Torsten Wollina

Phone: +961 (0)1 359184 | Email:

Torsten Wollina joined the Orient-Institut Beirut in 2014 and manages the institute’s book series Beiruter Texte und Studien (BTS). Before, he worked for the project EurViews at the Georg Eckert Institute for International Textbook Research (Braunschweig, Germany), analyzing images of Europe in textbooks from different Arab countries.

In 2012, Torsten submitted his Ph.D. thesis titled "Zwanzig Jahre Alltag. Lebens-, Welt- und Selbstbild im Journal des Aḥmad Ibn Ṭawq" (Twenty Years of Everyday Life. Biography, Worldview and Self-Image in the Journal of Aḥmad Ibn Ṭawq) on a text from late Mamluk Damascus, which he wrote at the Berlin Graduate School Muslim Cultures and Societies (BGSMCS, Free University Berlin) and the Anne Marie Schimmel Kolleg "History and Society during the Mamluk Era (1250-1517)". He received his Master degree in Islamic Studies, history and intercultural communications from the University of Jena.

Torsten's research interests encompass the pre-modern history and literature of the Near East. He is intrigued by material culture and the everyday practices in which it manifests itself, by the systems which determine and structure knowledge, by the ways this information was presented in writing, and in storytelling in general. His research at the OIB focuses on Syrian and Egyptian historiography between the Mamluk and Ottoman eras and how it reflects shifts and changes in audience, authorship, genres and their social and literary functions.



———. 2014. Zwanzig Jahre Alltag Lebens-, Welt- und Selbstbild im Journal des Aḥmad Ibn Ṭawq. Göttingen: V&R unipress.

Journal Article

Wollina, Torsten. 2012. ‘A View From Within: Ibn Ṭawq’s Personal Topography of 15th century Damascus’. Bulletin d’études orientales, no. 61: 271–96.

———. 2013. ‘Ibn Ṭawq’s Talīq: An Ego-Document for Mamlūk Studies’. In Ubi Sumus? Quo Vademus? : Mamluk Studies - State of the Art, 337–62. Mamluk Studies 3. Göttingen: V & R Unipress, Bonn Univ. Press.

———. 2014a. ‘News and Rumor - Local Sources of Knowledge about the World’. In Everything Is on the Move : The Mamluk Empire as a Node in (trans-)regional Networks, 283–309. Mamluk Studies 7. Göttingen: V & R Unipress.

———. 2014b. ‘What Is a City? Perceptions of Architectural and Social Order’. In History and Society during the Mamluk Period (1250 - 1517), 221–29. Mamluk Studies ; 5 Studies of the Annemarie Schimmel Research College 1. Göttingen: V&R Unipress.

———. 2016. 'Sultan Selīm in Damascus: The Ottoman Appropriation of a Mamluk Metropolis (922-924/1516-1518)'. In The Mamluk-Ottoman Transition: Continuity and Change in Egypt and Bilād Al-Shām in the Sixteenth Century, 199–224. Ottoman Studies / Osmanistische Studien. Göttingen: Göttingen: V & R Unipress, Bonn Univ. Press.

———. 2016. 'The Banu Qadi ‘Ajlun: Family or Dynasty?’. DYNTRAN Working Papers. online edition, 19. Available at:

Research Blog

Damascus Anecdotes. Reading Historical Bilād al-Shām