Working to improve mutual understanding between the Middle East and the West


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Grant Recipients

Werner Mark Linz Memorial Grant

Dr Fatima Tofighi

Fatima Tofighi is a Research Fellow at the International Center for Comparative Theology and Social Issues at the University of Bonn and Assistant Professor of Religious Studies at the University of Religions (Qom, Iran). She holds a PhD in Literature and Theology from the University of Glasgow (UK), building upon a MA in English Language and Literature, Shahid Beheshti University, Tehran (Iran), and a BA in English Language and Literature, University of Qom, Qom (Iran). Fatima also has several years of teaching experience from both Scotland and Iran, where she has thought courses including ‘Introduction to Religions’, ‘History of Abrahamic Religions’, ‘Methods and Theories in Religious Studies’, ‘Feminist Approaches to Religion’, ‘Gender and the Qur’an’, ‘Hermeneutics’, ‘Modern Biblical Interpretation’ and ‘Literary Theory’. She has authored two publications, including a monograph entitled Paul’s Letters and the Construction of the European Self, (London: Bloomsbury, 2017) and a textbook entitled Modern Approaches and Methods in the Interpretation of Sacred Scriptures (Farsi), Tehran: Kargadan, 2022. She has also written  and co-written several peer-reviewed articles and translations.

Dr Ulrich Schmiedel

Ulrich Schmiedel is Senior Lecturer in Theology, Politics and Ethics at the University of Edinburgh. The Deputy Director of Edinburgh’s Centre for Theology and Public Issues, he has written widely on political and public theology. He also serves as Chair of the Research Advisory Board of A World of Neighbours, a multi-faith network of actors working with migrants across Europe. Ulrich is the author of Elasticized Ecclesiology: The Concept of Community after Ernst Troeltsch (2017), The Claim to Christianity: Responding to the Far Right (2020), written with Hannah Strømmen, and Terror und Theologie: Der religionstheoretische Diskurs der 9/11-Dekade (2021) for which he was awarded the University of Munich’s Habilitation Prize in the Humanities. His publications also include the co-edited compilations Dynamics of Difference: Christianity and Alterity (2015), Religious Experience Revisited: Expressing the Inexpressible? (2016), Religion in the European Refugee Crisis (2018), Liberale Theologie heute – Liberal Theology Today (2019), and The Spirit of Populism: Political Theologies in Polarized Times (2021). Prior to his appointment as a lecturer at Edinburgh, Ulrich was Lecturer in Systematic Theology at Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München in Munich, Germany, where he completed his post-doctoral dissertation in systematic theology (‘Habilitation’). He gained his doctorate in theology from the University of Oxford, after studying theology, sociology and hermeneutics at the Universities of Glasgow and Stirling as well as the Universities of Leipzig and Halle-Wittenberg.

Research Grants

Dr Deniz Beyazit

A graduate of the Sorbonne in Paris (2009), Dr. Deniz Beyazit is a curator in the Department of Islamic Art at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, which she joined in 2010. Her expertise and research fields, vary from medieval Islamic to Ottoman arts, and comprise medieval metalwork, carpets and textiles, Islamic prayer books, art in the context of pilgrimage to Mecca and Medina, orientalism & collecting Islamic Art, and Dress in the Islamic world. She has widely published, lectured, and taught courses on various aspects of Islamic Art and architecture as well as Modern and Contemporary art from the Middle East. Among her exhibitions are The Making of a Collection: Islamic Art at the Met (2011-2012); Carpets of the East in Paintings from the West (2014 at The Met, and in 2015 in an expanded version at the Aga Khan Museum, Toronto), Portable Storage: Tribal Weavings from the Collection of William and Inger Ginsberg (co-curated with Walter Denny, at The Met, Sept 25, 2017 – May 7, 2018). Together with her colleagues Dr. Sheila Canby and Dr. Martina Rugiadi, she co-curated the landmark exhibition and co-authored its accompanying catalogue Court and Cosmos: The Great Age of the Seljuqs, (April 25 – July 24 2016). She also is contributing to the major exhibition Collecting Inspiration: Edward C. Moore at Tiffany and Co (planned for July 2024, catalogue published in July 2021). She is the editor of At the Crossroads of Empires: 14th–15th Century Eastern Anatolia (Varia Anatolica, 2012) and author of Le décor architectural en pierre des Artuqides de Mardin placé dans leur context régional (début du XIIe – début XVe siècle), Archaeopress, Oxford, 2016. More recently she co-edited The Seljuqs and their Successors: Art, Culture and History, Edinburgh University Press, 2020, and From West Africa to Southeast Asia: The History of Muhammad al-Jazuli’s Dala’il al-Khayrat Prayer Book (15th-20th Centuries), in Journal of Islamic Manuscripts, 2021, co-edited with Guy Burak and Sabiha Göloğlu. Together with Hiba Abid, Curator for Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies at the New York Public Library, Guy Burak from New York University Libraries, Sabiha Göloğlu from Michigan University, she is currently conducting a research project entitled: From West Africa to Southeast Asia: The History of Muhammad al-Jazuli’s Dala’il al-Khayrat prayer book (15th – 20th centuries), on the global history of al-Jazuli’s Dala’il al-khayrat, a prayer cycle for the Prophet Muhammad. Among her other current research projects are: “History of Dress in the Islamic world”, “Orientalisms and collecting Islamic Art.”

