Prof. Dr. Kurt Franz

Professor of Islamic Studies in the framework of the German Universities Excellence Initiative – Institutional Strategy of the University of Tübingen

Kurt Franz teaches Islamic Studies and works on the political and social history and also the history of science of the Islamic Near East during its early and middle periods. His books investigate the Arabic chronical literature and the history of the Bedouin. In these and other publications – e.g. on slavery and the division of labour, communication networks, and historical concepts of geo-space – he queries social developments under the aspect of the transmission of knowledge, its  partiality, and its intertextuality. After directing a project at the Collaborative Research Centre 586 in Halle, holding a Research Associate position at the Orient-Institut Beirut and a Visiting Professorship in Islamic Studies in Hamburg, Kurt Franz joined Tübingen’s Institute of Asian and alOrient Studies in 2014. He has established the Islamic History Geodata Initiative, a research unit on spatial history and historical cartography that has a focus on the Ayyubid and Mamluk periods, 1169–1517.

 

News

  • Book chapter “Slavery in Islam: Legal Norms and Social Practice.” In Slavery and the Slave Trade in the Eastern Mediterranean (c. 1000–1500 CE), edited by Reuven Amitai and Christoph Cluse, 51–141. Mediterranean Nexus 1100–1700 5. Turnhout: Brepols, 2017.
  • Chair “Palestine under Mamluk Rule.” Organizer: Reuven Amitai. Fifth Conference of the School of Mamluk Studies (06.07.2018, Ghent Unversity)
  • Panel “Slavery and Covert Unfreedom in Mediaeval Islamic Societies.” Organizers: Kurt Franz and Matthew Gordon. Conference “Medieval Unfreedoms: Slavery, Servitude, and Trafficking in Humans before the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade” (19.–20.10.2018, Binghamton University, N.Y.)
  • Lecture “The Impossible Third: Traces of Unfreedom in Islamic Societies apart from Slavery.” Conference “Medieval Unfreedoms: Slavery, Servitude, and Trafficking in Humans before the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade” (19.–20.10.2018, Binghamton University, N.Y.)
  • Lecture series “Räumliche Intelligenz: Kulturtechniken der Orientierung im Wandel.” Studium Generale.  Organizers: Kurt Franz, Robert Kirstein, and Ellen Widder (24.10.2018–06.02.2019, University of Tübingen)
  • Lecture “Die Richtung der Richtungen: Mekka und die Kunst der Wegfindung im islamischen Mittelalter.” Lecture series “Räumliche Intelligenz: Kulturtechniken der Orientierung im Wandel” (28.11.2018, University of Tübingen)

Courses taught in summer term 2018

Research interests

  • History of the Islamic Near East to 1600
  • Spatial history and Arabic geography
  • Geographic Informations Systems
  • History of Arabic historiography
  • Nomads and settled people
  • Socio-religious movements
  • Labour, slavery, and unfreedom

Projects

Islamic History Geodata Initiative

 

Collaborators:
Dipl.-Ing. Jeannine Ernst (Cartography)
Dipl.-Ing. Martin Grosch (Cartography)
Dipl.-Geogr. Christian Wörner (Geoinformatics)
Asli Kücük (assistance)
Maximilian Perseke, B.A. (assistance)

Funding:
Exzellence Initiative – Institutional Strategy of the University of Tübingen, Exploration Fund 2014–2016

     

Kurt Franz

Room 205
 

Tel. +49 7071 29-75489

kurt.franz[at]uni-tuebingen.de

 

Term-time consultation hours:

Thu, 16:00–18:00

by appointment

(During term breaks by arrangement)