This volume of edited articles presents the scholarly results of a German-Arab partnership project, funded for a two-year period by the German Academic Exchange Service (2013–2014). The idea was to establish a working relationship between the Higher Institute for Arts Criticism at the Academy of Arts in Egypt (later: the Centre for Civilization Studies and Dialogue of Cultures at Cairo University) and the Department of Near Eastern Studies at Bonn University. The scientific focus was on the dynamics of dissidence and censorship in Egypt from the Nahda to the Arab Spring. Under the leadership of Dr. Haggag Ali (Cairo) and Prof. Dr. Stephan Conermann (and later Prof. Dr. Christine Schirrmacher as well) (Bonn), an interdisciplinary group of young researchers was established. These scholars presented and discussed individual projects and relevant topics during three productive and successful workshops. It was these workshops that eventually led to this joint publication.
Christine Schirrmacher currently teaches as professor of Islamic Studies at the University of Bonn/Germany and the Evangelical Theological Faculty (ETF) Leuven/Belgium. Her research interests are transformation processes of culture, society, law and theology in the Middle East in the 19th and 20th century, Islam in Germany and Europe, Sharia law and women’s, human’s and minorities’ rights.
Haggag Ali is an assistant professor in critical theory at the Academy of Arts in Egypt. His publications include Mapping the Secular Mind: Modernity’s Quest for a Godless Utopia (2013), and his Arabic translations include Zygmunt Bauman‘s Modernity and the Holocaust (2014), and Liquid Modernity (2016). Dr. Ali had postdoctoral fellowships at Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin, Humboldt University of Berlin, and the University of London.
Stephan Conermann is Professor of Islamic Studies at the University of Bonn/Germany since 2003. He studied Ancient, Early Modern, Modern and Asian History, as well as Slavic and Oriental Philology, at the University of Kiel. He did his doctoral studies at this institution from 1992 till 1996, and was afterwards a Research Assistant and Assistant Professor until 2003.