Study Day on “Narratives of Resistance, Resistance of Narratives” in Gabes, Tunisia

 

This Study Day is co-organised by MECAM and the Higher Institute of Language of Gabès and represnted by Dr. Julius Dihstelhoff, MECAM’s Academic Coordinator, and Dr. Cyrine Kortas, MECAM Long-term Fellows, With the participation of Dr. Loaay Watad from MECAM’s consortial partner, Forum Transregionale Studien from Berlin as well as  Dr. Imene Khefacha MECAM’s Fellow Coordinator.

Venue: Higher Institute of Language of Gabès
When will it take place? Will take place on 12 June 2024 in Gabes.

As part of the follow-up to last year’s study day on ‘Media narratives’, the MECAM – Merian Centre for Advanced Studies in the Maghreb, in collaboration with the Institut Supérieur des Langues de Gabès, is organising a one-day conference on focuses on the relationship between media and narratives of resistance, an area of academic research that calls for further elaboration.  In the context of academic media research and study, the narrative of resistance serves as a crucial framework for understanding how individuals and groups actively oppose or challenge oppressive systems and structures. This narrative encompasses a wide range of actions and strategies, from political protests and social movements to everyday acts of defiance and subversion. These acts are found in social media networks a niche for manifestation and development.  By focusing on resistance as a narrative, we invite scholars, thinkers, and students to analyze the various ways in which marginalized communities negotiate power dynamics and assert their agency in the face of oppression. We also invite them to ponder over and resist classical and orthodox readings of the political, cultural, and media scene in their countries or the international arena alike. The event offers the possibility to understand and develop frames of resistance.

This event aims to delve into how media’s different channels, both mainstream and alternative media, influence the storytelling of people’s struggles and strives. Through the various studies harbored by the event, we seek to explore how resistance and resisting narratives impact social behavior and foster interdisciplinary interaction.

The seminar focuses on how media portrays and fuels narratives of resistance. It stresses the need to understand media and enhance literacy by recognizing, exploring, and amplifying diverse resistance stories. Participants are encouraged to explore resistance narratives across different media forms such as film, news, magazines, advertising, blogs, and social media.

Academic Event in Algeria in Honor of Prof. Dr. Hartmut Elsenhans

 

The Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research, in collaboration with the Konrad Adenauer Foundation Algeria and MECAM, warmly invited to a special event in honor of the renowned scholar Prof. Dr. Hartmut Elsenhans. This one-day conference took place on Monday, June 3, 2024, at the École Nationale d’Administration in Algiers, Algeria.

Prof. Dr. Hartmut Elsenhans has significantly influenced economic and historical research throughout his career. The event began with the welcoming of participants, followed by opening speeches from high-ranking representatives of the academic and scientific community, including Abdelmalik Mezhouda, Director of ENA, and Ahmed Zakane, Director of CREAD.

The morning was dedicated to two thematic panels:

  1. The Economic Issues of Hartmut Elsenhans, moderated by Mohamed Kadi, Director of Research at CREAD, with contributions from renowned scholars such as Dr. Hannes Warnecke-Berger and Matthias Schaefer.
  2. Historical Perspectives on the Works of Hartmut Elsenhans, moderated by Mohamed Benguerna, Director of Research at CREAD, with presentations by Prof. Daho Djerbal and Prof. Rachid Ouaissa, Director of MECAM.

The conference concluded with a general discussion and the recognition of the life’s work of Prof. Dr. Hartmut Elsenhans by various experts and companions.

Cities in the Arab Imagination: Fiction, Reality, and Futurescapes

 

Workshop convened by Teresa Pepe, and organized by Diana Abbani within the framework of MECAM’s transregional workshop, in a collaboration of Europe in the Middle East – The Middle East in Europe (EUME), and the Department of Culture Studies and Oriental Languages at the University of Oslo.
Venue: Forum Transregionale Studien, Wallotstr. 14, 14193 Berlin
When?  Wed 15 May 2024 – Thu 16 May 2024
The workshop aims to explore how Arab cities have been conceived, envisioned, planned in the Arab imagination. As Fredric Jameson theorizes in his seminal essay The Future of the City, this requires “an interdisciplinary approach that mobilizes, alongside the obvious (and anticipated) areas of architecture and urbanism, such heterogeneous disciplines as psychoanalysis and geography, history and business, economics and engineering, biography, ecology, feminism, area studies, ideological analysis, classical studies, legal decisions, crisis theory, et cetera” (2003).
With: Rasha Abbas (Independent, Berlin), Sanabel Abdelrahman (EUME Fellow 2023/24), Ammar Azzouz (University of Oxford), Rasha Chatta (Freie Universität Berlin/MECAM Fellow 2021/EUME Fellow 2017-2021), Muhammad Jabali (Independent, Berlin), Hanan Natour (Freie Universität Berlin), Katarzyna Puzon (Humboldt University), Yahia Shawkat (10 Tooba, Cairo/Berlin), and Loaay Wattad (EUME Fellow 2023/24).
Please register in advance via: eume@trafo-berlin.de (to get the login details for the hybrid sessions).

Invitation to the Max Weber Foundation Conference 2024 in Istanbul

 

Who? MECAM Director Prof. Dr. Rachid Ouaissa and MECAM Coordinator Dr. Julius Dihstelhoff
When? It will take place from May 14th to 15th at the Orient Institute Istanbul.

The conference is organized by the Max Weber Foundation for German Humanities Institutes Abroad. Further information about the conference can be found at the following link .
MECAM and its network partner OIB have jointly submitted a panel proposal on the topic: “(Harmful) Entanglements & the MENA-Region: Perspectives on Academic Research, Solidarity and the Art World,” which illuminates various contexts where harmful entanglements may occur within the MENA region, particularly in academic research, conceptualizations of solidarity, and the art world.

Mr. Ouaissa and Mr. Dihstelhoff plan to speak on the following topic: “(Harmful) Entanglements? Images of the Maghreb in German Academic Research.” Their contribution examines how the Maghreb is often marginalized in German academic discourse, leading largely to harmful perceptions. They propose an analysis of entanglements between Germany and the Maghreb, considering interdisciplinary perspectives and multilingual sources.

