Planet History

TraFo

Teaching between Spoon-Feeding and Dialogue: My Experience in Institutions of Higher Education and in Interactive Theater

By Marie Elias (French Literature / Theater Studies, University of Damascus / Higher Institute for Dramatic Arts, Damascus, Syria / Saint Joseph University, Beirut, Lebanon). Teaching is a difficult, exhausting profession, but an exciting one, and, if handled satisfactorily, it allows for enriching forms of knowledge and social interchange.

التعليم بين التلقين والحوار: تجربتي في بعض المؤسّسات للتعليم العالي والمسرح التفاعلي

ماري إلياس (الأدب الفرنسي / الدراسات المسرحية، جامعة دمشق / المعهد العالي للفنون المسرحية بدمشق، سوريا / جامعة القديس يوسف ببيروت، لبنان). التعليم مهنة شاقّة ومتعبة ولكنّها شيّقة وتسمح بتواصل معرفي واجتماعي غني لو تمّ التعامل معه بشكل مُرض. أظنّ أنّ كلّ شخص درّس كان له رأيه ونظرته الخاصّين في هذه المهمّة. ما أريد طرحه هنا هو موقفي الشخصي من التعليم بناءً على تجربتي الخاصّة.

Ottoman Roads to the Present: Infrastructure Development in Southeast Europe

By Florian Riedler and Nenad Stefanov. Public discourse and official historiography in Southeast Europe still understand the Ottoman period as ‘backward’. This backwardness is particularly associated with social and cultural immobility. According to this perspective, the Ottoman state dominated the Balkan Peninsula and prevented it from ‘moving forward’ and ‘progressing’ like the rest of Europe.

Heterodox Philology

Michael Allan and Gauri Viswanathan discuss connections among philology, literary history, and religion, drawing from writers such as Edward Said, B.R. Ambedkar, Zora Neale Hurston, Louis Massignon, and Kumud Pawde. The conversation was initially conducted via Zoom on September 2, 2020, and collaboratively edited for readability.

Navigating Socialist Encounters: Moorings and (Dis)Entanglements between Africa and East Germany during the Cold War

By Immanuel R. Harisch. Only recently, the decades-old debate regarding former Mozambican contract workers in the German Democratic Republic (GDR) experienced new momentum. Characterized by Marcia C. Schenck as “wandering journeymen of the Cold War” (“Wandergesellen des Kalten Krieges”), the trajectories of Mozambican contract workers were crucially shaped by socialist encounters and the close relations between the GDR and Mozambique.

Egypt’s Football Revolution: Emotion, Masculinity, and Uneasy Politics

By Carl Rommel. One does not have to spend a long time in Egypt to apprehend that football is a serious matter that stirs powerful emotions across the male population. Match shirts of Cairo’s two giant clubs, al-Ahly and al-Zamalek, are omnipresent in streets and squares throughout the country; club rivalries are a source of passionate controversies and banter in cafés, workplaces, and social media.

Entanglements of the Maghreb: Cultural and Political Aspects of a Region in Motion

By Imen Louati and Julius Dihstelhoff. This anthology aims to generate a new approach to address regional studies in the Maghreb. Indeed, capturing the Maghreb’s heterogeneity and its dynamic is central for reflecting on recent transformations, not only in the Maghreb but in the Arab world generally, particularly in relation to the Arab uprisings of 2010–11.

Enchevêtrement du Maghreb: Aspects culturels et politiques d’une région en mouvement

Par Imen Louati and Julius Dihstelhoff. Cette anthologie vise à produire une nouvelle approche pour aborder les études régionales au Maghreb. En effet, saisir l’hétérogénéité du Maghreb et sa dynamique est essentiel pour réfléchir aux transformations récentes, non seulement au Maghreb mais dans le monde arabe en général, en particulier en relation avec les soulèvements arabes de 2010-11.

الدراسات القروسطية الألمانية والعالم العربي: التغلّب على الحدود التخصّصية والمعرفية داخل الإنسانيات

جيني راحيل أوستيرله (التاريخ، جامعة ريغنسبورغ، ألمانيا). أنا من باحثي القرون الوسطى، متخصّصة في تاريخ أوروبّا ومنطقة البحر الأبيض المتوسّط والشرق الأوسط، تدرّبت خلال مسيرتي المهنية في عديد من الجامعات وعملت فيها، وأدرّس الآن في جامعة ريغنسبورغ.

Affective Readings: Emotion and Society in/of Egyptian Literature, 1990 to 2020

By Christian Junge. What are the social functions of reading literature? While many studies approach Arabic literature primarily through the lens of authors, the literary field, or sociopolitical discourses, my interdisciplinary postdoctoral research project, “Affective Readings”, shifts the focus to the readers. I ask: What do readers read, and how and why?

“Gender, Sexuality, and Knowledge Production in Current Neoliberal and Authoritarian Regimes”: Call for Contributions to the Series

To highlight the ongoing struggles that shape the production and circulation of knowledge in times of neoliberalism and authoritarianism, the Interdisciplinary Gender and Sexuality Research Cluster of De Montfort University, the Margherita-von-Brentano Center of Freie Universität Berlin, and Academy in Exile are calling for blog contributions by scholars, students, and activists from across the globe.

مساهمة قيَم الحداثة في الوساطة الثقافية

عزّ العرب لحكيم بنّاني (فلسفة، جامعة سيدي محمد بن عبد الله، المغرب). إنّ الهدف من هذه المقالة هو التطرّق إلى كيفية استثمار قدرة الجامعة على بلورة الحوار بين الثقافات في زمن التعدّدية الثقافية وصراع الحضارات. ونحن نعلم أنّ عددًا غير محدود من جمعيات المجتمع المدني والمؤسَّسات الدولية تتطرّق بكلّ جدّية إلى مثل هذا الحوار.

في الفلسفة العربية المعاصرة بوصفها حقلًا للدراسة

إليزابيث سوزان كسّاب (الفلسفة، معهد الدوحة للدراسات العليا، قطر). لا يزال التاريخ الفكري العربي الحديث والمعاصر حقلًا يحتاج إلى درس. وقد شهد العقدان الماضيان اهتمامًا متزايدًا بهذا الأمر. ومن بين الأعمال التي ظهرت مؤخّرًا، ثمّة أعمال تراجع فترة النهضة (من منتصف القرن التاسع عشر إلى منتصف القرن العشرين) وأخرى توثّق على نحوٍ نقدي جدالاتها الأقرب عهدًا.

The Allure of Airport Rhythms

By Juan Miguel Leandro L. Quizon. Travel entails expectations, musings, and meanderings. The moment travelers make final confirmations of flight bookings, their minds begin to explore the countless possibilities of their new journey. However, this year reminded us how a pandemic can seize travel instantaneously.

هوس ’التجديد‘ والإنسانيات

ماركو ديمانتوفسكي (التاريخ، جامعة فيينا، النمسا) تقرؤونها في كلّ مكان. يتحدّث عنها الجميع، كقيمة في حدّ ذاتها على الدوام. تطاردنا جميعًا، لا سيّما في الجامعات، ولا سيّما في الإنسانيات، مُطالِبَةً بالمطلب كلّي الحضور أن نكون مجدِّدين. فالمشاريع التي لا تقتضي التجديد لن تحلّ عليها نعمة التمويل في نظام أكاديمي منتفخ ونحيل في آنٍ معًا.

Islam and Heritage in Europe: Pasts, Presents and Future Possibilities

By Katarzyna Puzon. This year marks the twentieth anniversary of 9/11 – an event that triggered a significant and sustained rise in prejudice, discrimination, and hate crimes against Muslims, which has increased steadily since then. The tragic developments that followed, especially the invasions of Afghanistan in 2001 and of Iraq in 2003, still reverberate across Europe, not least in the recent ‘refugee crises’.

The African Refugee Equilibrium

By George Njung. Africans‘ lack of knowledge about our own shared refugee experiences continues to fuel hate and discrimination on the continent. For far too long, the global refugee situation has been misconstrued as static, with certain parts of the globe generating disproportionate numbers of refugees and others perpetually faced with the burden of hosting displaced peoples.

Urban Parks in Late Ottoman Istanbul

By Mustafa Emir Küçük. People have used green spaces for recreational purposes throughout history, yet the concept of the park as a designed green space for people’s recreation in the middle of the city developed on an international scale in the nineteenth century. In Istanbul, the construction of urban parks was one of the many urban infrastructural projects in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.

Spaces of Participation: Dynamics of Social and Political Change in the Arab World

By Randa Abou Bakr, Ulrike Freitag, and Sarah Jurkiewicz. The uprisings in the Arab region in late 2010 and early 2011 took many observers of the political scene by surprise, given the authoritarian nature of most regimes in the area. However, the roots and reflections of these uprisings can be found in the social, cultural, and artistic spheres of these locations, as we argue in our book, Spaces of Participation: Dynamics of Social and Political Change in the Arab World (Cairo, AUC Press 2021).

Keeping the Wheels Turning at all Costs: Factories as COVID-19 Clusters – Interview with Aslı Odman

Recently, business have been trying hard to refute the role of the manufacturing sector as a main contributor of COVID-19 cases. In this conversation, Aslı Odman, an instructor at Mimar Sinan Fine Arts University, and a founding member and volunteer at Istanbul Health and Safety Labor Watch, discusses the socio-spatial inequalities triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic in industrial workspaces on both local and global scales.

Urban Agriculture in Pre-Modern Istanbul

By Ayşe Nur Akdal. Today, one can find it bizarre to come across a rural element in cities. However, historically, there was not a clear distinction between urban and rural. Agricultural and urban space existed together. Due to a lack of sufficient preservation and transportation technologies, easily perishable foods, such as dairy products and vegetables, were produced in urban areas. Istanbul was a good example with widespread and plentiful market gardens (2017; 11-18).