At Freie Universität Stroumsa will be working on a book about the history and philosophy of al-Andalus – those parts of the Iberian Peninsula that were Muslim-dominated – between the 8th and 12th centuries. Stroumsa will take into account the Jewish, Muslim, and Christian perspectives and their common intellectual history. This interdisciplinary approach to the study of the intellectual history of Islam is also the approach taken by the research unit headed by Professor Schmidtke, Research Unit Intellectual History of the Islamicate World.
Sarah Stroumsa, born in 1950, studied Arabic language and literature as well as Middle Eastern at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and the Ecole Pratique des Hautes Etudes in Paris (Sciences Religieuses). In 1984 she received her doctorate summa cum laude from the Hebrew University, where she has been teaching since then. Since 2003 she has been the Alice and Jack Ormut Professor of Arabic Studies at the Hebrew University, and from 2008 to 2012 she was the rector of the Hebrew University, the first woman to hold this position. During her tenure as rector, she worked to increase the level of cooperation between the Hebrew University and Freie Universität. Stroumsa has taught and conducted research at various universities and institutions in the United States and Europe. She is the author of numerous books and articles and serves in the editorial board of several journals. Stroumsa endeavors to cooperate with Palestinian scholars to the extent possible under the present political conditions.
Since 1972, the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation has been granting Humboldt Research Awards (60,000 euros) to researchers whose fundamental discoveries, new theories, or insights have had a significant impact on their own discipline and who are expected to continue producing cutting-edge achievements in the future. The award winners are invited to spend a period of up to one year cooperating on a long-term research project with specialist colleagues at a research institution in Germany.
Freie Universität is the most popular university in Germany for international scholarship holders and research award winners from the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation. Between 2007 and 2011, 286 scholars and scientists from abroad have conducted research at Freie Universität with support from the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation. In mid-January, Freie Universität was one of three universities in Germany to be awarded special funding by the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation for their innovative approaches in dealing with their research alumni from abroad.