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Leila Ahmed, Victor S. Thomas Professor of Divinity at Harvard Divinity School, was appointed as the first professor of Women’s Studies in Religion at Harvard Divinity School in 1999. Prior to this appointment she was professor of Women’s Studies and Near Eastern Studies at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst. Her seminal book Women and Gender in Islam: Historical Roots of a Modern Debate appeared in 1992; the work explores both historical and contemporary debates about gender in the Arab world. Her current research concentrates on Islam in America in conjunction with issues of gender and the perception of Muslim women. In 1999 her highly regarded book A Border Passage was published, in which Ahmed recounts her childhood and youth in Egypt and her life as an immigrant in the USA. Her most recent book is A Quiet Revolution. The Veil’s Resurgence, from the Middle East to America (2011, Yale Press University).
Manan Ahmed is Junior Professor of Islam in South and Southeast Asia at the Berlin Graduate School Muslim Cultures and Societies (Free University Berlin). His research interests lie in contestations in memory and history of Islam's arrival in South Asia. His areas of specialization include early Islamic conquests, medieval South Asia, Islam in South Asia, Pakistan and digital Humanities. He received his PhD from the University of Chicago in 2008. He also is a member of the steering committee of "Zukunftsphilologie: Revisiting the Canons of Textual Scholarship", a project at the Forum Transregionale Studien. He currently is revising his manuscript, The Many Histories of Muhammad b. Qasim: Narrating the Muslim Conquest of Sindh, for publication. He has authored numerous review essays as well as much political and historical commentary on the state of Pakistan in mass media. Manan Ahmed blogs under the sobriquet “sepoy”. A collection of his essays and comments from his blog ”Chapati Mystery" has just been published under the title Where the Wild Frontiers Are: Pakistan and the American Imagination.
Sinan Antoon is a poet, novelist, translator and assistant professor at New York University. He earned his doctorate in Arabic and Islamic studies from Harvard in 2006. He was fellow of the Berlin research program "Europe in the Middle East – the Middle East in Europe" in 2008/09. His articles (in Arabic and English) have appeared in as-Safir, al-Akhbar, al-Adab, Masharef and Journal of Palestine Studies, The Nation, al-Ahram Weekly, and The New York Times. He is a member of the editorial committee of Middle East Report, and a co-founder and cultural editor of the online magazine Jadaliyya (Dialectic). He has published two collections of poetry in Arabic and two novels, the first of which, I'jaam (Beirut 2003) was translated into five languages, including German in 2009 (Irakische Rhapsodie). Antoon co-produced and co-directed the documentary film About Baghdad (2004). His translation of Mahmoud Darwish's In the Presence of Absence was published in 2011.
Sawsan Chebli studied political science at the Freie Universität Berlin with a focus on international relations and worked in the German Bundestag for six years as a foreign policy advisor. Since 2007, she has been a member of the Körber Network Foreign Policy of the Körber Foundation. Since 2009 she is Associate Fellow of the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Auswärtige Politik (German Council on Foreign Affairs). She co-founded the Deutsch-Arabische Freundschaftsgesellschaft (Society for German-Arab Friendship) and currently serves as advisor on intercultural affairs at the Ministry of the Interior and Sports of the State of Berlin.
James Der Derian is professor for International Relations at Brown University’s Watson Institute and has focused on the impact of technology, media, and terrorism on global security. He leads the research initiative “Global Engagement through Innovative Media”, which is funded by the Carnegie Corporation of New York. His most recently published books are Virtuous War: Mapping the Military-Industrial-Media-Entertainment Network (2nd ed. 2009) and Critical Practices in International Theory (2009). Der Derian has produced a number of documentaries, among them After 9/11 (2003) and Human Terrain (2010). As this year’s fellow of the American Academy in Berlin he is researching US military’s campaign to involve America’s leading academics in US military counterinsurgency efforts, particularly in Iraq and Afghanistan. He was recently awarded the Bosch Berlin Prize in Public Policy by the American Academy in Berlin.
Detlev Ganten is chairman of the board of trustees of the Charité Foundation Berlin. He studied medicine in Würzburg, Montpellier and Tübingen and conducted research in Montreal, Canada, for several years. He was subsequently appointed professor at Heidelberg. Between 1991 and 2004 he built up the Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine (MDC) in Berlin-Buch as its founding director. From 2004 to 2008 he was chairman of the board of directors of the Charité-Universitätsmedizin Berlin, the joint public medical institution of the Humboldt University and the Free University of Berlin. He has received many awards in recognition of his work both at home and abroad. He is a member of various German and international learned societies and academies.
