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.
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).