Panelists

Roula Abi Habib Khoury is a Sociologist, director of the Centre d’Etudes pour le Monde Arabe Moderne (CEMAM) and professor in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology at Saint Joseph University in Beirut. She specializes in sociological theory and her research focuses on the sociology of the Lebanese society. She worked extensively on the concepts of gratuity, gift and on numerous aspects of non-utilitarian social relations. She is currently leading two large-scale projects on the memory of the Lebanese war through musical production and on the Youth in the Arab World. She is presently completing a manuscript on the notion of frontiers in border regions in Lebanon within a CEMAM research project entitled “Le Liban aux nombreuses frontières”.

Betül İpşirli Argıt (Boğaziçi University, 2009) is currently Associate Professor of Ottoman History of Ottoman History at the Department of Islamic History of the University of Marmara. She has completed her Ph.D at Boğaziçi University in 2009. She has published articles and books in the field of Ottoman women, material culture, Ottoman imperial court. In addition to a number of articles, she is the author of Rabia Gülnuş Emetullah Valide Sultan (1640-1715), “Hayatlarının Çeşitli Safhalarında Harem-i Hümayun Cariyeleri, 18.yüzyıl” and a forthcoming book, Life after the Harem: Female Palace Slaves, Patronage and the Imperial Ottoman Court (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press). She is the recipient of TUBİTAK Post-Doctoral fellowship in Turkey. Her areas of research are mainly on early modern Ottoman history, history of women in the Ottoman Empire, material culture and history of Ottoman imperial court.

Betül Başaran is Professor of Religious Studies at St. Mary’s College of Maryland, specializing on the social, economic and legal history of the Ottoman Empire. She is the author of Selim III, social control and policing in Istanbul at the end of the eighteenth century: between crisis and order and has published book chapters on the artisans and population of Ottoman Istanbul. In 2016, Başaran directed a National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Seminar entitled “Transcending Boundaries: The Ottoman Empire, Europe and the Mediterranean World, 1500-1800” and she is currently working on a manuscript about Ottoman princesses Dürrüşehvar and Nilüfer, who both grew up in exile in Nice, France and married the sons of Hyderabad’s last nizam in 1931.

Balthazar I. Beckett is Assistant Professor of American Literature with the American University in Cairo. He holds a Ph.D. from the City University of New York, Graduate Center. His work has appeared in Callaloo: A Journal of African Diaspora Arts and Letters, South Atlantic Review, Poverty and Race, Small Axe/sxsalon, Social Text Online, Kritikon Litterarum, the African American National Biography, and the Dictionary of Caribbean and Afro-Latin American Biography.

Hans van Ess, born 1962 near Frankfurt, grew up in Tübingen in Southern Germany. After studying Sinology, Turkic Studies and Philosophy at the University of Hamburg he from 1986-1988, spent two years at Fudan University in Shanghai before finishing a PhD on China’s history of thought in 1992. From 1992-1995 van Ess worked as an area manager at the German Asia-Pacific Business Association in Hamburg and as assistant professor at the Institute for Sinology of the University of Heidelberg. In 1998 he took over a chair at the Institute for Sinology at Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich. From 2003 to 2005 he was dean of the faculty for the study of cultures and from 2007 to 2009 vice president for teaching. Since 2013 he again serves as vice president for international affairs. In 2015 he was elected president of the Max Weber Stiftung – Foundation German Institutes in the Humanities Abroad.

Jane Freeland is a Research Associate at the German Historical Institute, London. Her research focuses on gender and women’s activism in divided Germany. She is currently completing a book manuscript entitled “Feminist Transformations: Domestic Violence in Divided Berlin, 1969-2002.” Based on archival research and oral history interviews, the book examines how feminism has shaped the social and political landscape of Germany and asks what this has meant for women’s rights. The project is based on her dissertation at Carleton University, Canada. Her articles have appeared in the Journal of Women’s History and Perspectives on Europe.

