Opening Ceremony Erich Auerbach Institute for Advanced Studies

Prof. Dr. Kader Konuk, Director of the Academy in Exile and Head of the Institute for Turkish Studies at the Universität Duisburg-Essen, gave the keynote speech at the foundation conference of the Erich Auerbach Institute for Advanced Studies at the University of Cologne on May 16, 2022.

Please find the video of the keynote speech on YouTube here.
(German only)

For the more information about the event, please click here.
(German only)

Press Release: Artist-in-Residence Program

Inauguration of Academy in Exile’s Artist-in-Residence Program

The selection of three artists from the Philippines, Turkey, and Iraq marks the inauguration of Academy in Exile’s Artist-in-Residence Program in Berlin. The project is funded by Allianz Kulturstiftung. 

Out of a hundred applications from 38 countries, the International Jury selected the proposals of these three artists:

Liryc Dela Cruz (film),

Diren Demir (sound),

and Kani Kamil (visual arts). 

Find the complete press release here.

Press Release: Afghanistan Program

Academy in Exile is pleased to announce that The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation has awarded a grant to support Academy in Exile’s Afghanistan program. In October 2021, AiE received funding from the VolkswagenStiftung to initiate an Afghanistan program which provides Afghans working in the humanities, social sciences, law, journalism, and the arts, who are at risk because of their professional work and/or civic engagement in human rights, democracy, and the pursuit of free speech, with 24-month fellowships at AiE’s consortium partners—the Universität Duisburg-Essen, Freie Universität Berlin, Kulturwissenschaftliches Institut, and Forum Transregionale Studien. More than 2000 application inquiries demonstrated the acute need for additional support. 

Find the complete press release here.

Farewell Address of Chancellor Prof. Ulrich Radtke

In his farewell address to the Universität Duisburg-Essen, outgoing Chancellor Ulrich Radtke referred to Academy in Exile and the significant contribution made by the university to supporting exiled scholars.

Watch the complete video on YouTube here.

Public Statement

Academy in Exile has been trolled by politically-motivated parties.

Academy in Exile is committed to supporting scholars at risk and to advancing academic freedom. Academy in Exile adheres to the principles of good academic practice and the rule of law.

Legal action has been taken against libelous claims.

Prof. Dr. Vanessa Agnew

Universität Duisburg-Essen

Prof. Dr. Verena Blechinger-Talcott

Freie Universität Berlin

Prof. Dr. Volker M. Heins

Kulturwissenschaftliches Institut

Georges Khalil

Forum Transregionale Studien

Prof. Dr. Kader Konuk

Universität Duisburg-Essen

Fellows of the Academy in Exile

12-24 months


1 visiting professorship
36 months

emergency stipends
3 months


1 visiting professorship
12 months


Disciplines of Academy in Exile-Fellows


Social sciences






Political sciences






Media studies



Countries of Origin of Academy in Exile-Fellows
Current Academy in Exile Funding Recipients




Host Institutions

  • FU: 11
  • Forum: 4
  • KWI: 4
  • UDE: 1*

* 1 visiting professor

Former Academy in Exile Funding Recipients


visiting professor



visiting professor


Fellow Placement Record

33 Follow-on placements after the end of AiE funding:

22 in the tertiary education sector in Germany

5 in the tertiary education sector abroad

5 returned to home institutions; 1 retired; 1 started a business in Germany


What We Brought With Us – an ongoing exhibition by the Academy in Exile at the festival Re:Writing the future

What We Brought with Us is an exhibition of things people took when they fled persecution, suffering, and war. It is also a meditation on things people might take if they had to flee.

When people are forced from their homes, their things carry symbolic weight. They represent the human relations that constitute a settled life. Yet, things also stand for hope: they are a seed that must bear fruit in strange ground.

View the exhibition online here.

Re:Writing the Future is a digital festival focusing on artistic freedom, spaces of resilience and international solidarity over the course of several days. More information here.

Academy in Exile offers scholars who are threatened in their home countries because of their academic or civic engagement for human rights, peace and democracy the opportunity to resume their research abroad.

Academy in Exile provides a forum for reflecting on the pressing challenges to intellectual life, critical thinking, reason, social justice and diversity that are facing us today and that define the parameters of academy freedom.

Academy in Exile fellowships afford scholars the opportunity to continue their careers in Germany and to work on a research project of their own choosing in a multidisciplinary environment. Fellows contribute to and shape the research agenda and intellectual profile of the Academy generally.

Academy in Exile was founded in 2017 as a joint initiative of the Institute for Turkish Studies at the University of Duisburg-Essen, the Institute for Advanced Study in the Humanities (KWI) Essen and the Forum Transregionale Studien Berlin. The Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin and the Volkswagen Foundation provided the start-up funding. IIE-SRF and the Freudenberg Foundation granted further funding. Since early 2019, Academy in Exile hosts a new cohort of scholars at the Freie Universität Berlin with support from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.


Academy in Exile is based on a proven model that creates multidisciplinary cohorts of scholars around a unified theme, with the aim of enabling persecuted scholars to collaborate with each other. As of April 2022, a total of 56 scholars were awarded with long-term fellowships of 12 to 24 months or with short-term emergency stipends of three months.

Online courses

Online courses developed by Academy in Exile are being co-authored by scholars banished from academic life in their home countries. Across borders and disciplines, scholars collaborate to shape widely accessible, pioneering pedagogical tools for higher education. The first courses were offered online in 2019. All course videos can be accessed here.

Conferences and workshops

Academy in Exile creates public fora for the dissemination of its intellectual work. An inaugural international conference was held in October 18-19, 2018 at the Kulturwissenschaftliches Institut in Essen (KWI) on the topic of “Exile and Academic Freedom Today”. A diverse audience of scholars, students, and members of the public shared theoretical and personal insights into exile and reported on threats to academic freedom around the globe. The conference also created a particular synergy for identifying gaps in the existing support mechanisms for exiled scholars, and for discussing new models of support such as the one provided by Academy in Exile.  Click here for the conference program.

Academy in Exile hosted a second international conference on “Critical Thinking” on January 16 and 17, 2020 at Freie Universität Berlin. Click here for the conference program.

Academy in Exile’s third international conference on “The Unrecognized Genocide: Dersim 1937–1938” took place on November 18-20, 2021. Click here for the conference program.


Academy in Exile started a series with transcript to publish monographs and edited volumes, edited by Vanessa Agnew (Universität Duisburg-Essen/ The Australian National University), Kader Konuk (Universität Duisburg-Essen), and Egemen Özbek (Universität Duisburg-Essen). The first volume of the series entitled Refugee Routes is edited by Vanessa Agnew, Kader Konuk, and Jane O. Newman (University of California Irvine).