For more information on the programme : Link

Download the programme

lab24tunisiawebsite

Call for applications: Falling Walls Lab Tunisia 2024

The German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD), in collaboration with the Merian Center for Advanced Studies in the Maghreb (MECAM) and ISEAHT (Institut supérieur tunisien d’études appliquées en sciences humaines), is organising the “Falling walls Lab Tunisia 2024”.
Falling Walls Lab is a world-class pitch competition, networking forum and springboard that brings together a diverse and interdisciplinary group of students and early-career professionals, providing a stage for ground-breaking ideas at both global and local levels.
Falling Walls Lab Tunisia invites talented researchers and professionals to present their most innovative ideas. Outstanding researchers, entrepreneurs and professionals can apply to Falling Walls Lab Tunisia on 29 May 2024, to present their idea in 3 minutes, highlighting a breakthrough that will have a positive impact on science and society. MECAM’s academic coordinator, Dr. Julius Dihstelhoff, will be a member of the jury.

Download the Call for applications for the Falling Walls Lab Tunisia 2024

Extractivism Flying Academy “Global Extractivism: Actors and Cultures in Latin America” in Cuba

Prof. Dr. Rachid Ouaissa, one of the two directors of MECAM, will be present at the Extractivism Flying Academy “Global Extractivism: Actors and Cultures in Latin America” to be held in Havanna, Cuba from 19 to 22 February 2024. The conference will look at which commodities will gain in importance and which countries and/or groups of countries may benefit from this, bearing in mind that they may also be among the losing groups. What social and cultural dynamics characterize the extractivist regimes in Latin America? How do the impending and future changes challenge these structures, institutions, cultural representations and social habitus? Which social groups are becoming drivers of change, and which are blocking these processes? And what geopolitical outcomes are already foreseeable?

Prof. Dr. Ouaissa will take part in the Round Table: “Link between CALAS – MECAM – Universidad de la Habana” on 19 February from 16:00 to 18:00, hold a lecture on “Franz Fanon and the World Order” on 22 February from 12:00-13:30, and intervene in a panel on “The Merian Center Initiative of the BMBF and inter-institutional linkages” on 23 February from 9:30 to 11:30.

Download the programme

International Conference : « Peace Building and Gender in Transitional Societies »

Co-organised by the Arab-German Young Academy of Sciences and Humanities (AGYA) and MECAM, the international conference « Peace Building and Gender in Transitional Societies » took place at MECAM’s premises and in the lecture hall on the campus of the Institut Supérieur des Etudes Appliquées en Humanités de Tunis (ISEAHT) on 31.01.-01.02.2024. Arab and German researchers and members of civil society groups convened to discuss various facets of women living in conflict-affected areas, the contributions of women researchers in societies undergoing transition, and initiatives related to promoting peace through education.
Download the programme

Roundtable « Chances et potentiels de la coopération universitaire tuniso-allemande dans les sciences humaines et sociales » organised by the DAAD

Round Table “Chances and potentials of Tunisian-German university cooperation in the humanities and social sciences”, during the event on Tunisian-German University Cooperation in the Humanities and Social Sciences, organised by the DAAD Regional Office Tunis with the participation of Julius Dihstelhoff, Academic Coordinator of MECAM. This round table promises exciting discussions on the future of international exchanges in the humanities and social sciences. This round table is moderated by Martin Lampprecht, DAAD Reader at the University of La Manouba.

Download the programme and description of the event

  • Welcome Addresses at the CrossArea conference: Doris Löhr (Chairperson of CrossArea, Bayreuth University); Anna Steigemann (Chairperson of DIMAS); Ulf Brunnbauer (Director of the Leibniz Institute for East and Southeast European Studies).
  • Presentation of Area Studies in Regensburg at the CrossArea conference by Paul Vickers (Manager of the Leibniz ScienceCampus Europe and America).

Photos: © Steffen Wippel, 2023

Annual conference of CrossArea e.V. “Doing Area Studies in the Polycentric Condition” 

Regional, cross-regional, and transregional studies matter! This is not only an inherent part of MECAM’s research programme, but also became clear again at the annual conference of CrossArea e.V., the Association for Transregional, Comparative Area, and Global Studies. This year it took place on 16 and 17 November 2023 under the motto “Doing Area Studies in the Polycentric Condition” at the University of Regensburg, where it was hosted by DIMAS, the Department for Interdisciplinary and Multiscalar Area Studies, and the Leibniz ScienceCampus “Europa and America in the Modern World.” The programme included the presentation of area studies in Regensburg, which focus on Eastern and Southeastern Europe and transregional studies; the CrossArea Members’ Meeting (Mitgliederversammlung); a panel of early career researchers; a project presentation on the establishment of a Cross//Area Science Portal for Global and Area Studies; and a roundtable on the digitalisation of archival infrastructure. Similarly to MECAM, “Transformations and Frictions of Globality in Past and Present” are central themes of the research in Regensburg, and sociological as well as cultural studies are as well concerned with Middle Eastern issues, such as research on refugees in regional camps or European cities, Islamist internationalism, and international responses to the recent Hamas attacks on Israel in a polycentric world. Steffen Wippel, coordinator of an Interdisciplinary Fellow Group in the pre-phase and now MECAM publication manager at GIGA │ IMES in Hamburg, represented MECAM and explained its current activities since the start of main phase, including the new fellowship programme, as part of the exchange between the Merian Centres at the General Assembly. As an experience to be continued, the CrossArea members agreed to convene their next conference in Frankfurt/Main in the coming year.

Steffen Wippel, 20/11/2023

MECAM joint panel at the MESA Annual Meeting 2023

On Friday, November 3, at 11:00 a will take place the panel “Between Democratization and Authoritarian Resurgence: The Future of Political Islam in the Maghreb” at the MESA Annual Meeting 2023 in Montréal, Canada. Dr. Julius Dihstelhoff, the MECAM Academic Coordinator, and Alumni Fellow Dr. Guy Eyre (Alumni of MECAM Interdisciplinary Fellowgroup 5: Identities & Beliefs) identified thematic overlaps. Consequently, they proposed a joint panel with esteemed international scholars and outstanding experts in the field of Islamist research at the highly competitive MESA.

