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: Governance, Consultative Mechanisms and Plurality
directed by Ulrike Freitag and Nora Lafi (both Leibniz-Zentrum Moderner Orient, Berlin) contributes to the debates on civil society, deliberation, opinion formation, citizenship, migration and mobilization from the experience of cultural and religious differences in cities around the Mediterranean and beyond.
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 and Processes of Change, Archaeologies of the Present, and Imaginations of the Future
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 open framework for the fellowship program that constitutes EUME. Since 1997, more than 300 scholars from and of the Middle East have been EUME Fellows, who, by their scholarly projects, engagement, and their inquiries into 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 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 2021 and will end on 31 July 2022. 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. The working language of EUME is English.
Scholars are also invited to apply with their own funding, and should, if this may be an option, contact us.
We kindly ask you to submit your application via the secure online application platform of the Forum Transregionale Studien by 6 January 2021, 23.59h CET:
Please note that applications by email will not be considered.
As part of your application, you will be asked to prepare and upload the following:
— 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).
In case of questions, please consult the FAQ or send 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 institution that promotes the internationalization of research in the humanities and social sciences. It is dedicated to a research agenda that systematically links disciplinary approaches and the expertise of area studies by focusing on entanglements and interactions across national, cultural or regional borders. The Forum invites scholars from all over the world for fellowships and develops transregional communication formats. It 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 Germany, the Forum carries out research programs and initiatives that examine emerging topics from diverse regions of the world in a comparative as well as integrative manner. The Forum is a registered society, its members are Universities and research institutions in Germany. It cooperates with the Max Weber Stiftung – Geisteswissenschaftliche Institute im Ausland in the field of communication, and is funded by the Land Berlin.
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. 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, and connected to its former programs ZUKUNFTSPHILOLOGIE: Revisiting the Canons of Textual Scholarship and 4A LAB: Art Histories, Archaeologies, Anthropologies, Aesthetics.
For more information on the Forum Transregionale Studien, its programs, initiatives and communication please visit
TRAFO – Blog for Transregional Research
For further information on EUME and for detailed information on the research fields and themes, please visit
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