The role of the humanities, their standing in the academic field and their impact on society are questions of global relevance. Why is it important to study, teach and do research in the humanities? What role do the humanities play in the Arab world and Germany—both in the academic domain and the public sphere of ‘societies in change’? Which challenges and obstacles do scholars in the humanities face across the Arab world, especially in war or postwar situations, such as in Syria, Yemen or Iraq, and which research opportunities do the students and academics have? What could be done to strengthen the humanities in the Arab world, in Germany and on a global level? And what can we learn from each other’s experiences?
These and other questions were raised and discussed at the international conference “The Place of Humanities in Research, Education and Society: An Arab-German Dialogue“, which was held in Berlin in November 2019, as part of the activities of the Arab-German Young Academy of Sciences and Humanities (AGYA). This collection of essays, titled “The Humanities in the 21st Century: Perspectives from the Arab World and Germany”, which was first published as a blog series, takes up key issues that were raised and discussed during our conference.