ZMO News

Monday, June 06, 2016

Thursday, June 30th, 2016, 5 pm, ZMO
South Asian Diaspora Communities and Anti-Colonial "Conspiracies" in Switzerland c. 1910-1920

Summer colloquium talk by Prof Dr Harald Fischer-Tiné (ETH Zürich)

Since Switzerland is widely regarded as the archetypical example of a neutral country that was neither engaged in warfare nor participated directly in European colonial expansion, the Swiss Federation’s intense entanglements with colonial and anti-colonial politics before and during the Great War have remained largely unscrutinised until recently...


Monday, June 6th, 2016, 5 pm, ZMO
Refugee Children in Ottoman Cities: Public Order and Philan-thropy in the Late Ottoman Empire
Lecture by Prof Dr Nazan Maksudyan (Kemerburgaz University) as part of the Urban Studies Seminar Refugees in the City

In the nineteenth century, the ‘dangerous child’ began to occupy a significant place in international public opinion. There was public anxiety about street urchins, abandoned children, and underage beggars occupying newly expanding urban public spaces. The Ottoman administrators of the 1860s and 70s were convinced that vagrant children and beggars in the streets, who were considered both “in need of protection” and as “abetted into crime” were mostly of refugee origin, who came with the waves after the Crimean and Russo-Ottoman Wars...

Thursday, June 9th, 2016, 5 pm, ZMO
The Ahmadiyya Quest for Religious Progress: Missionizing Europe 1900-1965
Book presentation by Dr Gerdien Jonker (Erlangen University), hosted by the Gesellschaft zur Förderung des ZMO

What happens when the idea of religious progress propels the shaping of modernity? In ‚The Ahmadiyya Quest for Religious Progress: Missionizing Europe 1900 – 1965‘ Gerdien Jonker offers an account of the mission the Ahmadiyya reform movement undertook in interwar Europe. Nowadays persecuted in the Muslim world, Ahmadis appear here as the vanguard of a modern, rational Islam that met with a considerable interest...

Tuesday, June 14th, 2016, 6 pm, Senatssaal, HU, Unter den Linden 6, 10099 Berlin
Capital, Coercion, and Migration in the Making of Maritime Infra-structure in the Middle East
Lecture by Prof Dr Laleh Khalili (SOAS London) as part of the working series The Middle East and South Asia in Conversation: Interventions, Control, and Resistance in the 21st Century

In this lecture, I will reflect on the echoes and traces of colonial practices that still arise when we consider the making of maritime transport in the Arabian Peninsula. These echoes and traces are most visible in the emergence and decline of ports, in the massive movement of capital, people and coercive organisations that support maritime and mercantile enterprise, and in the language that celebrates these vast movements...

Wednesday, June 29th, 2016, 6 pm, Auditorium, Grimm-Zentrum, Geschwister-Scholl-Straße 1/3, 10117 Berlin
Palestine Ltd: Neoliberal Peacebuilding and Statebuilding in the Occupied Palestinian Territory
Lecture by Dr Toufic Haddad (Arab Council for Social Sciences, Occupied Palestinian Territory) as part of the working series The Middle East and South Asia in Conversation: Interventions, Control, and Resistance in the 21st Century

Despite more than twenty years of international peace-building and state-building interventions by Western donor states and international finance institutions, neither peace nor statehood are closer to realization across the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT). Instead a violent and fragmented reality has emerged characterized by asymmetric containment measures with both neocolonial and settler-colonial dimensions. This talk explores how a dystopian vision of ‘Palestine’ emerged from the contradictory interactions within and between the main protagonists animating this arrangement - namely, Israel, the Palestinian leadership and the Western donor community....

Monday, June 20th, 2016, 5 pm, ZMO
Afghan Refugees in Peshawar: Making the City (1978-2015)
Lecture by Sanaa Alimia (ZMO) as part of the Urban Studies Seminar Refugees in the City

In the context of the Soviet-Afghan war in the 1970s and 1980s millions of Afghans migrated to Pakistan in what was internationally recognised as a humanitarian crisis and emergency exodus. Afghans were also encouraged to settle in Pakistan as cities such as Peshawar (and Quetta) were used as a base for the mujahideen resistance against the Afghan communist government and Soviet Union – an effort supported by the USA, Western Europe, including West Germany, and other allied states. However, the story of Afghan refugees in Pakistan – as is the case with other migrant groups – goes beyond refugee camps, exile, and geopolitics. Indeed it is also important to understand how, where, and with what impact refugees and undocumented migrants become a part of local labour markets and social structures of the so-called host state...

