Tandem Project

Historians and Historical Research at Iraqi Universities


Survey and Symposium

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.
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’ now investigates this blind spot. It is the first AGYA project with a 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 200 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, to be carried out in the winter of 2018, the researchers will conduct personal interviews with selected Iraqi historians, focusing on their special research interests and methodologies. Together with the interviewees, they will also look into the challenges of academic historical research in Iraq and will collect 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 will also serve as a framework for future collaborations between Iraqi and German historians: In 2019, a symposium will bring together German and Iraqi historians in Erbil.

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
Friedrich Schiller University Jena Institute of Bioinformatics Bio Systems Analysis Group

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Jenny Oesterle

Heidelberg University Transcultural Studies

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DATE and Venue of the project

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

Summer 2019
Symposium with Iraqi and German historians
Erbil, Iraq

Picture by AGYA/Jenny Oesterle

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