Research Associates

Till Grallert

Research Associate

Phone: +961 (0)1 359241

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Till Grallert joined the OIB in 2014. His research and teaching focuses on the social and spatial history of late Ottoman cities, the socio-linguistics of early Arabic newspapers and digital humanities (DH) outside the global north. He completed his PhD at the Berlin Graduate School Muslim Cultures and Societies in 2014 with a thesis entitled “To Whom Belong the Streets? Property, Propriety, and Appropriation: The Production of Public Space in Late Ottoman Damascus, 1875 – 1914.” Till’s current research project aims at establishing a genealogy of urban food riots as a “repertoire of contention” (Tilly) and as genuine political negotiations of the social contract between the rulers and the ruled in the Eastern Mediterranean between the eighteenth and the twentieth centuries. He is a co-organiser of the “Digital Humanities Institute – Beirut,” the developer and a core contributor to “Project Jarāʾid,” an online chronology of Arabic periodicals before 1900, and he contributed to a recent collection on “Digital Humanities and Islamic & Middle East Studies” (ed. Elias Muhanna, 2016). Within the framework of his research project “Open Arabic Periodical Editions” (OpenArabicPE), Till works on open, collaborative and scholarly digital editions of early Arabic periodicals such as Muḥammad Kurd ʿAlī's journal al-Muqtabas and ʿAbd al-Qādir Iskandarānī's al-Ḥaqāʾiq.

Women on the streets! A genealogy of food riots in the Middle East between the 18th and 20th centuries


This project scrutinises the phenomenon of urban food riots in the Middle East between the mid-eighteenth and the mid-twentieth centuries as contentious performances that form and follow certain repertoires (C. Tilly).


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Open Arabic Periodical Editions (OpenArabicPE)



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1. Books

a. edited volumes

  • Dege, Martin, Till Grallert, Carmen Dege, and Niklas Chimirri, eds. Können Marginalisierte (Wi(e)der)sprechen? Zum politischen Potenzial der Sozialwissenschaften. Gießen: PsychoSozial-Verlag, 2010.

b. in preparation

  • Grallert, Till. To whom belong the streets? The production of public space in late Ottoman Damascus, 1875–1914

2. Articles and book chapters

  • Grallert, Till. ‘Urban Food Riots in Late Ottoman Bilād Al-Shām as a “Repertoire of Contention”’. In Crime, Poverty and Survival in the Middle East and North Africa: The ‘Dangerous Classes’ since 1800, edited by Stephanie Cronin, 157–76. London: I.B. Tauris, 2019.
  • Grallert, Till. ‘The Journal al-Muqtabas between Shamela.Ws, HathiTrust, and GitHub: Producing Open, Collaborative, and Fully-Referencable Digital Editions of Early Arabic Periodicals—with Almost No Funds’. In Advances in Digital Scholarly Editing: Papers Presented at the DiXiT Conferences in The Hague, Cologne, and Antwerp, edited by Peter Boot, Anna Cappellotto, Wout Dillen, Franz Fischer, Aodhán Kelly, Andreas Mertgens, Anna-Maria Sichani, Elena Spadini, and Dirk van Hulle, 401–6. Leiden: Sidestone Press, 2017. https://www.sidestone.com/books/advances-in-digital-scholarly-editing.
  • Grallert, Till, Jochen Tiepmar, Thomas Eckart, Dirk Goldhan, and Christoph Kuras. 2017. Digital Muqtabas CTS integration in CLARIN. In CLARIN2017 Book of Abstracts. https://www.clarin.eu/sites/default/files/Grallert-etal-CLARIN2017_paper_21.pdf.
  • Grallert, Till. ‘Mapping Ottoman Damascus through News Reports: A Practical Approach’. In Digital Humanities and Islamic & Middle East Studies, edited by Elias Muhanna, 175–98. Boston, Berlin: De Gruyter, 2016. https://tillgrallert.github.io/MappingOttomanDamascus2014.
  • Grallert, Till. ‘To Whom Belong the Streets? Investment in Public Space and Popular Contentions in Late Ottoman Damascus’. Bulletin d’Études Orientales 61 (2012): 327–59. https://journals.openedition.org/beo/978.
  • Dege, Carmen, Martin Dege, Till Grallert, and Niklas Chimirri. ‘Widersprechen!’ In Können Marginalisierte (Wi(e)der)sprechen? Zum politischen Potenzial der Sozialwissenschaften, edited by Martin Dege, Till Grallert, Carmen Dege, and Niklas Chimirri, 471–95. Gießen: PsychoSozial-Verlag, 2010.

a. submitted

  • Grallert, Till. ‘Open Arabic Periodical Editions: A Framework for Bootstrapped Scholarly Editions Outside the Global North’. Edited by Alex Gil and Roopika Risam. Digital Humanities Quarterly, Special Issue ‘Minimal Computing’ (2021).
  • ‘Catch Me If You Can! Computational Approaches to Track the Late Ottoman Ideosphere of Authors and Periodicals in the Wasteland of the “Digitised” Arabic Press’. Edited by Simone Lässig. Geschichte Und Gesellschaft, Special Issue ‘Digital History’ (2021).

3. Translations

  • Andrews, Molly. ‘Biografie und Geschichte: Dynamiken individueller und kollektiver politischer Erzählungen’. In Können Marginalisierte (Wi(e)der)sprechen? Zum politischen Potenzial der Sozialwissenschaften, edited by Martin Dege, Till Grallert, Carmen Dege, and Niklas Chimirri, translated by Till Grallert, 347–405. Gießen: PsychoSozial-Verlag, 2010.

4. Book reviews

  • Grallert, Till. “Weber, Stefan: Damascus. Ottoman Modernity and Urban Transformation 1808–1918” Orientalistische Literaturzeitung 108, no. 1 (2013): 39–51

a. in preparation

  • Review of: Ayalon, Ami. The Arabic Print Revolution: Cultural Production and Mass Readership. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2016. for H-NET.
  • Review of: Chalcraft, John. Popular Politics in the Making of the Modern Middle East. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2016. for Contemporary Levant.

5. Digital projects