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Hosts and Guests 2019

Jeanie Miller and Kevin Blankinship invited by Matthew Keegan (April–May 2019)

Jeannie Miller, Kevin Blankinship, Matthew Keegan

Jeannie Miller and Kevin Blankinship are leading scholars of medieval Arabic literature with shared interests in texts about animals. Together with Matthew L. Keegan, they will be hosting a series of seminars on Arabic texts. These seminars will culminate in a workshop entitled “Animals, Adab, and Fictivity.” This workshop explores the various ways in which medieval authors and readers put animals to work in adab, as the site of theological debate, as a vehicle for allegory, and as a way of thinking about poetics.

Jeannie Miller is Assistant Professor of Near and Middle Eastern Civilizations at the University of Toronto. Her research focuses on the theological, logical, and literary implications of the Book of Animals by the 9th-century polymath al-Jahiz. Kevin Blankinship is Assistant of Asian and Near Eastern Languages at Brigham Young University. He studies the 11th-century blind poet and alleged heretic al-Ma’arri who wrote The Epistle of the Horse and the Mule, a long narrative work filled with talking animals.

Matthew L. Keegan is a Postdoctoral Researcher at the Freie Universität Berlin and the Moinian Assistant Professor of Asian and Middle Eastern Cultures at Barnard College. He is writing about the theory of fiction in medieval Arabic literature with special reference to Kalīla wa-Dimna, a Mirror for Princes (Fürstenspiegel) featuring talking animals.

James Kreines invited by Karen Koch (May–June 2019)

James Kreines and Karen Koch

James Kreines and Karen Koch are both working on the function and the substance of teleological statements in the theoretical philosophy of Immanuel Kant and Georg W.F. Hegel. They already had the opportunity to work together on specific topics. For instance, Karen Koch and Prof. Dina Emundts organized a workshop on Kant’s Conception of Teleology (Institut für Philosophie, Freie Universität Berlin, 2018),  in which James Kreines participated as invited speaker.

James Kreines is Professor of Philosophy, at the Claremont McKenna College, Los Angeles, USA. His research interests are Kant, Hegel, and the history of metaphysics. His work especially on Hegel’s teleology conception has been published in his book Reason in the World: Hegel’ s Metaphysics and its Philosophical Appeal (2015).
Karen Koch is a PhD student and research associate at the Institut für Philosophie of the Freie Universität Berlin. Her dissertation is on teleology in the theoretical philosophy of Immanuel Kant and Georg W.F. Hegel.

Within the Dahlem Junior Host Program, James Kreines and Karen Koch are organizing a Workshop on “Absolute und nicht-absolute Ideen in Hegels Wissenschaft der Logik“. In the Workshop, James Kreines and Karen Koch will give a talk about their works on these chapters. The aim of the Workshop is to consider and to discuss both conceptions of Hegel’s concept of the idea as well as to elaborate on the role of the concept of purpose in the relevant chapters. 

Caroline Bland invited by Nina Schmidt (June–July 2019)

Caroline Bland and Nina Schmidt

Dr. Caroline Bland, Senior Lecturer in German Studies at the University of Sheffield in Great Britain, wrote her doctoral thesis on the first German women’s movement and since then has published numerous academic contributions on women’s writing between 1850 and 1930. In her current research project she is examining the visual culture of the first German women’s movement against the background of British suffrage art.

Dr. Nina Schmidt is a post-doctoral researcher on the project Graphic medicine and literary pathographies: The aesthetics and politics of illness narratives in contemporary comics and literature – this research group, led by Prof. Dr. Irmela Krüger-Fürhoff, is associated with the FSGS and financed by the Einstein Stiftung Berlin. Thus Schmidt is fully conversant with current research on German-language comics. Recently she has noticed a rise in graphic novels with an explicitly feminist-activist agenda.

The Dahlem Junior Host Programme will enable Bland and Schmidt to combine their expertise and investigate the theme of “Graphic Art and Feminism – today and 100 years ago”, building on the interest generated by the current centenary celebrations for women’s suffrage.

Initial research questions will focus on the following: differences between British and German artists in their approach to presenting political themes in popular graphic art; a comparison of visual presentation techniques in the range of work to be considered; and a diachronic comparison of the various forms of presentation, techniques of visualisation and political intentions among selected (representative) cartoons and graphic art publications from the first, second and contemporary women’s movements / feminisms. This collaboration is intended to produce a joint conference paper, a journal article and a funding bid for further research.

Christopher Ewing invited by Ulrike Schaper (July–September 2019)

Christopher Ewing and Ulrike Schaper

Ulrike Schaper is a Junior Professor at the Friedrich-Meinecke-Institut at the Freie Universität Berlin, researching intersections of globalization, sexual liberalization and sexual commodification in the Federal Republic of Germany after 1970. Christopher Ewing is an assistant professor at in the History Department at Virginia Commonwealth University, researching the history of race and male homosexuality in the Federal Republic of Germany after 1949. Schaper and Ewing have worked together in the past, publishing a special issue of Sexualities on the theme of the “Sexotic” – the interplay of sexuality and exoticization in nineteenth- and twentieth-century Europe.