Dr Monica Hanna

Dr. Monica Hanna is an international figure in the world of Archaeology. She did her undergraduate studies in Egyptology and Archaeological Chemistry at the American University in Cairo (AUC), 2004.  Hanna then pursued an MA at AUC as well. She later joined the University of Pisa, Italy to complete her doctorate in archaeology entitled ‘Problems of Preservation of Mural Paintings in the Theban Necropolis: A Pilot Study on the Theban Tomb 14 using 3D Scanning Techniques’. From July 2011 until November 2012, Monica was a post-doctoral fellow in the Topoi Cluster of Excellence in the Department of Egyptology and North African Studies in Humboldt University. Currently, Hanna is an associate professor the acting dean of the College of Archaeology and Cultural Heritage, Arab Academy for Science and Technology and Maritime Transport (AASTMT) in Aswan, Egypt where she has founded a program specialized  in Archaeology and Cultural heritage with eight departments for the BA level. Her research focuses on space, knowledge and identity of archaeological sites, with particular interest on different meanings and reflections of heritage on identity of space and communities. She has worked on a project in al-Qurna, Luxor on the different narratives of the multiple worlds of the Theban Necropolis and its meanings to the various stakeholders.  Post the year 2011, Hanna has been working with the media and a group of volunteers to bring awareness to the plight of various archaeological sites in Egypt, including and especially Dahshur, Abu Sir el-Maleq and Ancient Heliopolis. She courageously spoke and defended the heritage of Egypt and its protection. Hanna has been granted numerous awards including the SAFE beacon award for 2014 for her efforts in the salvage of antiquities under conflict and was named by UNESCO the Monuments Woman of 2014. She has also received ‘Distinguished AUC Alumna’ two times, once in Cairo 2014 and the other in New York 2015. Her current research focuses on decolonizing archaeology, repatriation and restitution amongst methods for accessibility for the wider public to archaeology and heritage with particular interest in digital humanities. In 2020, she was chosen from the 50 most influential women in Egypt under the auspices of the Egyptian Prime Minister. In 2020, she was awarded a research grant as part of Action for Restitution in Africa in collaboration with University of Oxford where she is working on starting a solid discourse of decolonizing western museum collections.

Encounter Grants

Dr Ozan Ozavci

Ozan Ozavci is Assistant Professor of Transimperial History at Utrecht University, co-convenor of the Lausanne Project, the Security History Network and Turkey Studies Network in the Low Countries. His publications include Dangerous Gifts: Imperialism, Security, and Civil Wars in the Levant, 1798-1864 (Oxford University Press, 2021) and Intellectual Origins of the Republic: Ahmet Ağaoğlu and the Genealogy of Liberalism in Turkey (Brill, 2015). Dr Ozavci is currently finalising his third monograph on the invention of the Eastern Question, which will be published by Bloomsbury.

Roberta Marin

Roberta Marin holds a BA in History of Art in Italy and a Master in Islamic Art and Archaeology from the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS, London). In 2005 she was an intern at the Department of Islamic Art of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York and in the same year she began collaborating with the Khalili Collection of Islamic Art in London. Since 2007, she has taught courses on various aspects of Islamic art and architecture and modern and contemporary art from the Arab, Iranian and Turkish world in public and private institutions in the United Kingdom and in Italy. In October 2017, she organised the 2-day conference Venice Biennale and the Arab World at the Università Ca’ Foscari in Venice together with Prof. Cristina Tonghini. In 2017, she also received the Fellowship Hamad bin Khalifa, sponsored by VCUarts, VCUarts Qatar and the Qatar Foundation to attend the 3-day symposium Past, present and future at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts in Richmond, Virginia. In September 2019 she was a visiting scholar at the Museum of Modern Art of the Gulbenkian Museums in Lisbon and conducted research on the artistic relationships between Egyptian and Portuguese Modernism. In February 2023 she was invited to deliver two masterclasses at the Islamic Arts Biennale in Jeddah. Roberta has travelled extensively in the Mediterranean area and her research interests include: Islamic art and architecture with a special focus on Arab Spain and Fatimid and Mamluk Egypt, Modern and Contemporary Art from the Arab world, Iran and Turkey and Carpet and textile production in the Islamic world. 

Past Grant Recipients

The Lausanne Project

The Project takes its name from the longest-lasting of the post-First World War peace settlements: the 1923 Treaty of Lausanne. Our programs provide a forum for scholars to share research on interwar relations between the Middle East and the rest of the world, and to reflect on Lausanne’s legacy – for 2023 and beyond.

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