Luca Giuliani has been rector of the Institute for Advanced Study in Berlin (Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin) and professor of Classical Archaeology at the Humboldt University of Berlin since 2007. Prior to taking up the reins at the Institute, he had already twice been a fellow there and a member of its Academic Advisory Board. He joined the university after many years at the National Museums in Berlin, also teaching in Freiburg, Heidelberg, Munich and Paris. In 2010 Giuliani was awarded the Sigmund Freud Prize for Science Writing. He published Bild und Mythos: Zur Bilderzählung in der griechischen Kunst in 2003 and, most recently, Ein Geschenk für den Kaiser: Das Geheimnis des Großen Kameo (2009).
Ibrahim Helal ran the newsroom of the news channel Al Jazeera Arabic from July 2001 to April 2004, and was responsible for its coverage of 9/11 and the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. In the following two years Helal directed a BBC training program for journalists and media organizations from the Middle East. He was deputy managing director at Al Jazeera English from 2006 to 2010 and, since then, has led the editorial development of the Al Jazeera Network in Doha, Qatar.
Tom Holert is professor at the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna, where he teaches and researches on the subject of art as knowledge production. An art historian and critic, he has lived in Vienna and Berlin since completing his studies in art history, modern German literary criticism and philosophy. He was previously editor of Texte zur Kunst (Cologne), co-publisher of the magazine Spex and, in 2000, co-founded the Institute for Studies in Visual Culture (isvc) alongside Mark Terkessidis. His most recent publications include Regieren im Bildraum (2008) and, co-edited with Marion von Osten, Das Erziehungsbild: Zur visuellen Kultur des Pädagogischen (2010).
Hans-Ulrich Klose is vice chairman of the Committee on Foreign Affairs of the German Bundestag (the federal Parliament) since 2002 and chairman of the German-American Parliamentary Group. He studied law and worked as public prosecutor in Hamburg, where his political career also started; he became mayor of the city in 1974. Having stepped down as mayor in 1981, he was elected to the Bundestag in 1983 and still represents his constituency for the Social Democratic Party (SPD). He has held several offices during his work in the Bundestag, such as SPD treasurer, chairman of the SPD Parliamentary Group and vice president of the Bundestag. Klose has published three volumes of poetry.
Andrian Kreye is one of the two editors of the Feuilleton at the Süddeutsche Zeitung and the author of several books. He lived in New York from 1988 until 2006, where he worked for six years as correspondent for the Süddeutsche Zeitung. From there, his international assignments also led him to South America, Asia, Africa and the Middle East.
Cristina Nord is film critic for the art section of the Berlin daily newspaper die tageszeitung. She also writes for Der Standard, Cargo, Kolik Film and other publications. Nord teaches film criticism at the Free University of Berlin. She has produced several episodes of Filmtips for the WDR, including one on Brokeback Mountain (2006) and Yella (2007). In 2005 she received the award for Visual Film Criticism from the German Society of Cinematographers and the professional journal Film & TV Kameramann.
Thomas Risse is professor of International Politics and director of the Center for Transnational Relations, Foreign and Security Policy at the Otto Suhr Institute for Political Science of the Free University of Berlin, as well as co-ordinator of the Research Center “Governance in Areas of Limited Statehood”, funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG). His research interests include the theory of International Relations as well as problems of transnational governance and of governance in areas of limited statehood.
Bernd M. Scherer is the director of the Haus der Kulturen der Welt. A philosopher and author of numerous publications on aesthetics and international cultural exchange, he came to the Haus der Kulturen der Welt from the Goethe Institute, where he was director of the Goethe Institute Mexico from 1999 to 2004 and subsequently director of the Arts Department at the Institute’s head office in Munich. In taking up the directorship of the Haus der Kulturen der Welt, he returns to an institution whose development he had already helped shape decisively between 1994 and 1999 as head of the Department of Humanities and Culture and as deputy director. Since the start of 2011 he has been honorary professor of European Ethnology at the Humboldt University Berlin.
Jürgen Zöllner has been the state of Berlin’s senator for Education, Science and Research since November 2006. He had previously been professor at the University of Mainz from 1977. He became the university’s vice president in 1983 and its president in 1990. His appointment as minister for Science and Further Education of the state of Rhineland-Palatinate followed in May 1991. He served as minister for Education, Science and Further Education from 1994 until 2001 and subsequently as minister for Science, Further Education, Research and Culture until November 2006.
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