العِلْم شيء لا يعطيك بعضَه حتّى تعطيه كلّك فإنْ أعطيتَه كلّك فأنت من إعطائه لك البعضَ على خطرٍ
(al-Naẓẓām, c. 775-845)
Modern Arabic and Turkish fiction • Comparative Literature • Etymology and Conceptual History of Arabic
Studied "Islamwissenschaft", Modern German Literature, and Philosophy at the universities of Bonn & Tübingen (Germany) • 1980-81 Listener at Cairo University • 1987 MA, 1992 PhD (both from Bonn Univ.), 2003 PD (Privatdozent, Univ. of Bern), 2009 Prof. (Univ. of Oslo) • 1992-96 Fellow at the German Institute for Oriental Studies, Istanbul and Beirut • 1993 guest lecturer at FU Berlin • 1996-2007 teaching and research at the Institute for Islamic and Middle East Studies, University of Bern, Switzerland • 2005-06 guest lecturer and vice-head of department at Munich University • since 2007 teaching and research at the Dpt. for Culture Studies and Oriental Languages, University of Oslo, Norway
- An Etymological Dictionary of Arabic Language and Culture (EtymArab): This is a project for establishing an etymologico-conceptual dictionary of the Arabic language, covering roots and terms of particular significance for the mental and cultural history of the Arabs (permanent project).
- The Modern Subject Sensing its Agency – Variations of emerging subjectivity in the "long 19th century": ongoing project, to be expanded in the framework of the planned CAS Literature in Mind.
- Civilising Emotions – On the role of emotion in the literary production of the Nahḍa: : ongoing project, to be expanded in the framework of the planned CAS Literature in Mind.
- DiNA – A Dictionary of Nahḍa Arabic (application for funding under evaluation by RCN).
- In 2016: How it felt to live in the Arab World five years after the ‘Arab Spring’ (RCN-funded, final publication under preparation, scheduled for Fall 2021).
- The project "Exploring Post-Postmodernism" (pdf) monitors recent developments in contemporary Middle Eastern literatures with the aim of observing changes in literary paradigms as compared to classical postmodernism.
- The project "The History of Middle Eastern Literatures Revisited" (pdf) challenges traditional readings of the histories of modern Middle Eastern literatures as ‘national literatures’ by comparing two (or more) of them with each other, and/or with simultaneous developments in European literatures.
- Research unique identifier: http://orcid.org/0000-0001-9349-9848
- Secretary General (2006-08, 2014-), formerly also President (2008-12) of the European Association for Modern Arabic Literature (EURAMAL)
- Co-consultant "Turkish and Turkic literatures" for Kindlers neues Literatur Lexikon, 3rd ed. (Stuttgart: Metzler, 2009)
- Co-editor of mîzân - Studies in the literatures of the Islamic World (Harrassowitz, Wiesbaden) => Flyer , List of Titles
- Co-editor of Porta Linguarum Orientalium (Harrassowitz, Wiesbaden) => List of Titles
- Member of editorial board Middle Eastern Literatures (MEL)
- (since 2012) Co-editor of Journal of Arabic and Islamic Studies (JAIS)
- Consultant "Arabic Literature" of Store norske leksikon (SNL)
- Exploratory workshops funded by the European Science Foundation (ESF)
- Workshop Breaking the Grounds for an Etymological Dictionary of the Arabic Language (22-23 June 2013, Oslo) : see Events. For workshop material click here.
- West Reads East (23-24 May 2009, Berlin) go directly to the project's homepage
- Literature, Cognition and Emotions
Teaching and tutoring
- MØNA1300 - Litteraturhistorie og språkforhold i Midtøsten og Nord-Afrika (BA level course on the history of modern literatures in the Middle East)
- MES4000 - ("Literature" module in MA course on) Theory, Methodology and Project Description in Middle East Studies
- MES4010 - Readings in Middle East Studies
- MES4210 og MES4220 - Topics in Arabic Studies I & II: These two courses offer tailored instruction with a broad thematic focus corresponding to earlier master course like ARA4303 - Modern Arabic Fiction and Dramatic Arts, ARA4304 - Contemporary Arabic Literature: Texts and Contexts, ARA4506 - Key Concepts of Arabic Language and Culture, or similar courses. The actual content is chosen in close dialogue with participants' wishes and needs.