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

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.

Capitalism and Rent: A Destructive Relationship – An Interview with Hartmut Elsenhans

Hartmut Elsenhans’s new book “Capitalism and Rent: A Destructive Relationship” (2023) summarizes his central argument on capitalism: Capitalism, profit and development depend on rising mass incomes and hence on the empowerment of the labouring masses. The powerful always fight against such empowerment, with increasing success because of globalisation of rent. A conversation with Rachid Ouaissa.

The Politics and Poetics of the New Man’s Body Image in the Modernist Novel: A Sufi Comparative Study – 5in10 with Cyrine Kortas

Cyrine Kortas is a Tunisian postdoctoral fellow at MECAM centre, majored in English literature. She is an associate professor at the Higher Institute of Languages, Gabes, Tunisia and a researcher at the LAD lab unit at the faculty of arts and humanities Sfax. Her research interests include: comparative literature, feminist and gender studies, as well as teaching literature in EFL classrooms.

The World in the Rearview Mirror of an Isuzu D-Max: Mohamed Bettaieb and the Tunisian Southern Imaginary

By Joshua E. Rigg. In Al-Janub Ya Kibdiyy (The South, My Dear Son; lit. The South, My Liver), Mohamed Bettaieb (b. 1985), offers an alternative vision. His work deals with everyday life in Tunisia’s south – its economy, culture, history and myth. Collected and edited by the journalist and North African correspondent, Bassam Bounenni, the book brings together a selection of Bettaieb’s satirical morality tales, comments on current events, personal memoir and confessions, and literary and philosophical discussions. A review.

Women Resisting Colonization: Female Rebels in Late 19th- and Early 20th-Century Tunisia – 5in10 with Nora Lafi

Nora Lafi is a historian working as a Senior Research Fellow at Leibniz-Zentrum Moderner Orient in Berlin. She specializes in the study of the Ottoman Empire and of the societies of the Middle East and North Africa and is a 2023/24 Senior Research Fellow at MECAM.

“Les raisins de la domination. Une histoire sociale de l’alcool en Tunisie à l’époque du Protectorat (1881-1956)” – An Interview with Nessim Znaien

Nessim Znaien is a Junior Professor at the University of Marburg, currently holding the (Post)colonial Maghreb Chair. He conducts research on the history of material culture in the colonial and post-colonial Maghreb, in particular on the history of food and cereals and is the author of “Les raisins de la domination. Une histoire sociale de l’alcool en Tunisie à l’époque du Protectorat (1881-1956)”. A conversation with Diana Abbani.

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