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Call for Applications: Summer School ‘In Search of the Reader’

30 Apr 2021


Putting the reader in the center - this summer school brings together different methodological and theoretical approaches to the reader in Arabic literature, arts, media and culture. It invites young scholars on PhD and postdoc level from Germany, Europe and the Arab countries to present their research in an international academic context and discuss interdisciplinary approaches to readership in Arabic philology, literature and culture. It welcomes research projects on practices, functions and histories of reading with regard to various texts and media, including images, music and film.

Suggested topics include, but are not limited to:

  • authors, copyists, publishers, critics, scholars etc. as readers;
  • historical and sociocultural practices and functions of reading (including listening and watching);
  • textual (or medial) conceptualizations of the reader, reading and readerships;
  • empirical approaches to readers, reading communities and reading practices;
  • reading practices according to different genres and media;
  • textual (or medial) reader guidance and its aesthetic and epistemic functions;
  • theories of the reader and reading in philosophy, literary and cultural studies, media and art studies etc.

In the framework of the summer school, each scholar has the opportunity to present and discuss his/her research project. In view of the digital format of the summer school, they are asked to prepare, in advance, a video presentation of his/her research project, which will be distributed to all the participants and discussed intensively in small working groups during the summer school. Professional academic language trainers will offer individual coaching in order to enable the participants to improve their presentation skills. In addition, all participants will discuss in plenary sessions theoretical approaches based on selected Arabic and English texts that will be provided by the organizers beforehand.

Important dates:

Preparatory meeting: 29 May 2021
Two individual coaching sessions: mid-June and mid-July 2021
Summer school: 16−20 August 2021
Application deadline: 30 April 2021
All sessions are mandatory.


Interested researchers are invited to submit an abstract of his/her research project in English or Arabic (3−5 pages, including a passage related to the summer school’s thematic focus, i.e. readers and reading practices), a short letter of motivation, a short CV, and the names of two academic references (one single pdf file) to arabic-philologies@agya.info by 30 April 2021.

The selected participants will be requested to prepare a short video presentation of (parts of) their current research project (30 min.) in English or Arabic; they are expected to use the language they are less familiar with in their academic practice. The participants will have two individual coaching sessions with an academic language trainer as well as technical support in order to improve their presentation. In addition, they are supposed to prepare the English and Arabic texts distributed beforehand (ca. 60 pages in total) and participate actively in plenary discussions. Good knowledge of Arabic and English is required.

More information on the summer school can be found in the complete call text. The Funding of the Summer School is still subject to final project approval.

Date, Time & Venue

16-20 August 2021,


English, Arabic

Contact & Registration


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