News from Jun 27, 2012
In the latest phase of the German national Excellence Initiative, Freie Universität Berlin has again achieved excellence status. The Berlin Graduate School Muslim Cultures and Societies will also receive further funding within the Excellence Initiative until 2017. The Berlin Graduate School Muslim Cultures and Societies, approved for Excellence funding in 2007 and based at Freie Universität, trains young scholars who conduct research dealing with the variety, historical variability, and global interrelations of Muslim cultures and societies. The graduate students in the program have backgrounds not only in the fields of Islamic studies or Arabic studies, but also political science, history, anthropology, Asian studies, or African studies. The dissertation projects cover a spectrum reaching from text-critical analysis of the Koran in the context of its genesis to the study of converts to Islam in Germany and their self-image as German Muslim citizens.
The common factor uniting the diverse research projects is Islam as the framework for religious, cultural, and social phenomena. In cooperation with Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin and the Zentrum Moderner Orient, the Berlin Graduate School Muslim Cultures and Societies has so far accepted 50 doctoral students from around the world. More than 20 scholars from different research institutions in Berlin and visiting scholars from home and abroad participate in the training of the young generation of academics.
With this pooling of expertise, Berlin is developing into a center of historical and contemporary research related to Islam. “The renewed funding commitment underscores the importance of dealing academically with these types of politically and socially relevant topics,” said the spokesperson for the Graduate School, Prof. Dr. Gudrun Krämer. “We will now be able to further develop the areas of education, the media, and Islam in Western cultures.”