Kategorie: MECAM

The Merian Centre for Advanced Studies in the Maghreb (MECAM) was established at the Université de Tunis/Tunisia to strengthen international, intergenerational and interdisciplinary scholarly exchange between Germany and the Maghreb, the Mediterranean and the wider MENA region and beyond. The overall theme “Imagining Futures: Dealing with Disparity” guides MECAM’s research agenda on questions of Aesthetics & Cultural Practice, Inequality & Mobility, Memory & Justice, Resources & Sustainability, and Identities & Beliefs. These constitute the core issues of MECAM’s five Interdisciplinary Research Fields.
MECAM was founded in April 2020 as an international centre for interdisciplinary research and academic exchange. It is located in Tunis/Tunisia with two secondary (network) sites in Casablanca/Morocco and Beirut/Lebanon. MECAM is a joint endeavour of a consortium of six Tunisian and German research institutions. It is funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) and hosted by the Université de Tunis.
MECAM’s guiding theme “Imagining Futures: Dealing with Disparity” addresses the complex processes of the renegotiation of societal experiences into ideas for the future (“imagining futures”) in the context of different forms and scales of disparity and unequal conditions (“dealing with disparity”). The centre explores the link between multidimensional disparities and the possibilities of building and negotiating future-oriented ideas and models. It invites scholars at different stages of their career. Fellows work within the framework of the five interdisciplinary research fields. Furthermore, MECAM organizes various events, such as seminars, lectures, public debates and transregional/traveling academies and workshops that connect researchers and discuss research outcomes. MECAM is directed by Rachid Ouaissa (Philipps-Universität Marburg) and Khaled Kchir (Université de Tunis)


Editors: Diana Abbani (Forum Transregionale Studien), Julius Dihstelhoff (MECAM).

MECAM Series:
#Aesthetics & Cultural Practices
#Inequality & Mobility
#Identities & Beliefs
#MECAM #Memory & Justice
#MECAM #Resources & Sustainability

Freedom of Conscience and LGBT Rights in Tunisia and Morocco: The Spring is Yet to Come – 5in10 with Tommaso Virgili

Tommaso Virgili is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Migration, Integration, Transnationalization Department of the WZB Berlin Social Science Center and a Research Associate at the Wilfried Martens Centre for European Studies in Brussels. At the WZB, he works on Islamism and liberal Islam in connection with individual rights, with a focus on Europe and the MENA region. Tommaso holds a Ph.D. in Comparative Public Law and a Master’s degree in Law from Sant’Anna School of Advanced Studies in Pisa and a Master of Arts in Middle East and Islamic Studies with Arabic from the American University of Paris and Cairo.

Les oubliés du prétoire: les interprètes judiciaires en Tunisie à l’époque coloniale (1883-1955) – 5in10 with Hend Guirat

Hend Guirat est maitresse-assistante au département d’histoire de la Faculté des Sciences Humaines et Sociales de Tunis, elle a soutenu en 2014 à l’EHESS (Paris), une thèse sur «La peine de mort en Tunisie sous le protectorat. Les condamnations prononcées par la justice pénale française (1883-1955)». Ses travaux de recherche portent essentiellement sur l’histoire de la justice à l’époque coloniale et postcoloniale et sur les divers acteurs de la hiérarchie judiciaire (magistrats, interprètes et avocats). Elle s’intéresse également à la question du genre et de la justice. Elle est membre du Laboratoire Monde arabo-islamique médiéval (FSHST).

Development at Work: Postcolonial Imaginaries, Global Capitalism, and Everyday Life at a Factory in Tunisia – A Conversation with André Weißenfels

André Weißenfels is a researcher focusing on the political economy of West Asia and North Africa as well as community decision-making processes, and “the social.” He has worked as a research associate at the Otto Suhr Institute of the Free University of Berlin and was a PhD fellow at the Graduate School for Muslim Cultures and Societies. He is the author of “Development at Work: Postcolonial Imaginaries, Global Capitalism, and Everyday Life at a Factory in Tunisia”. A conversation with Diana Abbani.