Mina Ibrahim is a Doctoral student at the University of Gießen in Germany and the International Graduate Center for the Study of Culture (GCSC). In 2018, he earned a fellowship from the Orient Institute Beirut (OIB). His dissertation ethnographically complicates the difficulties and possibilities of living a good and moral Christian life in Egypt. Doing so, he looks for negated spaces and contexts in academic and non-academic writings about the lives of the Copts. Recent publications include book reviews in the journals On Culture and Asian Journal for Social Sciences and peer-reviewed articles in Jadaliyya, Social Compass, and Middle East Topics and Arguments.

Botakoz Kassymbekova is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Institute of History and Social Sciences at the John Moores Liverpool University, which is part of the Wellcome Trust Investigator Grant. Her current research focuses on ageing in the post-war Soviet Union and is based on archival and oral history research. Previously, she conducted research on Stalinism and Russian imperial urban history. Her first manuscript Despite Cultures. Early Soviet Rule in Tajikistan (Pittsburgh University Press 2016) is based on her dissertation at the Humboldt University Berlin. She guest-edited a special volume on Stalinism and Central Asia (Central Asian Survey, 2016).

Noriko Kawamura is Arnold M. and Atsuko Craft Professor in the Department of History in Washington State University Pullman, where she teaches U.S. foreign relations, U.S. military history, World Wars, and the Cold War. Kawamura’s research focuses on international history in the Pacific World. Her publications include Emperor Hirohito and the Pacific War (University of Washington Press, 2015), and Turbulence in the Pacific: Japanese–U.S. Relations during World War I (Praeger, 2000), and coedited volumes, Building New Pathways to Peace, and Toward a Peaceable Future: Redefining Peace, Security and Kyosei from a Multidisciplinary Perspective. Kawamura is currently working on a new book project on Emperor Hirohito’s Cold War under contract with the University of Washington Press.

Hans-Peter Mathys is a Professor emeritus for Old Testament and Semitic Languages in the Department of Theology of the University of Basel, Switzerland. His research focuses on Phoenicia, late old Testament texts and the history of research. He is currently writing a book manuscript entitled “The veil(s) in the Temple of Jerusalem”. Based on research of Old Near Eastern, Old Testament and classical sources  the book examines the religious significance of temple veils in the whole Ancient Near east, especially during the Achaemenid period. His articles have appeared in different scientific journals and books, especiall anthologies.

Megan MacDonaldMegan C. MacDonald is Assistant Professor of English and Comparative Literature. Her research focuses on contemporary francophone and Mediterranean literary and visual cultures, and she has published in and edited journals such as Sites/Contemporary French and Francophone Studies, Francosphères, the International Journal of Francophone Studies, Feminist Media Studies, and Expressions Maghrébines. She is the co-editor with Claire Launchbury of the forthcoming collection Urban Bridges, Global Capitals: Trans-Mediterranean Francosphères (Liverpool). Her forthcoming book, Monsters without Borders: Literary Precarity and the Postcolonial Navette, is the first part of a trilogy on connecting seas, and is preoccupied with understanding the relationship between books and bodies, and how they travel, via the figure of the “navette”. Prior to coming to AUC, she held a postdoctoral fellowship at University College Cork, Ireland, where she worked on the research project “Algeria: Nation and Transnationalism”, and held a faculty position in Comparative Literature at Koc University, Istanbul. During the 2018-2019 academic year, she was in residence at IMéRA, Institute of Advanced Studies, Université Aix-Marseille as a EURIAS fellow working on the research project “The Way Back: Mediterranean Wakes and Urban Archival Futures”.

Chafika Ouail has just finished a postdoctoral fellowship at the Orient-Institut in Beirut, where she studied the concept of neighborliness in Islam. Her research focuses on revisiting the concepts and ideas in the Islamic culture. She is also completing a book manuscript entitled The Crowd in the Islamic Thought, based on ethnographic and analytical research in the early Islamic sources. The book examines how the concepts of the crowd has been formulated throughout the history of Islam within its diverse spheres: theology, jurisprudence, and Sufism. The project is based on the previous postdoctoral fellowship conducted at the Arab Council for the Social Sciences (ACSS). Her articles have appeared in many reviewed Journals such as: Al-Abḥāth, Al-Lisāniyyāt, Muqārabāt, Al-Mashreq, Risālat al-Masjid, among others.