The proposed discussion “Between Democratization and Authoritarian Resurgence: The Future of Political Islam in the Maghreb”, aligns thematically with MECAM’s research in the IRF “Identities & Beliefs” and relates to MECAM’s overarching theme. The MESA panel specifically delves into how the evolving social and political contexts in the Maghreb region continue to influence the strategies, guiding principles, and behaviors of Islamist movements. It also addresses their competition and coping mechanisms regarding unequal access to material resources, human capital, religious and political authority, and inequality—core themes of IFG V (Identities & Beliefs). This panel, facilitated by leading established and emerging scholars from European and North American universities, advances scholarly work on the relationship between identity-related beliefs and how Islamists negotiate their strategies, concepts, and future models. Thus, this panel challenges conventional perceptions of the Maghreb as a peripheral region concerning the nature and the future development of (Islamist) identities, beliefs, and activism in the MENA region and the broader Islamic world.

For more information on the panel: Link

MECAM participation at Round Table: “MECAM MECILA: Asymmetries of International Knowledge Production and Circulation. Experiences, Best Practices, and Challenges” and at MECILA Annual Meeting and Young Researchers Forum 2023, São Paolo, Brasil

Rachid Ouaissa, the German Director of the Merian Centre for Advanced Studies in the Maghreb (MECAM) and Julius Dihstelhoff (MECAM Academic Coordinator) participated in two significant events that promise to foster knowledge exchange and collaboration on an international scale and between the Merian Centres.

Rachid Ouaissa participated as a speaker at the Round Table: “MECAM MECILA: Asymmetries of International Knowledge Production and Circulation. Experiences, Best Practices, and Challenges” which aimed to create an open space for representatives from the Maria Sibylla Merian Centre Conviviality-Inequality in Latin America (MECILA) and MECAM, the Merian Centres located in São Paulo and Tunis, to share their experiences in mediating research processes across various institutional logics and epistemological gaps. In a world marked by asymmetrical opportunities, this discussion explored the urgent need for horizontal exchange and cooperation.

Julius Dihstelhoff, MECAM’s Academic Coordinator, participated as a discussant in Panel IV: “Challenges of Open Science for Young Researchers.” at the MECILA Annual Meeting and Young Researchers Forum.

The Mecila Annual Meeting is the central platform of Mecila to present and discuss the main interdisciplinary research results of the Mecila community together with invited researchers. It plays an important role for the articulation of the three Mecila Research Areas. The Young Researchers Forum has the specific objective to foster the international exchange and networking of early career researchers, addressing specific challenges and making visible their research contributions.

For more information on the Round Table: Link

Download the program of the MECILA Annual Meeting and Young Researchers Forum: Link

=> link recording Video

MECAM participation at the DAVO-Congress 2023

MECAM was present at this year’s 29th International Congress of the German Middle East Studies Association for Contemporary Research and Documentation (DAVO) together with the Fourth European Convention on Turkic, Ottoman and Turkish Studies (Turkologentag), which took place at the University of Vienna from 21 to 23 September 2024. André Bank, member of the MECAM Executive Council, and Steffen Wippel, MECAM Publications Manager, both from the German Institute for Global and Area Studies (GIGA) │GIGA Institute for Middle East Studies, Hamburg, provided information on MECAM’s activities and fellowship programmes and distributed flyers on the MECAM as well as printed trilingual copies of the MECAM Papers series.

In addition, Steffen Wippel, previously coordinator of the Interdisciplinary Fellow Group “Resources & Sustainability” (IFG IV), organised the panel “Resources and Sustainability in Tunisia: Imagining Futures – Dealing with Disparity.” In it, three of the five alumni fellows presented papers resulting from their work at the MECAM during their stay in Tunisia from March to June 2022. After a short introduction by Steffen, who gave an overview of the work programmes of MECAM and IFG IV, First, Lisa Sarida Lippert, currently a PhD student at the Carl Friedrich von Weizsäcker Centre for Science and Peace Research at the University of Hamburg, presented her paper on “The Future of the Rural: Climate Change Adaptation, Agricultural Production, and Bottom-up Strategies in Central Tunisia.” Then, Nadia Mansour, Assistant Researcher at the Department of Finance, University of Sousse, a Visiting Researcher at the University of Salamanca, and affiliated to the LARIME laboratory at ESSEC Tunis, joined the session Online with “Reflections on the Development of Green Finance by Commercial Banks in Tunisia.” Finally, Mohamed Ismail Sabry, Visiting Postdoctoral Researcher at the International Institute for Social Studies, Erasmus University Rotterdam, turned to issues of economic development, examining the link between “State-Society Relations and Industrial Sustainable Growth” in the case of post-revolutionary Tunisia.

Individually, from among the former MECAM Fellows, Elizabeth Bishop of IFG V (Identities & Beliefs), Associate Professor of History at Texas State University, presented a paper on “Algerians at the VI Youth Festival in Moscow (1957)” in a panel on “Arab/Soviet Relations”.

  1. André Bank and Steffen Wippel at the MECAM table 
  2. André Bank and Steffen Wippel with alumni fellows Lisa Lipert and Mohamed Sabry, at the MECAM table

Conférence internationale ISA 2023, Ifrane

At the Conférence internationale ISA 2023, held June 21-23 in Ifrane, Morocco, Julius Dihstelhoff, academic coordinator of MECAM, presented the results of his research in the panel Europe’s Complex Ties with Regions to its South. Other panel contributions were made by Stephan Lau of the Federal University for Applied Administrative Sciences and Francesco Spera of the Università di Salento. The panel was chaired by Lars Berger (Federal University for Applied Administrative Sciences), and Ahmed Salem (Zayed University) discussed the contributions. This year’s conference, themed Afrique, Moyen-Orient et Maghreb: Société, Etat et Solidarités, is organized by the International Studies Association (ISA), one of the oldest interdisciplinary associations dedicated to understanding international, transnational, and global affairs.

