The narrative construction of religious identities in German muslim fiction by authors from Iranian and Iraqi origin

Start - End 
2014 - 2018 (ongoing)
Research Focus 
Research Period 
Additional tags 
German literature
Intercultural studies



The 9/11-attacks and the war on terror have altered the perception of Islam in the West. Particularly those countries once associated with the rich history of Mesopotamia and Persia have become subject to an antagonizing discourse (cf. Axis of Evil) after the Iranian Revolution (1979), the Iraq-Iran War (1980-88) and the Gulf Wars (1990-91, 2003). The geopolitical instability of the region led to an influx of Iranian and Iraqi refugees to Germany, a country whose political ties with Iran and Iraq date back to the 19th century. Muslim fiction in German proliferated after 2001. German Muslim writers of Turkish descent have received critical attention, whereas writers of Iranian and Iraqi descent have remained outside the academic debate. Their specificity is that they belong to the smaller denomination of Shia Islam (vs. the larger Sunni current) and that their migration spawns from political rather than economic motives. My research project analyses religious practices and experiences of Islam as well as the narrative construction of religious identities in literary texts written in German, using a rhetorical and narratological approach.



Phd Student(s)