Islamic Studies and Turkology as Disciplines: Dynamics of two Research Fields in Upper Rhine Universities (DIslaTurk)

In Europe, studies on Islam and the Muslim worlds are experiencing divergent academic dynamics depending on countries and national traditions. In this respect, the way in which Islamic studies and Turkish studies are conceived – two disciplinary fields that are simultaneously autonomous and connected – testifies to interesting dissimilarities. Well represented in the Upper Rhine within the Eucor universities – particularly in Strasbourg and Freiburg –, these two fields show divergent operating methods between Germany and France, with the particular case of Alsace-Moselle. While Islamwissenschaft in Germany is often interdisciplinary and integrates Turkology in the same way as Persian or Arabic studies, in France Islamologie is a discipline almost exclusively connected to studies on the Arab world while Turkish studies are strongly associated with a secularist perspective. Similarly, if Islamic theology has been officially integrated as a discipline in various German universities, in France, the place of theology – in particular Islamic – as a university discipline, is still widely debated. The DIslaTurk project is innovative for the history of science in that it proposes to analyse how Islamic and Turkish studies, two academic fields born from Orientalisms of the 19th century, were formed and developed in France and Germany, crossing but also sometimes ignoring each other. The project is led by the University of Freiburg and is carried out in cooperation with the University of Strasbourg. Eucor – The European Campus supports the consortium with the Seed Money funding instrument in the “Research and Innovation” funding line.