The Traveling Academy reflects the transregional and dynamic dimension of the center. It is made up of researchers from the Maghreb, Europe and the rest of the world. This group travels to organize conferences in other countries of the region, in various contexts and in exchange with different research traditions.

Traveling Academy Solidarities In/Between the Middle East and North Africa, Beirut/Lebanon

The Traveling Academy organised by MECAM in cooperation with the Orient-Institut Beirut (OIB) considers solidarity in comparative and historical perspective, tracking the dialectics of affinity and difference at the heart of political community. Solidarity is one of the oldest concerns in the social sciences, which sought to understand the waning of traditional bonds under capitalist modernity. The topic’s return to research agendas today is symptomatic of the multiple crises humanity faces on a planetary scale. Contemporary writing on solidarity captures utopian hopes for an “alter-politics” (Hage 2015) capable of radically breaking with a political present experienced as stultifying and self-destructive. It also documents messy attempts to translate such hopes into transformative action. Understood as “a way of sticking together while standing one’s own ground,” solidarity demands a reckoning with difference while building toward shared liberatory futures (Li 2021: 241).

  • Drawing inspiration from charismatic solidarity projects of the past (Bardawil 2020), our Traveling Academy asks what emancipatory futures drive political imaginaries in the MENA today?
  • How do contemporary projects relate to earlier visions and transmit values to rising generations?

The MECAM Traveling Academy takes place from February 19th to 25th 2023.

You can see the pictures here ( Link )

Traveling Academy « De-Colonizing Knowledge – Views from India and Tunisia », New-Delhi/India

Colonial structures in the academic field are still an omnipresent reality favouring the hegemony of Western knowledge preserving global inequalities. One central goal of the Merian Centres is to face theses problematics and to work for decolonial academic contexts based on mutual respect between partners in an international surrounding. This is why, the Merian Centre for Advanced Studies in the Maghreb (MECAM) (Tunisia), the Max Weber Forum for South Asian Studies (India) and the le M.S. Merian – R. Tagore International Centre of Advanced Studies ‘Metamorphoses of the Political’ (ICAS:MP) (India) decided to jointly organize a conference on the topic of “Decolonizing knowledge- Perspectives from India and Tunisia” to discuss the following two core questions:

  • How to decolonize knowledge in a ongoingly colonial academic setting?
  • How to deal with the root causes like hegemonial knowledge, discourse and power structures as well as language as a colonial heritage?

Coming from a Latin American tradition, decolonial studies are highly relevant for the Indian and Tunisian context. Having experienced British and French colonialization as well as the ongoing Western imperialisms, India followed then the path of emancipatory post-colonial knowledge production, while Tunisia is firmly integrated into the French knowledge system. The conference will profit from the insights of both countries as vantage points to understand the ongoing dynamics and reflect upon decolonialization within knowledge production, university structures, research methodologies, etc. Thereby, already existing appropriation strategies, hybridizations and domestications of knowledge will be integrated into this initiation of academic exchange between both Merian Centres of Advanced Studies, MECAM and ICAS:MP.

The MECAM Traveling Academy takes place from November 19th to November 26 th 2022.

You can download the program here

You can see the pictures here (Link 1, Link 2)

Disparities, Youth and Socio-spatial Reconfigurations in Morocco and Tunisia.

In cooperation with MECAM’s partner institution Université Hassan II de Casablanca, Morocco, the University of Leipzig organises this Traveling Academy with a thematic focus on comparative social science perspectives on inequalities and societal transformations in contemporary Morocco and Tunisia. For this purpose, the Traveling Academy invites a group of Moroccan and international researchers to Tunisia, and is organised as an itinerant scientific workshop series that takes place in Nabeul, at MECAM, at the Université de Tunis and in a public event location in Tunis over the course of a full week. The Principal Investigators of this MECAM Traveling Academy are Prof. Jörg Gertel (Leipzig University), Prof. Fadma Ait Mous (Université Hassan II de Casablanca), Prof. Mourad Ben Jalloul (Université de Tunis) and Prof. Ali Bennasr (Université de Sfax).

The Traveling Academy’s different components are organised in cooperation with the Laboratoire Gouvernance et Développement Territorial (Université de Tunis), the Institut d’Études sur le Maghreb Contemporain (IRMC), the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung Tunisie (FES) and the Laboratoire SYFACTE (Université de Sfax).

The MECAM Traveling Academy takes place from June 4th to June 11th 2022.

You can see the pictures here