You can download the programme here

FALLING WALLS LAB Tunisia

The German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) is organising in collaboration with MECAM the Falling Walls Lab Tunisia. Twelve presenters will pitch their innovative idea in just 3 minutes, showcasing a breakthrough that will have a positive impact on science and society. MECAM’s academic coordinator, Dr. Julius Dihstelhoff, will be a member of the jury.

You can download the programme here

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Presentation-debate on the book “Les raisins de la domination. Une histoire sociale de l’alcool en Tunisie à l’époque du Protectorat (1881-1956)”.

MECAM organizes, on May 4 in collaboration with the IRMC and on May 5, 2023 in collaboration with the Laboratoire Monde Arabo-Islamique Médiéval, a presentation-debate on the book “Les raisins de la domination. Une histoire sociale de l’alcool en Tunisie à l’époque du Protectorat (1881-1956)”, in the presence of the author Nessim Znaien, Associate Professor at the Philipps-Universität Marburg (Germany), for the History of the colonial and post-colonial Maghreb, historian and associate researcher at the IRMC, and member of the executive council of MECAM.

Calendrier

Presentation

Did colonisation modify the daily life of the population? It is from this general questioning that Nessim Znaien approaches the history of Tunisia during the Protectorate (1881-1956). By analysing the letters of the high administration, the press, the literary writings, the police, judicial and hospital archives, this book deals with particular products in the land of Islam: alcoholic drinks. Despite the religious ban on wine and alcoholic beverages to which the Muslim majority of the population is subjected, various elites converged from the beginning of the 20th century to invent a Tunisian wine tradition. It was a question of justifying the planting of vines, which the French colonisers imposed from the 1890s onwards, to supply the metropolitan market with wine, in the context of the phylloxera crisis which affected a large part of the French vineyards. This wine production led to a boom in the consumption of alcoholic drinks in Tunisia. The rural landscapes of the north of the country were covered with vines, while the main towns saw a sharp increase in the number of drinking establishments. This democratisation of alcohol ended up posing a political problem for the colonial authorities and the Tunisian nationalist elites and led to a wave of prohibition from the First World War onwards, reaching its peak in the 1930s. In the last twenty years of the Protectorate, public drunkenness and the consumption of alcoholic beverages by Muslims made the Tunisian and French elites react less and less. The consumption of alcohol became increasingly trivial, even though it continued to increase. In an approach based on material culture and the history of food, this book approaches the history of alcoholic beverages as a “total fact”, revealing political and religious mentalities, as well as economic standards of living and relationships of domination within societies.

Fifth lesson of the Hichem Djaït Chair: Histories and Cultures of Islam entitled « Le Coran vu d’ailleurs : la place paradoxale du livre sacré de l’islam dans l’histoire culturelle de l’Europe »

For the launch of the “Hichem Djaït Chair: Histories and Cultures of Islam” within the University of Tunis – inaugurated in March 2022 in homage to the great Tunisian Islamologist and historian – the University of Tunis in partnership with the Institute of Research on the Contemporary Maghreb (IRMC), the National Library of Tunisia and the MECAM, has decided to start a cycle of conferences dedicated to him. Within this framework, starting in November 2022, a professor of international renown will be invited each month to give a lecture related to the thematic field of Hichem Djaït’s research.

Prof. Dr. John Tolan, Professor of History at the University of Nantes, will be invited on Friday 28 April 2023 at 3:30 p.m. at the National Library of Tunis for the fifth lesson of the Hichem Djaït Chair: Histories and Cultures of Islam entitled « Le Coran vu d’ailleurs : la place paradoxale du livre sacré de l’islam dans l’histoire culturelle de l’Europe ».

MECAM is supporting this series of events with funds from its partner institution, the Philipps-Universität Marburg.

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Photography exhibition: ‘Working hands in arid lands’ by Lisa M.Sarida Lippert

How does the everyday life of small farmers look like against the background of global warming?
Using the power of visuals, the 2022 photo series which emerged from field research as part of MECAM Interdisciplinary Fellow Group (IFG) IV «Resources & Sustainability» seeks to give answers to that question. It focuses on the hands of those working the land, emphasizing their connection to and dependence on natural resources.
By merging emic and etic perspectives, it stirs critical reflection upon dominant representations of rural populations as passive victims. Further, it sheds light on the power and responsibility researchers have in the areas of resources and sustainability and beyond in creating those representations.

Fourth lesson of the Hichem Djaït Chair: Histories and Cultures of Islam entitled “Muslim Law and the Historical Evolution of Shari’a in Islam (VIII-XVI centuries)”

For the launch of the “Hichem Djaït Chair: Histories and Cultures of Islam” within the University of Tunis – inaugurated in March 2022 in homage to the great Tunisian Islamologist and historian – the University of Tunis in partnership with the Institute of Research on the Contemporary Maghreb (IRMC), the National Library of Tunisia and the MECAM, has decided to start a cycle of conferences dedicated to him. Within this framework, starting in November, a professor of international renown will be invited each month to give a lecture related to the thematic field of Hichem Djaït’s research.

Prof. Dr. Christian Müller (Director of Research HdR (CNRS) at the Institut de Recherche et d’Histoire des Textes, Director of the Arabic Section) will be invited on Friday, February 24, 2023 at 3:30 p.m. at the National Library of Tunis for the fourth lesson of the Hichem Djaït Chair: Histories and Cultures of Islam entitled “Muslim Law and the Historical Evolution of Shari’a in Islam (VIII-XVI centuries)”

Other internationally renowned scientists will be invited to Tunis in the following months – among them:

John Tolan (Professor of History Member of the Academia Europæa Member of the Institut d’Etudes Avancées de Nantes Director of the ERC project “The European Qur’an (EuQu)”/France)

François Déroche (Statutory Chair Professor at the Collège de France/Paris, France)

MECAM is supporting this series of events with funds from its partner institution, the Philipps-Universität Marburg.

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Extractvisim lecture series “Climate change and raw materials: risk or opportunity?” with Rachid Ouaissa

9 Februray 2023 

As part of the Extractvisim lecture series “Climate change and raw materials: risk or opportunity?”, Prof. Dr. Rachid Ouaissa, one of the two directors of MECAM, will speak on the topic “500 years of interdependence between the Maghreb and Europe”. As in most non-European countries, the most important events in the history of the 19th and 20th centuries are the relations of Maghreb countries with the capitalist and industrial powers. Colonial triumphs led to serious inequalities and contradictions that led to liberation movements. The history of the colonial construction of the region is also the history of the emergence of colonial power techniques and colonial dynamics to create geographical realities as well as postcolonial interdependencies.