Tuesday, June 21st, 2016, 6 pm, IAAW, Invalidenstr. 118, 10115 Berlin, Room 217
The Hindu Right: It's Impact on the Future of Secularism and Minority Communities in India
Lecture by Prof Dr Anwar Alam (Zirve University)
Seats are limited. For registration please contact

There is growing fear among segments of secular intelligentsia and the Muslim community that the current politics of the Modi government would affect the prospect of secularism and discriminate against the Muslim community who are gradually excluded from the informal and formal opportunity structures of Indian society. Such fear is based on the anti-Muslim mooring of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), which provides the religious and ideological reference for the ruling BJP, their role in past communal riots and particularly in the context of the 2002 Gujarat riots...

Tenders & Calls

Job Vacancy: Student Assistant at ZMO
Project "Gender roles and their outer appearance in courtesy and etiquette books of the late Ottoman period and the early Turkish Republic", Deadline: 30 June 2016

ZMO is looking for a student assistant in the associated DFG project "Gender roles and their outer appearance in courtesy and etiquette books of the late Ottoman period and the early Turkish Republic". Bachelor and Master students can apply.

New Publications

K. Lange, A. Nobil Ahmad, J. Dağyeli, E. Evren, P. Schukalla, J. Schumacher, S. Serels
(Re)valuing Natural Resources in the Middle East, Africa and Asia


ZMO Programmatic Text, No. 11, 2016, 13 p.

Edited by Samuli Schielke and Liza Debevec
Ordinary Lives and Grand Schemes: An Anthropology of Everyday Religion

Berghahn, New York, 2016 (Paperback), 174p.

Samuli Schielke
Can Poetry Change the World? Reading Amal Dunqul in Egypt in 2011

In: Islam and Popular Culture, ed. by Karin van Nieuwkerk, Mark LeVine, and Martin Stokes, University of Texas Press, Austin, 2016 , pp. 122-148.

Sonja Hegasy, Volker Vinnai, Sigrid Faath, Achim Vogt
Herausforderungen in arabischen Staaten: Die Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung im Nahen Osten und in Nordafrika

Dietz, Bonn, 2016, 320p.

Nitin Sinha 
The making of India’s modernity

The Newsletter, 73, Spring 2016, p. 24. 

Prizes & Awards

RAI Amaury Talbot prize for Marloes Janson

ZMO congratulates Dr Marloes Janson, on receiving the Amaury Talbot Prize for African Anthropology, awarded by the Royal Anthropological Institute of Great Britain and Ireland (RAI) to her book Islam, Youth and Modernity in the Gambia: The Tablighi Jama’at (Cambridge University Press 2014). Dr Marloes Janson was from January 2006 till October 2012 research fellow at ZMO, where she pursued a variety of research projects with a focus on West Africa.

Who's talking? - ZMO in the Media

With Abdoulaye Sounaye
Salafismus wächst in Westafrika - Regierungen sind hilflos

Abdoulaye Sounaye in interview with Audrey Parmentier and Dirke Köpp on growing Salafism in West Africa, Deutsche Welle, May 27, 2016.

ZMO at WeberWorldCafé
„Many Countries – One World“: How Flight Was Explained to Students

Ekaterina Vasileva reports on the last WeberWorldCafé, co-organized by ZMO on "Refugees in the City", hypotheses, May 10, 2016.

With Nushin Atmaca
Interview mit Nushin Atmaca vom Liberal-Islamischen Bund

Nushin Atmaca in interview on her election as chairperson of the Liberal-Islamic Association, Qantara, May 06, 2016.

With Birgit Meyer
Sensational Movies: Video, Vision, and Christianity in Ghana

Birgit Meyer in interview with Hillary Kaell on her latest book "Sensational Movies", New Books network, April 30, 2016.

Saadi Nikro
Con-Temporary Art
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Saadi Nikro on the question "What does the 'con' in con-temporary art suggest?", Tohu Magazine, April 20, 2016.

With Abdoulaye Sounaye
Libye: l'Afrique de nouveau dessaisie?
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Abdoulaye Sounaye in a discussion on African positions in regard to Libya's reconstruction, Deutsche Welle, April 15, 2016.

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