IFG V « Identities & Beliefs »

The thematic focus of the IFG “Identities & Beliefs” is on the diversity of identities and beliefs in Tunisia, the Maghreb and beyond. More specifically and in line with MECAM’s overarching theme, the IFG is interested in methods in which identity-based and belief-related disparities shape the (re-)negotiation of imaginaries, visions and models of the future.

Research Agenda and Work Programme:

IFG V focuses on the diversity of identities and beliefs in Tunisia, the Maghreb, and beyond. It tracks the ways in which identity-based and belief-related disparities shape the (re)-negotiation of imaginaries, visions, and models of the future. The IFG is guided by the following questions:

  • Which identity-based disparities and diverse beliefs are available and dominant in specific settings? What are their similarities and differences across different social and political settings?
  • How have the disparities around identities and beliefs evolved in recent history and up until the present, and which visions for the future emanate from them?

Activities of IFG V “Identities & Beliefs”:

During the 4-month period of the fellowship, IFG V will engage in the following activities:

  • Regular IFG seminars: These will meet twice per week during the “finding common ground” phase in March / April and will drop to once per week in May / June. Meetings are organized around text-based discussions, or planning sessions for collaborative projects, excursions, or publications.
  • Partner Workshops: The IFG will organize two workshops with partner organizations such as Université de Sfax and Université de Sousse.
  • Excursions: IFG V plans two excursions during the 4-month fellowship. The first, which will take place from 28 March – 1 April 2022, will be an excursion to Sousse and Sfax to discuss collaboration with Université de Sousse and Université de Sfax. A second excursion to Djerba is planned for mid-May.
  • MECAM Spectrum Series: Allows for the IFG fellows to present their research to a wider public, in a hybrid format that encompasses in-person and virtual audiences. These presentations have been scheduled throughout the 4-month fellowship period and will begin with Elizabeth Bishop’s talk on 24 March 2022. The presentation by Guy Eyre will take place on 5 April 2022.
  • Spring Talks: Each fellow is entitled to invite a scholar, artist, or political figure to give a public talk at MECAM. These talks will primarily feature Tunisian scholars based at local institutions like the Université de Tunis but may also include virtual talks given by scholars based in other countries.



Plans for joint publication will be discussed in greater detail during the final two months of the fellowship period. However, we hope to propose a special issue on “Identities and Beliefs” to an area studies journal. Fellows are also invited to write shorter pieces for publication in the MECAM papers series as well as for the #MECAM series on the Trafo Blog. The members of the IFG have been accepted to present their work in a double-panel at the DOT conference in Berlin in September 2022.