Robert Pekkanen is a Professor in the Jackson School of International Studies at the University of Washington (Seattle, USA).  His research focuses on Japanese politics, party politics, and civil society. He has published a book on civil society in Japan, Japan’s Dual Civil Society, and a coauthored book on Japan’s neighborhood associations, Neighborhood Associations and Local Governance in Japan. His research has been published in American Political Science Review, British Journal of Political Science, and The Journal of Asian Studies.

Irmgard Pinn is a Sociologist, teaching German Society and Culture as a lecturer at the Tehran University (Faculty of World Studies). Her research focusses on History of Sociology, Racism, Islam and the West, and Intercultural Philosophy. She is currently completing a manuscript entitled “Monotheism, Truth and Violence. Jan Assmann’s theory of the religious sources of hate and violence”. A recent article entitled “Die Fischsuppe auf dem Norouz-Sofreh. Zur interkulturellen Hermeneutik des Übersetzens” has been published in: Tagungsband des Kongresses “Übersetzen im interkulturellen Kontext”. Tehran 2018, S. 75-103). Her most read book is „EuroPhantasien. Die islamische Frau aus westlicher Sicht”. DISS 1995 (with Marlies Wehner).

Katarina Ristić is a Research Associate at the Global and European Studies Insitute, Leipzig Univeristy. Her research focuses on media representations and memory and their conjunction with war crime trials and transitional justice. Currently she is wriring a book mannuscript entitled „Visual Memory of Yugoslav wars“. Based on the archival research, the book examines circulation of iconic atrocity images in national and international media, documentaries and war crime trials, asking about the role of images and TV news as a media logic of 90s, in creation of international humanity discourse on the one hand, and national memory production, on the other. Her articles have appeared in Media, War & Conflict Journal and International Criminal Justice Review.

Gaétan du Roy is an invited Professor in the Department of Translation at Université Saint-Louis (Brussels). His research focuses on interreligious relations in Egypt. He is currently completing a book manuscript entitled Les Zabbalin du Muqattam: religion, développement et clientélisme urbain dans le Caire contemporain to be published next year by Brill. Based on ethnographic and archival research in Egypt and in Belgium, the book examines how a neighborhood of garbage collectors emerged at the crossroad between different social scenes and how it became paradoxically worldy famous for its maginality. The project is based on Gaétan du Roy’s PhD dissertation at Université Catholique de Louvain. His articles have appeared in Archives de Sciences Sociales des Religions, Annales Islamologiques et Revue de Mondes Musulmans et de la Méditerranée.

Patrick RummelPatrick Rummel studied History, Philosophy and Political Theory at Philipps-University Marburg (Bachelor of Arts 2010) and Otto-Friedrich-University Bamberg (Master of Arts 2012). Between 2012 and 2019 he worked as a library assistant at Otto-Friedrich-University Library in Bamberg to prepare and finance his PhD project. From 2014 to 2019 he then worked on his doctoral thesis, “Successful failure. Greek colonies and the reform of Greater Britain, 1829-1920” in Modern History at Philipps-University Marburg. The thesis was supervised by Prof. Dr. Benedikt Stuchtey, Professor in Modern History, and was submitted in early April 2019. The defense took place on July 11th 2019. Due to generous fellowships of the German Historical Institute London (DHIL) and the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) he was able to do extensive archival research on his thesis’ topic in London, Cambridge, Manchester, and Oxford in 2016, 2017, as well as in 2018. A doctoral fellowship of the Leibniz Institute of European History (IEG) in Mainz in 2017 and 2018 also provided him with an excellent environment to present results of his research, to write major chapters of his thesis, and to get in touch with experts in various fields of European and non- European history and politics.

Regina Schäfer is Research Associate at the Department of Medieval History and Comparative Regional Studies at the Johannes Gutenberg Universität Mainz. Her research interests focus on family, nobility, social mobility and rural life in the late middle ages. She is currently working on the edition and translation of the court records of the village Ingelheim (www.ingelheimer-haderbuecher.de). Some publications in English: R. Schäfer, Talking about deviance? Insult and humiliation in the Ingelheim Court Records, in: Jörg Rogge (Hg.), Recounting Deviance. Forms and practices of presenting divergent behaviour in the Late Middle Ages and Early Modern Period. Bielefeld 2016 (Mainz Historical Cultural Sciences 34), S. 25-56. R. Schäfer, Rural–urban migrations, medieval era, in: The Encyclopedia of Global Human Migration. Wiley online 2013.

