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Zukunftsphilologie Research Program of the Forum Transregionale Studien and Freie Universität Berlin Continues World Philologies Seminar Series

№ 160/2016 from May 18, 2016

The research program "Zukunftsphilologie. Revisiting the Canons of Textual Scholarship" at Freie Universität Berlin is continuing its World Philologies Seminar during the current spring/summer. The four seminars will each start with a lecture by Yasir Suleiman, Daniel Boyarin, Elad Lapidot, and Piers Kelly respectively, who will give an introduction to the research theme under discussion. This will be followed by direct engagement with texts and a comparison as well as a discussion of research approaches. The first seminar will be held May 19, 2016, by the Arabic studies scholar Yasir Suleiman from the University of Cambridge, who will give an introduction to the topic "Language Ideology: Arabic, the Arabs and Language Anxiety." The lectures and discussions will take place in English. They are public, and admission is free.

Zukunftsphilologie is a research program at Freie Universität. It is organized by the Forum Transregionale Studien. In addition, scholars from the University of Heidelberg and Humboldt-Universität are on the Academic Advisory Board. Its main objective is to contribute to a reassessment of the canon of textual scholarship. Special attention is paid to precolonial scholarship that has long been ignored in classical Western humanities scholarship as well as an integration of philological research from Asia, Africa, the Middle East, and Europe.

Contact among researchers from Germany and abroad is facilitated through a postdoctoral research program, the World Philologies Seminar series, workshops, international summer/winter schools, and the publication of the peer-reviewed journal Philological Encounters (Brill) in the spring of 2016.

The World Philologies Seminar series has been conducted since 2010 as part of the Zukunftsphilologie program. The combination of a thematic introduction in the form of a lecture that provides a theoretical framework, which is followed by direct engagement with the texts and an opportunity for discussion, provides a forum for comparing research methods of various philological traditions, without neglecting the particular context of each topic.

Further Information

Additional Seminars

  • June 2, 2016: The Concept of Cultural Translation in American Religious Studies, Daniel Boyarin (University of California, Berkeley)
  • June 9, 2016: On Logopolitics. ‘After their tongues, after their nations,’ Elad Lapidot (Freie Universität Berlin / Zentrum Jüdische Studien Berlin-Brandenburg)
  • June 30, 2016: Why some scripts fail and others succeed, Piers Kelly (Australian National University / Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History, Jena)

Time and Location

  • First seminar: May 19, 2016; 4–7 p.m.
  • Freie Universität Berlin, Holzlaube, Room 2.2051 (3rd floor), Fabeckstr. 23/25, 14195 Berlin-Dahlem; subway station: Dahlem Dorf (U3)


  • Prof. Dr. Islam Dayeh, Seminar for Semitic and Arabic Studies, Freie Universität Berlin, Head of the Dahlem International Network Junior Research Group "Arabic Philology and Textual Practices in the Early Modern Period" and director of the Zukunftsphilologie research program at the Forum Transregionale Studien, Tel.: +49 30 838-58245, Email: