Call for Papers for Researchers in Lebanon, Syria, Egypt and the Wider Arab Region: “The Evolution of Scientific Knowledge in the Eastern Mediterranean under European Colonial Rule. Local Conditions and Global Contexts of Intellectual Encounters”

Orient-Institut Beirut, 16-18 May 2013

The conference focuses on two fields of investigation that will add innovative insights to the existing literature of Arab-European encounters:
1. Which social and politico-cultural transformations were at the basis of the establishment of various academic institutes and institutions of higher education? Pointing to institutions such as the Société de Géographie d’Egypte (1875), the École des Beaux Arts in Cairo (1908) or the Majma’ al-Lugha al-‘Arabiyya in Damascus (1918/19), the local contexts of these institutions and their responsiveness to changing concerns and ambitions in society shall be worked out.

2. How were the newly emerging academic disciplines linked to changing social discourses and political visions – and how did the quest for cultural authenticity and the confrontation with cultural domination of European colonial powers impact on intellectual thought and academic research of Arab scholars?

By following this line of investigation and building on original research, the conference aims at contributing both valuable historical case studies and new theoretical perspectives on intellectual encounters in times of social transformation and colonial rule.

Researchers are invited to send their abstract before February 16, 2013 to Dr. Goetz Nordbruch ( or Dr. Thomas Scheffler ( Information


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