International Symposium of
Young Scholars in the Humanities

III International Symposium of Young Scholars in the Humanities, 27-30 November, 2019
Keynote speakers of the Symposium

Stefan Weidner - University of Bonn, Free University of Berlin, Germany


Stefan Weidner, born in 1967 in Cologne, is a German writer, translator and literary critic. He has studied Arabic and Islamic Studies and Comparative Literature at the universities of Göttingen, Damascus, Berkeley (CA) and Bonn. He has published several volumes of fiction, travel writing and essays, focusing on the relations between Islam and the West. As a translator he has presented to the German public some of the most eminent contemporary Arab poets such as Adonis, Mahmoud Darwish, Nizar Qabbani and others. In 2016 he has published the first complete German translation of Ibn al-Arabi’s most famous volume of poetry “Tarjuman al-ashwaq” (The Interpreter of Desires). 
From 2001 until the closure of the magazine in 2016 he was editor-in-chief of Art/Thought – Fikrun wa Fann, bi-annual journal published and distributed by the German Goethe-Institut in English, Arabic and Farsi ( He contributes to the cultural pages of the leading German newspapers and radio stations such as FAZ, Süddeutsche Zeitung and Deutschlandradio. He has been a guest-professor for “Poetics of Translation” at the department of comparative literature at the Free University of Berlin (August-Wilhelm-Schlegel Guest Professorship) and a guest professor for Poetics at the University of Bonn (Thomas-Kling Guest Professorship). His most recent publication (2018) is the politico-historical essay “Jenseits des Westens. Für einen neuen Kosmopolitismus” (“Beyond the Conceptions of the West. For a new kind of cosmopolitanism”) at Hanser Publishing House in Munich. It was shortlisted for the renowned non- fiction prize of the Northern German Radio Association (NDR) in 2018.


Tamar Pataridze - Catholic University of Leuven, Belgium


Bohdan Horvat - Taras Shevchenko National University of Kiev, Ukraine


Bohdan Horvat (1986) has studied Arabic Language and Literature at Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv. His research interests include Arabic literary history, modern Egyptian poetry, and literatures of colloquial Arabics. His published work is mainly focused on XX-century poetry in Egyptian Arabic.
Mr. Horvat has taught Arabic and Modern Literature at Kyiv University. He was granted WEBB Scholarship for Academic Staff to present a course on Egyptian Arabic Poetry at Warsaw University, Poland. He also partook in the Arabic Culture Week as visiting lecturer at the University of Bucharest, Romania. He is a member of the ILA Arabic Language Certificate Program research team (Italy) and member of Association Internationale de Dialectologie Arabe (AIDA). He is cofounder and co-organizer of ICHAL – the International Conference on the History of Arabic Literature.
Bohdan Horvat serves as Second Secretary of the Embassy of Ukraine to the Arab Republic of Egypt.


Orhan Elmaz- St. Andrews University, Scotland, the Great Britain



Dr Orhan Elmaz is a lecturer in Arabic at the University of St. Andrews (UK). Prior to his appointment in St. Andrews, he was a lecturer in Islamic Studies at the University of Vienna (Austria), where he received his PhD in 2009 with a thesis on Quranic hapax legomena. His research focuses on Arabic linguistics and lexicography, Quranic studies, and comparative and transnational studies. Currently he is working on his monograph on The Translingual Character of the Early Muslim Community: A Corpus Linguistic Exploration of Hadith.


Peter Webb - Leiden University, the Netherlands

Dr. Peter Webb is a University Lecturer in Arabic Literature and Culture at Leiden University, and a specialist in classical Arabic literature and the history of the Arab people. His research investigates questions of pre-modern Arab identity and Muslim narratives of pre-Islamic history, using modern theoretical approaches of ethnogenesis and memory studies to interpret the Arabic literary sources. He published his work on Arab identity in a monograph, Imagining the Arabs (Edinburgh, 2016) and in a joint project to edit and translate Ibn Qutaybah’s The Excellence of the Arabs (Library of Arabic literature, 2017). Publications from his current Veni project, “Epic Pasts: Pre-Islam through Muslim Eyes”, awarded by the Netherlands Organisation of Scientific Research (2018-2021), include a study of pre-Islamic outlaw stories, The Arab Thieves: al-Maqrīzī’s al-Ḫabar ʿan al-bašar Vol. V, Sections 1-2 (Brill, 2019). Prior to his academic career, Peter was a solicitor at Clifford Chance LLP in London.


Mohammad Magout - University of Leipzig, Germany

Mohammad Magout is a Syrian-German researcher. Since November 2016, he has been a Senior Researcher at the Humanities Center for Advanced Studies “Multiple Secularities – Beyond the West, Beyond Modernities” at the University of Leipzig, Germany. In addition, he was a postdoctoral fellow at the Orient-Institut in Beirut, Lebanon from October 2018 until May 2019. He completed his PhD studies in 2016 with a dissertation titled "Between Religion and Culture: Academic Discourse and Religious Subjectivity at Two Nizari Ismaili Institutions for Islamic Studies in London", for which he was awarded the Katharina Windscheid Prize of the Research Academy Leipzig (2017). Mohammad has a master’s degree in Muslim Cultures (2010) from the Institute for the Study of Muslim Civilisations, Aga Khan University, London, where he wrote his MA thesis about heavy metal music in Syria, and a BSc in Mathematics from the University of Damascus (2006).
Research interests:
Mohammad is currently undertaking research about the construction of religion in the Arabic press in the 19th C. His other areas of research include secularity in the Arab world, contemporary Ismailism, and religion in higher education. His most recent publication is an article titled “Transnationalizing Multiple Secularities: A Comparative Study of the Global Ismaili Community” in Historical Social Research, Special Issue “Muslim Secularities” (2019, forthcoming). Furthermore, he has taught courses for postgraduate students in Leipzig and Tbilisi about modern Arab thought and media.