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Fellows 2021/22

Burcu Alkan

From Pseudo-Medicine to Freudo-Marxism: The Impact of Psychoanalysis on the Twentieth Century Turkish Novel

Hala Auji

Pictorial Impressions: The Rise of Printed Portraiture in the Arab World (ca.1870-1910)

Zahiye Kundos

is a research and teaching fellow at the Arab-Jewish Cultural Studies Department of Tel Aviv University. She co-organizes the Arabic Forum of fellows and students, which is supporting Middle Eastern and Palestinian scholarship in the humanities. With this same focus, she also previously co-directed the initiative “Humanities in Conflict Zones” at the Minerva Humanities Center (2016-2019). In 2018, she received her PhD from the School of Cultural Studies at Tel Aviv University on Modernist Islam and the critique of modernity. She is currently interested in rebuilding the bridges between theological studies and modern Arabic literature. In 2005, she was the Palestinian resident artist in the International Writing Program in Iowa, USA. She began her EUME fellowship virtually in the academic year 2020/21 and continues being an EUME Fellow in 2021/22, affiliated with the Seminar für Semitistik und Arabistik at the Freie Universität Berlin and Friedrich Schlegel Graduate School of Literary Studies at Freie Universität Berlin.

The Loss of the Muftī: Reimagining the Afterlife of Muḥammad ‘Abduh’s Islamic Modernism in Arabic Literature 

What starting point can we find for a discussion of being Muslim as a moral way of life in these times when the Arabic discourse is bruised and stuttering? To begin to answer this therapeutic question, this project suggests that, instead of studying religious knowledge, (ʿUlūm Al-Dīn) and literature (Adab), separately – as their ostensible mutual estrangement in modernity has led us to do – we turn our attention to the range of experiences that become available when we consider the dynamic and symbiotic historical interrelations between them. This project is an endeavor in this direction. It attends to allocate the polemics incited in the first decades of 20th-century Egypt between religious and secular writers from the point of view of the latter as registered in their literal productions, particularly that by Taha Hussein (d. 1973) surrounding Muḥammad ‘Abduh’s death (d. 1905). Alongside voicing the tensions and uncovering the drama created in the aftermath of ‘Abduh’s absence, the project aims to show the ways Hussein and his fellow intellectuals, looked up and back to ‘Abduh with awe and sobriety and sought to extricate textures of belonging with him and his agenda of reform. 

Fatemeh Shams

is Assistant Professor of Modern Persian Literature at University of Pennsylvania. Her area of expertise includes literary production under authoritarian states, the social history of modern Persian literature, ideology and literary production. She is an internationally acclaimed, award-winning poet with three poetry collections. Her third collection, When They Broke Down the Door won the Latifeh Yarshater annual book award in 2017. Her first monograph, A Revolution in Rhyme: Official Poets of the Islamic Republic, will be published by Oxford University Press in 2020. In the academic year 2020/21, she was a virtual EUME Fellow of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation and Friedrich Schlegel Graduate School of Literary Studies at Freie Universität Berlin and continues her association in the academic year 2021/22.

Blurring Borders and Boundaries: Liminal Spaces in Modern Persian Poetry of Iran and Afghanistan

Globalization increasingly favors lateral and nonhierarchical network structures, or what Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari call a rhizome. The figure of the rhizome suggests an uncontainable, invisible symbolic geography of relations that become the creative terrain on which minority subjects act and interact in fruitful, lateral ways. My project tackles the symbolic geography and ways in which it shapes the theme of home and homeland in the works of modernist poets of Iran and Afghanistan. By tracing hybrid spatiality in their work, this project aims to demonstrate how poets of Modern Iran and Afghanistan have blurred ideological and geographical boundaries of homeland and national identities through introducing a set of hybrid, invisible symbolic geography based on issues such as gender, sexuality, social justice, and anti-war sentiments. It proposes a recalibration of modern Persian poetics through a cartographical framework, exploring the themes of “home” and “exile” in the works of pioneering poets of Iran and Afghanistan.

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