Centre for Modern Oriental Studies

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Centre for Modern Oriental Studies

The Centre for Modern Oriental Studies (Zentrum Moderner Orient, ZMO) is a German research institute in Berlin. The researchers focus on comparative study of the Middle East, Africa, South and Southeast Asia from a historical and social scientific perspective. Current research topics focus on predominantly Muslim societies and relations with non-Muslim neighbours.

The ZMO was founded in 1996. The many publications posted on their website reflect their expanding work on areas in Africa, Near and Middle East, and South Asia. In its main BMBF-funded research programme, the Centre currently comprises four interdisciplinary project groups, with twenty-two researchers working on different historical and cultural aspects of the "Islamicate World" since the 18th century. Building on ZMO’s preceding programmes, Abgrenzung und Aneignung in der Globalisierung (1996-2000) and Translokalität (2000-2007) - the first phase (2008-2013) of the current programme, Muslim Worlds – World of Islam?, tracked the global condition of Muslim life worlds in a more differentiated manner.

The second phase (2014-2019) of ZMO’s research programme, Muslim Worlds – World of Islam?, starts from here. By way of four interlaced research fields, we will explore themes and issues that have emerged as relevant and particularly promising in the discussions of the previous research phase. The exhibition “Lives from a Global Conflict”, with the ZMO’s crucial participation, shows a different view of World War I and portrays people from Europe, Asia, and Africa who were lastingly shaped by their encounter with people from other cultures during the war. The presentation concludes the three-year international research project “Cultural Exchange in a Time of Global Conflict: Colonials, Neutrals and Belligerents during the First World War”.