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Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin - Kultur-, Sozial- und Bildungswissenschaftliche Fakultät - Institut für Asien- und Afrikawissenschaften

Call for Participants: Interdisciplinary Research Seminar "Academics on the Move"

Academics on the Move:  Notions of Exile, Re-Migration and Translocal Solidarity

Interdisciplinary research seminar for advanced M.A. students based in Berlin with a background in social sciences or the humanities




This research-oriented interdisciplinary seminar seeks to critically examine historical as well as current perceptions and discourses about academics who, due to institutional, structural or political constraints, were forced to leave their home country and seek exile elsewhere. In contrast to well-known artists or authors, exiled academics are often at the margin of inquiries into their specific situation and self-positioning. The seminar therefore strives for a deeper understanding of their specific situation and self-representation. Students will form research teams of five to seven persons and carry out their own empirical research explorations into these topics. They will be supervised by teacher tandems and have the opportunity to specialize in one of three focus areas:

Focus area 1:

Academics and identities on the move? The role of (social) media in processes of identity construction (Co-supervisors: Prof. Dr. Özen Odağ, Touro College, and Dr. Olga Hünler, Universität Bremen)

Focus area 2:

(Transnational) Networks in Exile - Topics, Discourses and Advocacy (Co-supervisors: Prof. Dr. Carola Richter, Freie Universität Berlin, and Dr. Amal El-Obeidi, Universität Bayreuth)

Focus area 3:

Cities of academic exile and their translocal networks (Co-supervisors: Prof. Dr. Nadja-Christina Schneider, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, and Prof. Dr. Nil Mutluer, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin)


The seminar will be structured in clearly defined work phases of preparatory blended learning (mid-May until mid-June), joint workshop sessions (in June, Oct and Dec) as well as empirical research (June until Oct; Oct until Dec). In between, the three research teams will have regular consultation sessions with their respective teacher tandems (either face-to-face or via video call).


Timeline and workshop dates: 

  • 21-22 June 2018 (HU Berlin): Introduction to research oriented studying & discussion of research topics
  • July-October 2018: In-depth research phase for groups; regular consultations with supervising teacher tandems
  • 12-13 October 2018 (FU Berlin): Discussion of preliminary results & planning for concluding symposium and exhibition
  • October-December 2018: Preparation for final presentations
  • 14 December 2018 (Touro College): Concluding symposium and opening of exhibition


For detailed infromation about the seminar and application modalities, please click here.