Elite Network: Cultural Studies of the Middle East

Cultural Studies of the Middle East

Cultur­al di­versity and histori­cal en­tangle­ments have shaped Middle Eastern socie­ties to this day. Dy­namics and diversi­ty of these cultures are sub­ject of the Elite Gradu­ate Pro­gram “Cul­tural Studies of the Middle East”. Coun­tering reduc­tional tenden­cies, the pro­gram focuses on the histori­cal roots and cultural richness of Is­lami­cate cultures in the Middle East, and their entan­gle­ments with each oth­er.

The Elite Graduate Program at a glance

DegreeMaster of Arts
Duration of studyFour semesters (8 Semester part-time)
Place of studyBamberg, Erlangen
Admission requirementsB.A. in a relevant academic field (application also possible during the final degree phase) or equivalent foreign degree with good or excellent marks (German equivalent 2.5 or better). B2 proficiency in one or more of the following: Arabic, Persian, Turkish, or Hebrew German language CEFR B1 (level B2 has to be verified during the first semester) English language C1 proficiency
Language of instructionGerman, English
Application deadlineJanuary 15th, July 15th
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HeadProf. Dr. Lorenz Korn
CoordinatorDr. Schayan Gharevi
Contact the coordinator
Further InformationWebsite Cultural Studies of the Middle East

Transcultural Entanglements of Islamicate Cultures

The core philologies of the Middle East (Ara­bic, Persian, Turkish and He­brew) provide a basis for fur­ther studies on di­versity and histori­cal change in this region. The inter­disci­plinary and trans­cultural ap­proach of this pro­gram offers the oppor­tunity to ana­lyze inter­connec­tions be­tween diverse Middle Eastern cul­tures, and with related minori­ty cul­tures, as a long-term phe­no­men­on.

Studying under excel­lent condi­tions, stu­dents will acquire a pro­found meth­odolog­ical back­ground and will experi­ence re­search-oriented ap­proach­es. Stu­dents partici­pate in the shared founda­tional mod­ules, and then select one of five areas of special­ization: Histo­ry, art and archae­ology, reli­gious studies, lan­guage and litera­ture, linguis­tics.

A fur­ther core compo­nent of the pro­gram is the English lan­guage module ‘Theory and Meth­ods’, in which stu­dents organ­ize and con­duct their own work­shop on a se­lected inter­disci­plinary topic. Stu­dents also benefit from visiting scholars with an interna­tional back­ground. Inter­disci­plinary work­shops, and special­ized soft skills courses en­hance the study pro­gram, so that our gradu­ates are excel­lently pre­pared for a PhD. The presen­tation of pre­limi­nary results of re­search on ex­pert confer­ences is actively sup­port­ed.

Advanced Training for an International Academic Discourse

The bilin­gual Elite Gradu­ate Pro­gram offers inten­sive aca­demic super­vision by an excep­tionally broad spec­trum of re­search­ers and experts, with core staff from both the univer­sities of Bam­berg and Erlan­gen, as well as regular visiting aca­dem­ics.


It is the first MA-pro­gram in the realm of Middle Eastern studies that is in a position to pro­vide stu­dents with oppor­tunities una­vailable in simi­lar pro­grams. Our gradu­ates are highly enabled to de­bate critical­ly and to com­muni­cate in aca­demic set­tings: They profes­sionally con­duct excel­lent, inter­disci­plinary re­search – skills essen­tial for contin­uing on at the PhD level and an optimal prepa­ration for an aca­demic ca­reer.

Porträtfoto: Prof. Dr. Lorenz Korn

An interdisciplinary master’s program with such a variety of specializations in the field of oriental studies is unique in Germany. Our graduates acquire comprehensive competences – while personal points of interest do not get a raw deal.

Prof. Dr. Lorenz Korn

Snippets of the program

Archive of the Federal Foreign Office

Students of the Elite Graduate Program “Cultural Studies of the Middle East” visited the political archive of the Federal Foreign Office, Berlin.

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A document in running hand, penned in 19th century Bagdad.

Oriental Studies in Paris

Students visited numerous research facilities and libraries in Paris.

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Young people discuss in a seminar room.

Snippets of the research

Turkish encyclopedia projects

 In her master’s thesis Lale Diklitas will deal with Turkish encyclopedia projects in the 1940s which led to considerable public discussions.

Travelers to and from the Orient and their literature

Every summer semester the students of the elite program "Cultural Studies of the Near East" organize a workshop with international guests.

The female voice in the Egyptian novel

Safinaz Saad studies in Bamberg the elite course of studies in cultural studies of the Near East. Her research focus is on Egyptian literature and the works of Egyptian women writers.