Through this collaboration, Ewing and Schaper uncovered links between their research on West German sex tourism during the second half of the twentieth century, which is the starting point for their working together during Ewing’s seven-week stay as a visiting scholar in Berlin. They will examine overlapping discourses of West German (male) homo- and heterosexual sex tourism after the “sexual revolution” and prepare a co-authored journal article. For West Germans regardless sexual preferences, the sexual revolution generated deep ambivalences about sexual pleasure and the gender order, which were often mediated through discourses of sex tourism. In the 1970s, sex tourism offered an escape from sexual frustrations in West Germany, which for some seemed to be exacerbated by a crisis of masculinity, the second wave of the women’s movement, and the commercialization of gay scenes. In the 1980s, with the onset of the AIDS epidemic, new concerns emerged around the intersections of sex, travel, and disease that at once reshaped how many West Germans perceived and even experienced sex tourism, deepening anxieties about racial difference yet failing to eliminate exoticized desire. Schaper and Ewing have conducted extensive research on hetero- and male homosexual sex tourism. Their exchange will allow them to bring into focus the deeper connections between discourses of homo- and heterosexual sex tourism, integrating them into a larger history of sex, gender, and racial otherization in the Federal Republic of Germany.

Paolo Roseano invited by Jan Fliessbach (June–July 2019)

Paolo Roseano and Jan Fliessbach

Jan Fliessbach is a research assistant and doctoral candidate at the Institute of Romance Philology at Freie Universität Berlin. He currently works on the interplay of intonation and pragmatics in Spanish, using both corpus and experimental data. Paolo Roseano is a linguist working at the University of Barcelona and at the University of South Africa. His research interests include phonology and morphology of Romance languages, forensic phonetics, and sociolinguistics. Their cooperation focuses on the application and further development of Eti_ToBI, a free software for the annotation of prosodic units. Once achieved, the applicability of the tool to a broader set of utterances will allow for new, empirical perspectives on the expression of Epistemic Modality and Information Structure in Spanish.

Max Weiss invited by Joseph Ben Prestel (July 2019)

Max Weiss and Joseph Ben Prestel

Max Weiss is Associate Professor of History and Near Eastern Studies at Princeton University. He is among the most original thinkers of a new intellectual history of the Middle East in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. In his research, he currently focuses on the intellectual foundations of Ba‘athism in Syria. Together with Jens Hanssen, he has recently edited the two volumes Arabic Thought Beyond the Liberal Age: Towards an Intellectual History of the Nahda (2017) and Arabic Thought Against the Authoritarian Age: Towards an Intellectual History of the Present (2018).

Joseph Ben Prestel is Assistant Professor (wissenschaftlicher Mitarbeiter) of History at Freie Universität’s Friedrich Meinecke Institut. His research project Revolutionary Arabesque: Palestinians and the Radical Left in West Germany, 1956-1982 examines the ties between Palestinian and West German groups that developed in the context of the Third World Solidarity movement. In his project, he pays particular attention to the emergence and decline of a shared political language between the 1960s and 1980s.

The two historians share an interest in the history of intellectual currents and the mobility of political concepts in the Middle East and the wider world. The Dahlem Junior Host Program enables them to continue an exchange that began in the fall of 2018 at Princeton University. Through their cooperation, they hope to contribute to the intellectual history of the Middle East during the second half of the twentieth century.    

Adrián Gorelik invited by Lucio Piccoli (July–August 2019)


Adrián Gorelik (@Angelika Leuchter) and Lucio Piccoli

Adrián Gorelik is Full Professor at the National University of Quilmes in Argentina (UNQ) and an independent researcher at the National Scientific and Technical Research Council (CONICET). His fields of research are the History of Urban Culture and Intellectual History in Latin America. The host Lucio Piccoli is a PhD candidate at the Institute for Latin American Studies where he currently investigates the circulation of artistic and architectural ideas between Germany and Argentina during the first half of the 20th century. Within his doctoral thesis, the aesthetical ideas represent the main core of an interdisciplinary approach to the work of city planner and architecture critic Werner Hegemann, Bauhaus photographer Grete Stern, and artist and design theorist Tomás Maldonado. During the first part of the stay, they will intensively analyze and readjust the general guidelines of the dissertation. The advances of the research will later be transformed into a contribution for a workshop on the subject “Bauhaus and Latin America: the historical survey of a century”, which they are organizing jointly.

Sandra Provini invited by Daniel Melde (October 2019)

Sandra Provini und Daniel Melde

Daniel Melde ist Doktorand im Rahmen der Forschungsgruppe 2305 Diskursivierungen von Neuem am Institut für Romanische Philologie der FU Berlin. In seiner Dissertation beschäftigt er sich mit der zeithistorisch orientierten Epik Frankreichs des 16. und 17. Jahrhunderts zu den Religionskriegen. Das dem Dissertationsprojekt zugrunde gelegte Textcorpus ist gekennzeichnet durch die Verwendung der generisch ‚alten‘ Form des Epos zur Vermittlung einer aus Sicht der Autoren historisch ‚neuen‘ Thematik. Zu untersuchen sind die konkreten Modi und Funktionen epischer Diskursivierung sowie zu beobachtende Transformationen der epischen Gattung vor dem Hintergrund des zeithistorischen Kontextes, der frühneuzeitlichen Epostheorie und im Lichte von Gattungskonzeptionen der Moderne (u.a. Hegel, Bachtin). Letztere gehen in der Regel von einem mythisch-legendenhaften Vergangenheitsbezug der Epik als gattungskonstitutivem Moment aus.

Gemeinsam mit Sandra Provini, Maîtresse de conférence an der Université Rouen-Normandie, soll die Traditionslinie der zeithistorischen Epik Frankreichs in den Frühhumanismus um 1500 zurückverfolgt und im europäischen Kontext situiert werden. Sandra Provini gilt als ausgewiesene Spezialistin zu den frühen Formen heroischer Poesie Frankreichs, die in lateinischer und französischer Sprache zu den Italienfeldzügen verfasst wurden. Geplant ist ein gemeinsamer Workshop im Oktober 2019 mit internationalen Gästen, bei dem die Herausbildung epischen Schreibens im frühhumanistischen Frankreich in ihren transregionalen Verflechtungen (Italien, Spanien, England) beleuchtet werden soll.