Projects 2004-2005

Ongoing Projects

Projects 2014-2019

Projects 2008-2013

Projects 2006-2007

Projects 2004-2005

Projects 2000-2003

Projects 1996-2000

DFG - Safeguarding Good Scientific Practice PDFLogo



World wars and world views. Arabic perceptions of World War I and World War II

This project researches Arabic perceptions of the First and Second World War from the first half of the twentieth century and their relevance to the shaping and development of Arabic self-perceptions and world views. The study centres around two groups: firstly, military and civilian participants of both world wars, mainly combatants and propagandists, and secondly, civilian observers and chroniclers, mainly publicists, historians, philosophers and Islamic religious scholars from Egypt and Syria/Lebanon. Research will focus on their perception of the wars, which is shaped by their diverse local and temporal, as well aspolitical-ideological and social perspectives. The various perceptions will be compiled and correlated, and analysed with regard to their significance for the Arabic or Islamic self-perceptions and world views that were in the process of development in the era in question.
The research projects intends to complement the historiography of world war effects, which to date has mainly concentrated on Europe, by focusing on the repercussions of the First and Second World War on the cultural and intellectual life in Arabic societies. We will attempt to determine how perceptions of the wars influenced the emergence and development of self-perceptions and world views, articulated in the form of nationalist, socialist and Islamic or Islamist ideologies. One part of the project will deal with the perception of active participants in the war, while the second concentrates on observer perceptions.

project publications

Images of war. Arab participant experiences in World War I and World War II

Katharina Lange

This section of the project focuses on perceptions of immediate war experiences and war memories articulated by active Arab participants on both sides of the respective military alliances.
Up to now research on the two world wars has not given sufficient attention to non-European combatants and civilians. In order to close this gap and contribute to a more complete description of the effects and consequences of both world wars for Arabic societies, the project explores accounts of war experiences by military and civilian Arab participants. The locally and temporally diverse perspectives of Arabic actors on the two wars will be investigated by evaluating written and oral sources, with a regional emphasis on Egypt and Syria/Lebanon. In the evaluation of individual experiences, memories and perceptions, the emergence of collective memories and traditions of world war experiences of Arab participants will be taken into consideration and analysed with reference to the results from the second part of the project.

World views. World War I and World War II as historical experiences for Arab intellectuals

Lutz Rogler

The second half of the project investigates perceptions and interpretations of the First and Second World War by Arabic intellectuals, and their relevance to the shaping and development of their self-perceptions and world views. The effects of the world wars specifically on the history of ideas, as they became relevant in discourses and debates during the inter-war years and after the Second World War, will be considered. The publicists, historians, philosophers, political ideologues and religious scholars who played an important role in collective processes of historical interpretation and orientation in the public discourse of their societies will be at the centre of the analysis. Regionally the project will concentrate on Egypt and Syria/Lebanon. The research will focus on the broader cultural and intellectual dimensions implicated as a result of the world wars, rather than investigate these perceptions as mainly political events that directly influenced Arabic societies and their emancipatory endeavours. For this reason, the investigation is not limited to contemporary perceptions, but will explicitly include representations and interpretations from a temporal distance.