Touching Language!

Postcolonial Knowledge Production, Language Practice and Arabic Studies in Germany

  • Christian Junge Arabic Studies (Philipps-Universität Marburg)
Keywords: academic language, postcolonial studies, Area Studies, knowledge production, Arabic Studies, Arabic as foreign language, Ethics, language pedagogy


This paper argues for using academic Arabic more actively in Arabic Studies in Germany. Based on an ongoing discussion at the Centre for Near and Middle Eastern Studies at the Philipps-Universität Marburg about the pros and cons of dealing more closely with academic knowledge production from the MENA region, this paper sheds light on the potentials of academic Arabic for non-native students and scholars. In the framework of postcolonial studies, it discusses linguistic, epistemic and ethic benefits of using academic Arabic in teaching and researching more actively and maps recent German initiatives to foster academic Arabic. As a conclusion, it calls for a close affective contact with Arabic: Daring to touch language and getting touched by language!

Author Biography

Christian Junge, Arabic Studies (Philipps-Universität Marburg)

Christian Junge is Assistant Professor at the at the Center for Near and Middle Eastern Studies at Philipps-Universität Marburg. His fields of research are affect and emotion theory, postmodern Egyptian literature, and academic Arabic in postcolonial theory. He is member of the Arab German Young Academy and co-director of the international summer school program “Arabische Philologien im Blickwechsel” (

How to Cite
Junge, C. “Touching Language!”. Middle East - Topics & Arguments, Vol. 13, Dec. 2019, pp. 22-29, doi:10.17192/meta.2019.13.8082.