Indeed, even in the post-colonial phase, the Maghreb and Europe are closely linked. With a clear European dominance, the EU dictates migration, security, trade and energy policies and has a monopoly of knowledge in the Mediterranean and the Maghreb. The question then arises as to whether we are dealing with a kind of colonial or even imperialist ‘longue durée’.

You can download the programme here

MECAM Conference “Imagining Futures – Dealing with Disparity”

17-19 March 2023 in Tunis

After three years of stimulating academic exchanges, fruitful research and hard work, the Merian Centre for Advanced Studies in the Maghreb (MECAM) invites you for its conference “Imagining Futures – Dealing with Disparity”, 17-19 March 2023 in Tunis. The title of the conference, “Imagining Futures- Dealing with Disparity”, is equally the leitmotif of MECAM. Since this conference, does rather mark the decampment towards MECAM’s main phase then an end to the preliminary phase, we are looking forward to reflect with you upon the future. A detailed programme will follow soon. For more information, please see the conference abstract.

Donwload abstract

Lecture series Studium Generale of the Philipps-Universität Marburg: Dr. Isabelle Werenfels “The Maghreb in Africa: Ambivalence and Competition”

As part of the Studium Generale lecture series at the Philipps-Universität Marburg in the winter semester 2022/23 with the theme “From the Atlantic to the Hindu Kush… A History of Interdependence” Dr. Isabelle Werenfels, President of the International Advisory Board of the Merian Centre for Advanced Studies in the Maghreb (MECAM) and Researcher at the Stiftung Wissenschaft und Politik (SWP), will speak on the topic “The Maghreb in Africa: Ambivalence and Competition”.

The conference can be followed live under this link.

You can download the programme here.

Third lesson of the Hichem Djaït Chair: Histories and Cultures of Islam entitled “The Question of Orientalism and Islamic World Studies: The Contribution of Hichem Djaït”

For the launch of the “Hichem Djaït Chair: Histories and Cultures of Islam” within the University of Tunis – inaugurated in March 2022 in homage to the great Tunisian Islamologist and historian – the University of Tunis in partnership with the Institute of Research on the Contemporary Maghreb (IRMC), the National Library of Tunisia and the MECAM, has decided to start a cycle of conferences dedicated to him. Within this framework, starting in November, a professor of international renown will be invited each month to give a lecture related to the thematic field of Hichem Djaït’s research.

Prof. Dr. Roberto Tottoli (Professor of Islamology: Rector of the Università degli Studi di Napoli l’Orientale/Italy) will be invited on Friday, January 20, 2023 at 3:30 pm at the National Library of Tunis for the third lesson at the National Library of Tunis for the second lesson of the Hichem Djaït Chair: Histories and Cultures of Islam entitled “The Question of Orientalism and Islamic World Studies: The Contribution of Hichem Djaït”.

Other internationally renowned scientists will be invited to Tunis in the following months – among them:

  • John Tolan (Professor of History Member of the Academia Europæa Member of the Institut d’Etudes Avancées de Nantes Director of the ERC project “The European Qur’an (EuQu)”/France)
  • François Déroche (Statutory Chair Professor at the Collège de France/Paris, France)

MECAM is supporting this series of events with funds from its partner institution, the Philipps-Universität Marburg.

Second lecture of the Hichem Djaït Chair: Histories and Cultures of Islam entitled “Qīmat al-wakt: Piety, Productivity and the Use of Time in Modern Islamic Discourse”.

For the launch of the “Hichem Djaït Chair: Histories and Cultures of Islam” within the University of Tunis – inaugurated in March 2022 in homage to the great Tunisian Islamologist and historian – the University of Tunis in partnership with the Institute of Research on the Contemporary Maghreb (IRMC), the National Library of Tunisia and the MECAM, has decided to start a cycle of conferences dedicated to him. Within this framework, starting in November, a professor of international renown will be invited each month to give a lecture related to the thematic field of Hichem Djaït’s research.

Prof. Gudrun Krämer (Professor Emeritus at the Freie Universität Berlin, former Director of the Institute of Islamic Studies) will be invited on Friday, 16 December 2022 at 15:00 at the National Library of Tunis for the second lesson of the Hichem Djaït Chair: Histories and Cultures of Islam entitled “Qīmat al-wakt: Piety, Productivity and the Use of Time in Modern Islamic Discourse”.

Other internationally renowned scientists will be invited to Tunis in the following months – among them:

  • Roberto Tottoli (Università degli Studi di Napoli l’Orientale/Italy)
  • John Tolan (Professor of History Member of the Academia Europæa Member of the Institut d’Etudes Avancées de Nantes Director of the ERC project “The European Qur’an (EuQu)”/France)
  • François Déroche (Statutory Chair Professor at the Collège de France/Paris, France)

MECAM is supporting this series of events with funds from its partner institution, the Philipps-Universität Marburg.

=> link recording Video

Extractivism in Comparison: Reflexions on Trans-Regional Research Concepts and Methods

CrossArea e.V. in cooperation with BMBF Collaborative Research Project Extractivism.de / Merian Centre for Advanced Studies in the Maghreb (MECAM), Universities of Marburg and Tunis, GIGA German Institute for Global and Area Studies Hamburg / Centro de Estudos Latinoamericanos (CELA), University of Kassel / Centrum for Near and Middle Eastern Studies (CNMS), University of Marburg / Merian Centre for Advanced Latin American Studies in the Humanities and Social Sciences (CALAS) / University of Kassel, and Universidad de Guadalajara, Mexico organizes the annual conference “Extractivism in Comparison: Reflexions on Trans-Regional Research Concepts and Methods”.

Extractivism is a global phenomenon, and understanding and explaining extractivism remains a challenge for cross-area studies, mainly because the way extractivism is approached varies significantly from region to region, both scientifically and politically.

(Cross-) area studies, on their part, are currently challenged to integrate seemingly global processes. The COVID-19 pandemic made once more apparent that the world is entangled in a global condition, and events in one location rapidly affect all other connecting locations. However, reactions to the pandemic diverged, as did the effects of the pandemic. The Russian invasion of Ukraine has also clarified this global interconnectedness. Both events challenge current theoretical and methodological approaches to (cross-)area studies. They support a renewed discussion on their current state, methodological tools, and future academic role in the research landscape.

For this reason, this workshop will address the possibilities and limitations of the methodological toolbox of (cross-)area studies and global comparisons. Based on this discussion, the workshop takes extractivism as an entry point into discussing the depth of similar patterns of social change in different world regions.

You can download the program here

“Institutional Workshop on Research Data Management”

Maria Sibylla Merian Centre Conviviality-Inequality in Latin America (Mecila) organized the “Institutional Workshop on Research Data Management” in Cologne 23.-25.11.2022. The workshop was intended as an exchange of experience between representatives of Merian Centres. Jessica Metz (Forum Transversale Studien: FTS) was invited to contribute to and moderate the roundtable “Fair-Data, Open Science and Sustainability of Research Data”, which mainly dealt with experiences within the framework of the European Research Council (ERC) projects hosted by the FTS. The contribution of the FTS for MECAM is based on these experiences.

You can download the program here.

Inaugural lecture of the Chair Hichem Djaït : Histories and cultures of Islam entitled « Orientalisme et occidentalisme : de la grande divergence à la grande convergence »

For the launch of the “Hichem Djaït Chair: Histories and Cultures of Islam” within the University of Tunis – inaugurated in March 2022 in homage to the great Tunisian Islamologist and historian – the University of Tunis in partnership with the Institute of Research on the Contemporary Maghreb (IRMC), the National Library of Tunisia and the MECAM, has decided to start a cycle of conferences dedicated to him. Within this framework, starting in November, a professor of international renown will be invited each month to give a lecture related to the thematic field of Hichem Djaït’s research.

Pr. Henry Laurens (Professor at the Collège de France/Paris, France) will be invited on November 11, 2022 at 3:30 pm at the National Library of Tunis for the Inaugural Lecture entitled ” Orientalisme et occidentalisme : de la grande divergence à la grande convergence “.

Other internationally renowned scientists will be invited to Tunis in the following months – among them

  • Gudrun Krämer (Professor Emeritus of Islamic Studies at Freie Universität Berlin/Germany)
  • Roberto Tottoli (Università degli Studi di Napoli l’Orientale/Italy)
  • John Tolan (Professor of History Member of the Academia Europæa Member of the Institut d’Etudes Avancées de Nantes Director of the ERC project “The European Qur’an (EuQu)”/France)
  • François Déroche (Statutory Chair Professor at the Collège de France/Paris, France)

MECAM is supporting this series of events with funds from its partner institution, the Philipps-Universität Marburg.

=> link recording Video

Masterclass Tunis 2022: Partiques d’écriture scientifique et approches méthodologiques en sciences humaine et sociales

In the framework of the “Masterclass Tunis 2022″ organised and supervised by the IRMC between 25 October 2022 and 05 November 2022 and entitled ” Pratiques d’écriture scientifique et approches méthodologiques en sciences humaines et sociales ” with Algerian PhD students, MECAM was involved through the engagement of its academic coordinator, Dr Julius Dihstelhoff. Dr Dihstelhoff gave a teaching unit on “A short interactive introduction to empirical social research and interview based research”.

You can download the program here

Extractivism Annual International Conference 2022  “Raw Materials, the Global South and Development in the 21st Century: mobilizing rents, grasping extractivist societies.”

With the participation of MECAM director Prof. Rachid Ouaissa the collaborative research project Extractivism.de organizes its first Annual International Conference from the 12th to the 14th of October, 2022, in Kassel, Germany. The conference’s theme is “Raw Materials, the Global South and Development in the 21st Century: mobilizing rents, grasping extractivist societies.”. This year’s conference aims to reconceptualize the theoretical relationship between extractivism and rents, stimulating deeper analyses concerning the particular and nuanced types of rent-led development trajectories. It wants to explore how and in what ways societies specializing in extracting and exporting raw materials reproduce themselves primarily through the revenues obtained by selling them to the global market. It also seeks to bring together ideas from different disciplinary fields in which rents and extractivism have major relevance, broadening the space for dialogue between Political Economy, Political Science, Sociology, Anthropology, International Relations, and Cultural Studies.

You can download the program here

The Mediterranean of Modernity: Global and Regional Perspectives

Between October 4 and 6 2022, the workshop “The Mediterranean of Modernity: Global and Regional Perspectives” takes place at Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin and Leibniz-Zentrum Moderner Orient Berlin.

Mediterranean studies are en vogue and historical research on the Mediterranean
of the 19th and first half of the 20th century are well developed. However, modern history research focusses sub-, trans- and non-Mediterranean frameworks. The workshop thus aims at contributing to a more comprehensive view by revisiting the genealogy of Mediterraneanism, discussing the placement of modern Mediterranean in the area of world history comparing the approaches of Mediterranean studies with the ones of neighboring and connected areas and seas as well as reflecting on the question of how the modern Mediterranean can be written. Regarding the research methods, workshop analyses the intersection between Mediterranean and Global History with regard to the modern age.

MECAM director Khaled Kchir presents our institution during the workshop in Berlin. In the framework of a roundtable, he discusses “The Modern Mediterranean in Global History” together with Manuel Borutta, Ulrike Freitag, Ilham Khuri-Makdisi and Nora Lafi. Georges Khalil is the moderator.

Program, you can download here

The Transformation of Silence: with Héla Ammar and Souad Mani curated by Marianna Liosi

With a focus on persisting injustices in post-2011 Tunisia, the Transformation of Silence is an exhibition curated by Marianna Liosi that explores different forms of truth seeking, as well as the emotions linked to persisting social injustices that affect the country and its communities. Stemming from personal and societal feelings of rage, frustration, and disillusion, a variety of artworks by Tunisian artists Héla Ammar and Souad Mani seek to express dissent and political action. They provide an overview of the challenges that the Tunisian civil society has to face, from legacies of injustice, massive migration to severe pollution. Simultaneously, the works play as “glitches” in the current social and political system that can open the space for political change.

The show brings together performative videos, video installations, sculptures, photographs, as well as new productions and archive materials that trace trajectories through spaces, confronting historical moments and desires across times.

The title of the exhibition is inspired by a speech held by Afro-American writer, womanist, radical feminist, professor and civil rights activist Audre Lorde, which is an invocation to take action and speak out.

The Transformation of Silence, curated by Marianna Liosi, is one of the outcomes of her 2021 fellowship on Memory & Justice, at Merian Center for Advanced Studies in the Maghreb (MECAM), Tunis. The event is the result of, and has been made possible by the cooperation between MECAM and La Boîte (Tunis), with the kind support of Fatma Kilani.

Media coverage (Lapresse , Justiceinfo )

MECAM at the Deutscher Orientalistentag 2022 in Berlin

From Left to right: Elizabeth Bishop, Julius Dihstelhoff, Alyssa Miller, André Bank, Arbia Selmi and Shreya Parikh

On Thursday, September 16, MECAM IFG V alumni fellows gathered in Berlin, funded by own funds of the MECAM partner institution German Institute for Global and Area Studies (GIGA), to participate in the centennial meeting of the “Deutscher Orientalistentag” (https://dot2022.de/). The event was a fantastic occasion for the fellows to reunite three months after the in-person fellowship wrapped up in Tunis and offered an opportunity for them to disseminate the results of their research. The MECAM papers were organized into a double panel on “Identities and Beliefs,” and divided into two sub-themes on “Muslim Identities and the Politics of Solidarity,” and “Imaginaries of the Other.” The panel was well-attended, and audience members contributed excellent questions and critical feedback for the panelists. In addition to presenting their research, the fellows benefited from attending the many other Tunisia and Maghreb-focused panels organized for the DOT-DAVO conference, as well as the chance to network with other scholars in the field and enjoy the many attractions offered by the world-class city of Berlin.

Panel Composition and Participation

Panel One: “Identities and Beliefs in the Maghreb I: Muslim Identities and the Politics of Solidarity”

Chair: Alyssa Miller (GIGA-Hamburg)

Speakers:

  • Guy Eyre, ABI Freiburg. Pious Paths Towards Politics? ‘Quietist’ Salafism and the Arab Revolts in the Maghreb
  • Alyssa Miller, GIGA-Hamburg. What Only a Mother Can Feel: The Promise and Limitations of Motherhood-based Solidarity in Tunisia.
  • Professor Elizabeth Bishop, Texas State University. Identities & Beliefs: The ‘M’ in UGEMA

 

Panel Two: “Identities and Beliefs in the Maghreb II: Imaginaries of the Other”

Chair: Hakki Taş (GIGA-Hamburg)

Speakers:

  • Julius Dihstelhoff, Philipps-Universität Marburg / MECAM. The foreign perception of German foreign policy by the Tunisian Nahda Party in the context of the Tunisian transformation processes after 2010
  • Shreya Parikh, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill / CERI-Sciences Po Paris. Hindaoui/a: The Racialized Imaginations of South Asian Bodies in the Middle East and North Africa
  • Arbia Selmi, researcher ERC LIVE-AR Ceped- IRD / associated researcher CMH-CMB-Forum Transregionale Studien. Tunisian Women’s Mobilizations for Equality: Identity, Beliefs and Unfinished Revolution?

Journée d’Etudes on « Identities and Social Dynamics » at University of Sfax

On 24-25 June, IFG V joined their partners at ECUMUS Lab at Sfax University for a Journée d’Etudes on the theme of “Identities and Social Dynamics.” The coordinator of IFG V Alyssa Miller took part in the opening and moderation of one the sessisons. The IFG V Fellow Elizabeth Bishop held a presentation titled “Beautiful Patience: UGEMA Leaders in ‘Brotherly’ Morocco, 22 October 1956” and the fellow Shreya Parikh talked about “Gendered contructions of race in Tunisia”.

Walking Tour of IFG V through the old Medina of Tunis with Dr. Jamila Binous

On 2 June, the IFG V group “Identities & Beliefs” went on a walking tour of the old city of Tunis, led by Dr Jamila Binous. An urban planner and historian, Dr Binous specialises in the urban heritage and built environment of the Medina of Tunis. Dr Jamila Binous is the author of several books on the Medina of Tunis. The visit began with a historical overview through the study of maps, followed by the Zawiya of Sidi Ibrahim al-Riyahi, Dar Lasram, and the Zitouna Mosque.

IFG V members meet film critic Kamel Ben Ouanes and filmmaker Sarra Abidi

On Wednesday 01 June 2022, members of IFG V “Identities and Beliefs”  met with film critic Kamel Ben Ouanes and filmmaker Sarra Abidi at the Majestic Hotel. It was an opportunity to talk with Mr. Kamel about the historical intersection of politics and cinema in Tunisia (through the institution of the cine-club). It was also an opportunity for members of IFG V “Identities and Beliefs” to share their experience of using documentary film as a social science research tool. The latter conversation was based on the experiences of the fellows in a documentary film training programme, led by Sarra Abidi. The participating fellows benefited from hands-on learning and were guided by a professional filmmaker through the conceptualisation, shooting and post-production stages.

International Colloquium – Approches pour l’histoire de la langue BERBÈRE: Mise en perspective  d’une langue à travers les âges

Organized by the University of Tunis, the Laboratoire du Monde Arabo Médiéval, the Maison des Sciences de l’Homme Paris Nord and the Laboratoire Langues et Civilisations à Tradition Orale (CNRS, Paris). In partnership with: (1) The Agency for Heritage Development and Cultural Promotion (AMVPPC), (2) the National Library of Tunisia (BnT), (3) the National Heritage Institute (INP), (4) the Academy of Sciences, Letters and Arts Beit al-Hikma.

