Time and location

Thursday, 15 October 2015, 19:00 – 21:00
Diplomatic Academy Vienna, Favoritenstraße 15a,
1040 Vienna


Hamid Dabashi
Department of Middle Eastern, South Asian, and African Studies, Columbia University, New York

Helmut Krieger
Department of Development Studies, University of Vienna/VIDC

Welcome: Magda Seewald, VIDC

Languages: English and German with simultaneous interpretation

Registration: seewald@remove-this.vidc.org

Sunnis against Shiites. On the Construction of an Antagonism

© istock/Aviator70
© istock/Aviator70


With the rise of the Islamic State (IS) current wars in the Arab world are often analyzed along religious lines. From that perspective differences between Sunnis and Shiites or secular and religious movements serve as a main explanation for conflicts and war in different Arab countries.  By critically reflecting on such identity constructions and their significance, Professor Dabashi will present a different and alternative interpretation from a postcolonial perspective. 


Hamid Dabashi

is a Hagop Kevorkian Professor for Iranian Studies and Comparative Science of Literature at Columbia University. Professor Dabashi taught at numerous universities in North America, Europe, the Arab world and in Iran.
So far he published 25 books such as Islamic Liberation Theology: Resisting the Empire (2008), Post-Orientalism: Knowledge and Power in Time of Terror (2009), The Arab Spring: The End of Postcolonialism (2012), Being a Muslim in the World (2013) and Can Non-Europeans Think (2015). Many of his publications were translated into different languages, such as Japanese, German, French, Spanish, Arabic, Turkish or Hebrew.

Helmut Krieger

is a social scientist and researcher at the Department of Development Studies at the University of Vienna as well as a consultant to the VIDC. His main research areas are the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, movements of political Islam in the Arab world, critical state theories and postcolonial theory. One of his most recent publications is Umkämpfte Staatlichkeit. Palästina zwischen Besatzung, Entwicklung und politischem Islam (2015).

Magda Seewald

has worked as a project manager at the VIDC since 2005. Her regional focus is the Middle East, in particular Palestine, where she also coordinates local projects. In this function she oversees the VIDC series on the Arab uprisings. Her other emphases include gender, gender and armed conflicts as well as engaging men and boys for gender justice. She graduated with a degree in Political Science from the University of Vienna.