Funded by Germany’s Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), this project aims at exploring the ways in which knowledge, especially at the post-graduate level, is produced and transmitted in Egyptian universities, with a particular focus on the social sciences and humanities. Knowledge is intended here as a broad concept that refers both to the content of the actual disciplines – issues currently discussed inside the academia, the contents of legitimate PhD theses and appropriate topics of research for young scholars – and to the general context within which it is produced, that is to say the university as an institution producing at the same time knowledge and the conditions for producing knowledge. The project especially intends to improve the understanding of how autonomy of research agendas, academic freedom and creativity of academic work are addressed, achieved or obstructed. We ask to which extent these disciplines are able to define their own horizon; to which extent young researchers can claim, negotiate and extend the principles and limits of academic freedom in the pursuit of their own research interests, ideas and methods; and to which extent independence and disagreement are accommodated or exposed to authoritarian pressures and public confrontation.
Author: Dr. Daniele Cantini, Graduate School “Society and Culture in Motion”, Martin-Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg.