Congratulations to Martina Mampieri for winning a Special Mention of Excellence

23 June, 2022

Congratulations to Martina Mampieri for winning a Special Mention of Excellence for the junior category of the Giuseppe Alberigo Award 2021 with her book Living under the Evil Pope: The Hebrew Chronicle of Pope Paul IV by Benjamin Neḥemiah ben Elnathan from Civitanova Marche (16th cent.), Studies in Jewish History and Culture 58, Leiden-Boston, Brill, 2020.

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The prize is awarded by the European Academy of Religion, the Fondazione per le Scienze Religiose, and Emilia-Romagna Region. The ceremony award took place on June 22, 2022.

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We are delighted to present the elected fellows for the academic year 2022/23!

24 May, 2022

Netta Green (French history)
Yael Assor (Sociology of medicine)
Moshe Yagur (Jewish history)
Aviv Derri (Middle Eastern Studies, economic history)
(Amit) Omri Grinberg (Anthropology)

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Linus Ubl (Literature)
Johannes Lotze (Imperial China)
Benjamin Wilck (history and philosophy of mathematics)
Johannes Czakai (Early modern Jewish History)
Anne-Christin Klotz (Modern Jewish History)

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Call for Papers

6 April, 2022

State-building, Political Thought, and the Other in Muslim Imperial Peripheries

How did Others (non-Muslims, non-mainstream Muslim sects, tribes, ethnic groups) contribute to the development of Muslim states and empires and conceptualize their interactions with Muslim polities? How did Muslim empires react to the presence of Others in their peripheries? And how did different schools of Islamic law and political thought conceptualize their respective Others?

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Drawing on the example of Yemen, where both Sunni and Shīʿa polities routinely dealt with a diverse group of Others including – and depending on the perspective – Ottomans, Zaydis, Ismailis, Jews, and tribal communities, the conveners of this workshop invite prospective participants to reassess the contribution of minority groups to the development of Muslim states and societies. Recent scholarship demonstrates that the contribution of non-dominant groups and their participation in socio-political processes had a fundamental effect on state (trans)formation. This theme is particularly well explored in certain periods (e.g., the Christian, Jewish and nonArab contribution to the development of the early Islamic Empire) or in relation to certain groups (e.g., Armenians, Kurds, Greeks, and the Shīʿa in the Ottoman Empire). Building on these advances, the workshop suggests two angles for the exploration of how Sunni-dominated states and their Others interacted: through the lens of political, legal, and religious works produced by both sides and through interactions with state institutions. The workshop invites its participants to consider Muslim imperial peripheries as the main arena in which these intellectual and sociopolitical processes took place. It aims to start a comparative multidisciplinary conversation on how interactions in the far-flung regions of Muslim empires altered Sunni normativity. We invite historians of Muslim states, scholars of Islamic legal and political thought, and researchers of ethnic and religious minorities in the Muslim world to jointly discuss the possibilities of a common framework in the exploration of non-dominant groups as contributors to Muslim state-building and the development of the Muslim “self”. In this way, the participants are encouraged to step out of their usual spatial and temporal frame of reference to consider the broad implications of their research. Submission guidelines Submissions should include a title, short description of the proposed presentation (500-700 words), and a brief biography of the contributor, including name, affiliation, and email. Panels will be organized based on the themes of the abstracts. Please send your submissions by May 1, 2022 to and/or Local participants are encouraged to present in person and will be reimbursed for local travel expenses. International participants are welcome to participate in person, however, we can provide only limited partial compensation for 2-3 participants. International participants will be accommodated in zoom-panels. Organizing committee Dr. Kerstin Hünefeld (Martin Buber Society Fellow, the Hebrew University of Jerusalem) Dr. Ekaterina Pukhovaia (Polonsky Academy Fellow, the Van Leer Jerusalem Institute)

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We are delighted to present the elected fellows for the academic year 2021/22!

14 June, 2021

Yael Fisch (Jewish Studies)
Erez Maggor (Sociology)
Idit Ben Or (History)
Yuval Tal (History)
Limor Yungman (L’Institut des mondes africains -IMAF)

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Carolin Mueller (Cultural Studies)
Christopher Roser (Philosophy)
Katharina Palmberger (Byzantine History of Art)
Patrick Dürr (Philosophy)
Jasmin Bleimling (Psychology)

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Buber Fellow Hannelies Koloska wins an ERC Starting grant

14 September, 2020

Dr. Hannelies Koloska has won a €1.5 million Euro ERC Starting Grant for her project VISIONIS: Visuality in the Qur'an and Early Islam

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VISIONIS sets out to write a cultural history of vision in Early Islam. It aims to generate a paradigm shift in the understanding of visuality in the transitional period between Late Antiquity and Early Islam. The project argues that the Qur’an is a key locus for our knowledge of the scope of visual strands in the epistemic space of Late Antiquity and the ways in which these visual strands were adapted and transformed by the emerging new religious community of Muslims. It also assumes that Early Islamic exegetical, theological, legal, literary, and historiographic texts and Early Islamic artistic production attest to the heretofore unstudied adjustment, conceptualization, and calibration of the various Qur’anic visual elements in combination with local-temporal trends. The project challenges the text-oriented research on the Qur’an that has prevented scholars from perceiving the work’s entanglement with the visual cultures of Late Antiquity. It also aims to rectify the comparative research of Islamic artwork and Islamic legal statements that resulted in a lack of comprehensive research into the Qur’an and Early Islamic texts as sources for the inquiry of Islamic visual concepts and images. The project will thus improve our understanding of the cultural dynamics of Late Antiquity and Early Islam, will raise awareness of the specificities of Muslim discourses on seeing, enabling an assessment of their historical anchoring, and challenge prevailing misconceptions of Islamic visual cultures.

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We are delighted to present the elected fellows for the academic year 2020/21!

10 June, 2020

Muzna Awayed-Bishara (Education Policy, Sociolinguistics, English as a Foreign Language)
Beatrice Baragli (Assyriology, Linguistics)
Nora Derbal (Civil Society in Saudi Arabia, History of Orientalism)
Martina Mampieri (Early modern and modern Jewish History)
Ella Elbaz (Comparative Literature, Palestinian and Israeli Literature, Digital Humanity)

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Pierre Christian Fink (Economics, Economic History, Sociology)
Matan Kaminer (Anthropology, Migration, Labor Relations)
Andreas Lehnertz (Medieval Jewish History)
Ido Wachtel (Archeology, Urbanization)
Peter Zilberg (History of Parthian and Persian Empires, Assyriology) 


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