Arab Engagement at the World Festival of Youth and Students in the USSR in 1957 – A Conversation with Elizabeth Bishop

Elizabeth Bishop is Associate Professor of History at Texas State University-San Marcos. Her research interests include the modern Arab world, media, and material history. In this conversation, Dianna Abbani discusses the article “Arabs at the 6th World Festival of Youth and Students: UGEMA in the USSR, 1957” with her.

Analyse des caractéristiques du régime d’accumulation rentier et les voies de son dépassement – 5in10 with Mourad Ouchichi

Mourad Ouchichi est docteur en science politique, Diplômé de l’IEP de Lyon II. Actuellement enseignant chercheur à l’université de Béjaiai. Ses recherches s’articulent autour de la problématique de la Rente, la nature des institutions en lien avec le développement des pays extractives. Son axe privilégié est les études comparatives entre l’Algérie est les pays extractivistes de l’Amérique Latine.

Reconfiguration of Cultural Spaces in Tunisia: Public and Private Intervention, International funds, Grassroots Practices – 5in10 with Alessia Carnevale

Alessia Carnevale holds a PhD in Civilizations of Asia and Africa from Sapienza University of Rome. Her doctoral thesis deals with Tunisian counter-culture and the ‘committed song’ of the 1970s-1980s. She previously graduated in Comparative Literatures and Cultures from the University of Naples l’Orientale. Her research explores the relations between culture and politics, issues of collective memories and (counter)narratives, and grassroots/top-down interventions in the cultural field.

Dévoilement des Identités et Croyances Religieuses: l’Enseignement Chiite Dans le Milieu Savant à Kairouan à l’Èpoque Fatimide – 5in10 avec Asma Helali

Asma Helali est Maitre de conférences en islamologie à l’Université de Lille (France), elle a occupé plusieurs postes de recherche dans le monde arabe ainsi qu’en Europe et au Royaume-Uni. Ses recherches portent sur la transmission des textes religieux en Islam premier. Au sein de MECAM, le projet d’Asma Helali porte sur le dévoilement des croyances et identités religieuses: l’enseignement des textes religieux dans le milieu de Qayrawan au 11ème siècle. A. Helali est auteur de The Sanaa Palimpsest: The Transmission of the Qur’an in the First Centuries AH (Oxford University Press, 2017) et co-auteur avec Stephen R. Burge, de, The Making of Religious Texts in Islam: The Fragment and the Whole (Gerlach, 2019).

The End Zones of the Circular Economy: Capitalism and Waste in North Africa – 5in10 with Joshua Rigg

Joshua Rigg holds a PhD in Politics and International Studies from the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London. His research interests include socio-political transformations in the Middle East and North Africa, the politics of extractivism, everyday political thinking, and the afterlives of colonial and post-colonial North Africa. He has previously written on everyday understandings of justice in post-overthrow Tunisia, extractivism and marginalization in Tunisia’s south, and the circulation of revolutionary political thinking in the Mediterranean space.

Branding the Middle East: Communication Strategies and Image Building from Qom to Casablanca

In this article, Steffen Wippel presents his newest book (De Gruyter, 2023) on communication strategies and image building employed by governments and corporations across the MENA region. Through them, the credibility of state narratives, the position of the rulers in power, as well as the respective nation brands, have been strenghtened. This development has been paralleled by growing academic interest and conceptual elaboration.

“Migration, whether internal or international, can contribute to reducing inequalities.”– 5in10 with Mohamad Amara

Mohamed Amara received his master’s degree in economic modeling from the Higher Institute of Management of Tunis in 2004, before undertaking a PhD in Geography at the University of Paris I and a PhD in management (quantitative Methods) at the University of Tunis in 2010. His research focuses on development economics, regional sciences, labor market, youth and gender in MENA region, and applied micro-econometrics. He has published in a range of journals on a variety of topics such as the Annals of Regional Science, Social Indicators Research, Annals of Economic and Statistics, Growth & Change, Papers in regional science, Middle East development Journal, and Letters in Spatial and Resource Sciences.

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