Falko Schnicke is Research Fellow in Modern History at the German Historical Institute London and Visiting Fellow at Southampton University. He is a cultural, political and intellectual historian of Britain and Germany from the late eighteenth to the twentieth centuries. He obtained his doc-toral degree in 2014 from Humboldt University, Berlin. Currently, he is conducting a research project in contemporary British history. It explores the practices of state visits in twentieth-century Britain and the foreign policy functions of the British monarchy.

Ajay Skaria is Professor in the Department of History and Institute for Global Studies at the University of Minnesota.  Since the 2000s, his research interests have been in twentieth century Indian intellectual history, modern caste politics, and postcolonial theory.  In addition to articles in these fields, he is the author of Hybrid Histories: Forests, Frontiers and Wildness in Western India (1999) and Unconditional Equality: Gandhi’s Religion of Resistance (2015).  He was a member of the Subaltern Studies editorial collective from 1995 till its dissolution, and has coedited Subaltern Studies Vol XII: Muslims, Dalits and the Fabrications of History (2006) and Dipesh Chakrabarty and the Global South (in press).  He is currently working on two books—Ambedkar’s Revolutions, which explores the trope of revolution in Ambedkar’s thinking of law and Buddhism; and an as yet untitled essay exploring, through attention to Gandhi, Ambedkar, Nehru and other mid-twentieth century thinkers, the relation between secularism and political friendship or neighborliness.

Aurora Sottimano is a Visiting Researcher at the Centre of International Studies (CEI) at ISCTE-IUL, Lisbon (Portugal) and a Senior Fellow of the Centre for Syrian Studies, University of St Andrews (UK). She is currently based in Beirut and working as Senior Researcher at COSV (Coordination of the Organisations for Voluntary Service) – Italian Solidarity in the World.  Aurora holds a PhD degree in Politics from the University of London, SOAS, and a Laurea degree from the University of Turin (Italy). Previously she was a Lecturer at the University of Leiden (Netherlands), a Lecturer at the British University in Egypt (BUE) and a post-doctoral Fellow at the Orient Institut Beirut (OIB). Aurora’s expertise and interests include the politics and regional relations of the Middle East, the political economy of authoritarianism, local governance in (post) conflict territories, and the politics of migration. Her latest publication is “Syria in the resistance axis: persistence through reconfiguration?”. In Linda Matar and Ali Kadri (eds.) Syria: from National Independence to Proxy war. Palgrave 2018.

Wolfgang Struck, since 2005 Professor of Modern German Literature at the University of Erfurt, Germany; doctoral student at the University of Konstanz, PhD at the University of Tübingen, lecturer (and Habilitation) at the University of Kiel, visiting professor at the Universities of Virginia, Charlottesville, and Washington, Seattle, senior fellow at the IKKM (Internationales Kolleg für Kulturtechnikforschung und Medienphilosophie, Weimar). Research interests in the field of poetics and science. Recent publication, with Kristina Kuhn: Aus der Welt gefallen. Die Geographie der Verschollenen, Paderborn: Fink, 2019.

Jakub Zbrzeżny has just completed his doctoral studies in divinity at the University of Aberdeen. The manuscript of his PhD dissertation ‘Biblioclasm and the Scriptures: An Investigation of the Phenomena’ has been submitted for review to the series Forschungen zur Religion und Literatur des Alten und Neuen Testaments (Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht). The book examines the impact of book burning on the editorial and textual history of the Koran (under Caliph ʿUthman), the Christian Bible (under Emperor Diocletian), and the Jewish Bible (under King Antiochus IV Epiphanes). Jakub Zbrzeżny continues to study Syriac Christianity at the University of Salzburg and is about to join Orient Institut Beirut as a post-doctoral fellow with a project on Christian Syro-Arabic and Arabic introductions to the Torah.