for Islamic Studies, Freie Universität Berlin. It analyzes modern Middle Eastern thought and discourses in the framework of theories of multiple or reflexive modernities.
Perspectives on the Qur'an: Negotiating Different Views of a Shared History
is directed by Angelika Neuwirth, Seminar for Arabic Studies, Freie Universität Berlin, and Stefan Wild, Universität Bonn. This research group situates the foundational text of Islam within the religious and literary landscape of late antiquity, early Islamic History and Arabic philology, and combines a historicization of its genesis with an analysis of its hermeneutics, its reception and perception in Europe and the Middle East.
Travelling Traditions: Comparative Perspectives on Near Eastern Literatures
is directed by Friederike Pannewick, Centrum für Nah- und Mitteloststudien, PhilippsUniversität Marburg, and Samah Selim, Rutgers University. This research group reassesses literary entanglements and processes of canonization between Europe and the Middle East.
Tradition and the Critique of Modernity: Secularism, Fundamentalism and Religion from Middle Eastern Perspectives
is a special forum, directed by Amnon Raz-Krakotzkin, Ben-Gurion University, that attempts to rethink key concepts of modernity like secularity, tradition, or religion in the context of the experiences, interpretations, and critiques of Jews, Arabs, and Muslims in the Middle East and in Europe.
The fellowships are intended primarily for scholars of art history, history, literature, museology, philology, political philosophy, political science, religion and sociology who want to carry out their research projects in connection with the Berlin project. 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 project Europe in the Middle East—The Middle East in Europe (EUME). 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.
As a rule, the fellowships start on 1 October 2012 and will end on 31 July 2013. Postdoctoral fellows will receive a monthly stipend of 2.250 € plus supplement depending on their personal situation. Organisational support regarding visa, insurances, 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. The working language of EUME is English.
An application should be made in explicit relation to one of the research fields and consist of
— a curriculum vitae;
— a project description (no longer than five pages), stating what the scholar 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 by university instructor. It can be sent as a seperate e-mail.
The application should be submitted by e-mail as four separate word documents or PDF files in English and should be received by 10 January 2012, sent in to
Europe in the Middle East—The Middle East in Europe (EUME)
c/o Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin
Attn: Georges Khalil
Wallotstrasse 19, 14193 Berlin
Fax +49 30 - 89 00 12 00
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 as a project at the Forum Transregionale Studien.
In scholary terms EUME is directed by a collegium that currently consists of the following persons: Ulrike Freitag (Zentrum Moderner Orient), Cilja Harders (Otto Suhr-Institut für Politikwissenschaft, FU Berlin), Gudrun Krämer (Institut für Islamwissenschaft, FU Berlin), Nora Lafi (Zentrum Moderner Orient), Angelika Neuwirth (Seminar für Semitistik und Arabistik, FU Berlin), Friederike Pannewick (Centrum für Nah- und Mitteloststudien/Arabistik, Philips-Universität Marburg), Amnon RazKrakotzkin (Ben-Gurion University, Beer Sheva), Samah Selim (Rutgers University), Stefan Weber (Museum für Islamische Kunst, Berlin), and Stefan Wild (Islamwissenschaft, Universität Bonn).
The Forum Transregionale Studien is a new 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 projects: 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 (EUME). The Forum Transregionale Studien is funded by the Senate of Berlin.
For more information on the Forum, please see
For further information on EUME and for detailed information on the research fields, please see
For information on the research institutions in Berlin participating in EUME, please visit
Berlin Graduate School Muslim Cultures and Societies, FU Berlin
Center for Middle Eastern and North African Politics, FU Berlin
Corpus Coranicum, Berlin-Brandenburgische Akademie der Wissenschaften
Zentrum Moderner Orient
Friedrich Schlegel Graduate School of Literary Studies, FU Berlin
Institute for Islamic Studies, FU Berlin
Museum for Islamic Art
Seminar for Arabic Studies, FU Berlin