Transregional Academy - Fragment – Power – Public: Narrative, Authority, and Circulation in Archival Work, 26 August - 6 September 2019, Germany


December 15, 2018

Event Date:

August 26, 2019 - September 06, 2019

Opportunity Cover Image - Transregional Academy - Fragment – Power – Public: Narrative, Authority, and Circulation in Archival Work, 26 August - 6 September 2019, Germany

“Fragment – Power – Public: Narrative, Authority, and Circulation in Archival Work”

The Berlin-based Forum Transregionale Studien, the Max Weber Stiftung – Deutsche Geisteswissenschaftliche Institute im Ausland and the Department of Arabic and Near Eastern Languages of the American University of Beirut (AUB) cordially invite doctoral and postdoctoral scholars from the humanities and social sciences, as well as research-oriented artists and writers, to apply for a Transregional Academy in the framework of the research program Europe in the Middle East – The Middle East in Europe (EUME). The Transregional Academy will be convened from August 26th to September 6th, 2019 at the AUB in Beirut on the topic of 
Fragment – Power – Public: Narrative, Authority, and Circulation in Archival Work. 

It will be chaired by Rasha Chatta (EUME Fellow 2018/19), Leyla Dakhli (CNRS / Centre Marc Bloch, Berlin), Pascale Ghazaleh (American University in Cairo / EUME Fellow of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation 2017-19), Zeina G. Halabi (AUB / EUME Fellow of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation 2018-20), Lamia Moghnieh (EUME Fellow of the Fritz Thyssen Stiftung 2019-20), Alia Mossallam (EUME Fellow of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation 2017-18), and Ala Younis (artist). It is arranged in cooperation with the German Orient Institut in Beirut (OIB), the American University in Beirut (AUB), and the Arab Fund for Arts and Culture (AFAC).

Twenty-four doctoral and postdoctoral scholars and artists from different countries and backgrounds will present and discuss their current research in an international and multidisciplinary context. Collectives, artists and scholars from Lebanon who work with archives will also contribute to the Academy. The Academy is designed to support scholarly networks and closer ties among research activities in and outside Europe and the Middle East. In order to promote intensive debate and encourage new perspectives, it is structured around four main elements: presentations of individual research projects in small groups, working group sessions for the participants, general lectures, and panel discussions open to a wider public.


Scholars of history, culture and society in and of the Middle East, no matter what their political engagement, were swept up in the wave of Arab uprisings that started in 2010. The revolutions brought to a paroxysm a process of contestation that had been building since the 1990s, when new critiques began to challenge old narratives and ideologies and shake their hold on public space and the political sphere. 

The return to the archives had opened up radical possibilities for social histories as early as the 1970s. Even then, for many scholars, turning to the archives was a way of exploring new narratives and questioning dominant discourses; but, since 2010, they have also found themselves formulating more fundamental questions related to the nature, constitution, and ownership of the archives. Excavating fragments of the past and attempts to document the present have led researchers to question the role of the state and its cultural practices in gathering and preserving these fragments, the nature of the public institutions involved in this endeavor, and the authority to define what legitimately constitutes an archive; the uprisings thus drove scholarship further beyond state-centered monistic narratives, to explore different historical and literary representations as sources for the production of knowledge and a reflection on the culture/power nexus. This interest, of course, has not been restricted to the academy: it has served to support work in curation, art, performance, and activism. New technologies supported one aspect of the archival turn, as evidenced by the development of digital humanities and the incorporation of such technologies into pedagogy. Thus, current research expands the boundaries of what constitutes legitimate membership in the community of historians, and intervenes in archival material through a variety of formats and venues. 

The Academy aims to provide a forum for scholars in social sciences and humanities and research-oriented artists and writers who are interested in discussing and exchanging on questions of archives and archival practices in past and present societies and in diverse contexts.

The Transregional Academy promotes intensive peer-to-peer debates and encourages new perspectives grown from debates in small discussion groups. Participants take an active part in contributing to the program’s structure and content. They present their individual research, co-design thematic discussion groups, and are involved in organizing the thematic discussions. While most of the work is conducted in an intensive small-group atmosphere, the Transregional Academy also presents its work to the public through general lectures and open panel discussions. For more information on the format please visit our Transregional Academies blog:


The Transregional Academy is chaired by the above-mentioned group of scholars and organized by the Forum Transregionale Studien in cooperation with the AUB, OIB and AFAC.

For questions regarding the concept of the Academy, please contact Georges Khalil; for questions regarding eligibility and format, please contact Jessica Metz, both at:; phone +49 (0)30 89 001 427; fax: +49 (0)30 89 001 440.

Application and Procedure

Travel, accommodation and meals of the participants will be fully covered. The program targets doctoral and postdoctoral researchers, as well as research-oriented artists and writers, who wish to present their ongoing projects in both a comparative perspective and in relation to the questions raised above. Moreover the researcher’s work should be clearly relevant to the themes of the Transregional Academy. The working language is English. 

The application should likewise be in English and consist of:

— a brief motivation letter that describes the relevance of one’s own research to the Academy’s topic and contains a few paragraphs outlining what the applicant could contribute to the collective in terms of a talk, thematic discussion, viewing, performance etc., as well as two suggested readings relevant to the Academy's theme which you would like to discuss with other participants (please provide bibliographical data only, no copies of the suggested readings are required);
— a curriculum vitae, indicating at the end the names of two university faculty members or collaborators who can serve as referees (no letters of recommendation required);
— a three- to five-page outline of the project the applicant is currently working on, with a brief summary thereof.

For more information click "LINK TO ORIGINAL" below.

This opportunity has expired. It was originally published here:

Eligible Countries
Host Country
Study Levels
Publish Date
November 20, 2018