Tandem Project

Historians and Historical Research at Iraqi Universities


Survey and Workshop

What are the research foci of the history departments at universities in Iraq? Are there any collaborative research projects? Are library resources accessible? In what way do the faculties collaborate with museums and archives? These and other questions are investigated in an AGYA Tandem Project by AGYA members Bashar Ibrahim and Jenny Oesterle in 2018 and 2019.

The status quo of academic historical research in post-war Iraq is widely unknown to the German and European research community. The three-fold AGYA Tandem Project ‘Historians and Historical Research at Iraqi Universities’ investigated this blind spot. It is the first AGYA project with a regional focus on Iraq. In order to gather first-hand data on Iraqi historians, their research environment and research interests, AGYA members Bashar Ibrahim and Jenny Oesterle have conducted more than 550 interviews with historians at the universities of Baghdad, Basra, Mosul, Erbil, and Kufa. An initial evaluation of the interviews of this first project phase has revealed a surprisingly broad spectrum of historical research topics, ranging from European History to the History of Africa and the Arab world, from Antiquity to modern days.

In a second project stage the researchers conducted personal interviews with selected Iraqi historians, focusing on their special research interests and methodologies. Together with the interviewees, they also looked into the challenges of academic historical research in Iraq and collected ideas for future research collaborations.

The findings gained in these two project phases will help to formulate recommendations to further strengthen the humanities in Iraq and history in particular. The results also served as a framework for future collaborations between Iraqi and German historians: From 11 to 13 July 2019, a workshop brought together German and Iraqi historians at the University of Heidelberg.

An article on the results of the first project phase is published in the Journal des Verbandes der Historikerinnen und Historiker Deutschlands (July 2019).

Members in Charge

Hanan Badr

Communication & Media Studies
Freie Universität Berlin Institute for Media and Communication Studies

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Bashar Ibrahim

Biology, Computer Sciences
Gulf University for Science and Technology, College of Arts & Sciences, Mathematics & Natural Science Department

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Jenny Oesterle

University of Passau Faculty of Arts and Humanities

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DATE and Venue of the project

July 2018 – July 2019
Surveys, interviews and database
Iraq and Germany

11 - 13 July 2019
Symposium with Iraqi and German historians
University of Heidelberg, Germany

Picture by AGYA/Jenny Oesterle

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