Tunis 26 – 28 May 2022

Exchange between IFG IV and Prof. em. Habib Ayeb during an internal seminar

During an internal seminar, IFG IV fellows had the time to exchange with Prof. Ayeb (University of Paris 8, Observatory of Food Sovereignty and Environment). Dr. habil. Steffen Wippel, who is currently coordinator of the interdisciplinary fellowship group “Resources and Sustainability”, participated in this meeting. More information on the IFG IV Fellowship Programme “Resources & Sustainability“,

Tunis 16 May 2022

IFG IV encounter with research network NATURAL RESOURCE EXTRACTIVISM IN LATIN AMERICA AND THE MAGHREB

MECAM’s IFG IV “Resources and Sustainability” had the pleasure to welcome representatives of the research network “NATURAL RESOURCE EXTRACTIVISM IN LATIN AMERICA AND THE MAGHREB” to their group meeting on 28 April 2022.

At this meeting Hannes Warnecke-Berger, the project coordinator, presented the joint project of the Universities of Marburg and Kassel (https://extractivism.de/en/). With its comparative, cross-regional approach, the project considers itself in an intermediate role, linking two of the Merian centres, namely the MECAM – Merian Centre for Advanced Studies in the Maghreb in Tunis and the Centro Maria Sibylla Merian de Estudios Latinoamericanos Avanzados (CALAS) in Guadalajara, Mexico. Two of the project members, Meret Jacob-Lakrimdi and Luíza Cerioli, who work on the Maghreb, reported on their individual projects. While Meret works on spaces of negotiation and scopes of action for young people within the Maghrebi rentier states, Luíza investigates interdependencies between the international system and development plans in extractivist societies in South America, North Africa and the Gulf region. Rachid Ouaissa, who is both a director of MECAM and of the Extractivism project, also attended the meeting.

IFG V Excursion to Sousse/Sfax/Kerkennah

An excursion was taken by members of IFG V to Sousse, Sfax and Kerkennah in March 28 until 1 April 2022, to encounter social and political actors. This culminated in a series of essays that reflect on encounters at the UGTT headquarters and heritage spaces in the union’s geographical strongholds. The timing of the series’ appearance has proven serendipitous, as it coincided with a general strike declared by the UGTT for 16 June, in opposition to structural reforms proposed by the IMF.  In addition to an introductory essay written by Alyssa Miller and Arbia Selmi, stand-alone essays by Alyssa MillerAndré BankElizabeth Bishop, and Arbia Selmi have been posted on the #TRAFOBlog.

 Welcome to IFG I «Aesthetics & Cultural Practice»

Welcome to Tunis Interdisciplinary Fellowgroup I “Aesthetics & Cultural Practices”! We are happy to welcome the fellows at MECAM from March 18 to April 3, 2022. This will open a possibility for members of the group to exchange and get to know each other. More information about the members of the fellowgroup can be found here.

Destination Tunisia: Changing border regimes and Syrian displacement trajectories in the Global South

Dr. Wael Garnaoui (founder of the Border Studies Group, University of Sousse) will chair the webinar with interventions from Dr. Ann Zuntz (MECAM & University of Edinburgh), Marwen Bounab (University of Sousse), Asma Ben Hadj Hassen & Francesco Teo Ficcarelli (Mixed Migration Centre), and will be moderated by Dr. Marouen Taleb (Tunis Research Institute on Contemporary Maghreb). The first half of the webinar will provide insights into Syrians’ flight trajectories to Tunisia, presenting results from recent ethnographic fieldwork led by Dr. Ann Zuntz. The research comprised interviews with Syrian households, policymakers and aid providers in Tunisia; it redirects the focus from South-North journeys across the Mediterranean to South-South movement. The study demonstrates how pre-war migration and trade ties between Syria and Tunisia and Tunisia’s complex migration landscape have shaped Syrians’ conditions of arrival. Changing border regimes in Arab host countries have reordered Syrian movements across the Middle East and North Africa, forcing the poorest Syrians to travel the longest, most dangerous, and most expensive routes to reach Tunisia. MMC will close the webinar with insights from quantitative survey data collected over the last two years with Syrians residing in Tunisia which will shed light on the most common routes taken journey experiences and intentions for the future. Following the presentations, our discussant Marouen Taleb will respond with his comments and lead into the Q&A session.

The webinar is held virtually on Tuesday 8 February 2022, 17h00 – 18h30 (CET) (16h00 – 17h30 UTC) after register on Eventbrite

download here 

Dinner – meeting with representatives of German institutions based in Tunis

To promote the center as a platform for knowledge sharing and exchange between researchers from Tunisia, the Maghreb and Germany, the “Merian Center for Advanced Studies in the Maghreb” (MECAM) organized on December 14 a reception in its offices located at the Institute of Applied Studies in Humanities of Tunis (ISEAHT). During this reception the two directors of MECAM, Prof. Rachid Ouaissa and Prof. Khaled Kchir, with the presence of the president of the University of Tunis, Mr. Habib Sidhom, had the opportunity to present the structure of MECAM, and its main thematic clusters, to the various representatives of German institutions present in Tunis. This presentation continued around a buffet dinner, with an in-depth dialogue concerning the ambitions of this center and possible future cooperation.

Dialogue Forum – “Impacts of the Covid-19 Pandemic on science and research in partner regions of the Merian Centers”

In their contribution to the Science Festival Globe21, the Merian Centres (represented by ICAS:MP – Delhi/India -; CALAS – Guadalajara/Mexico -; Mecila – Sao Paulo/Brasil – ; MIASA – Accra/Ghana -; MECAM – Tunis/Tunisia) will contribute from their perspective to a better understanding and general reflection on the immanent, but also the possible long-term implications of the COVID-19 crisis for research conditions in the Global South and international scientific cooperation. • Context information DOWNLOAD 

Ateliers et conférences

Presentation of MECAM and its themes at the University of Tunis

MECAM seeks to fill the role of an exchange platform and a common knowledge exchange between researchers from Tunisia, the Maghreb and Germany. To concretize this exchange, MECAM is conducting an intensive dialogue meeting with researchers from MECAM’s main partners, the University de Tunis, on its 5 thematic priorities.

Digitization

As part of the cooperation between the University of Tunis and the University of Marburg, this round table aims to explore the prospects of digitization

English