New publication by Vanessa Agnew, Kader Konuk, Jane O. Newman (eds.),
Refugee Routes: Telling, Looking, Protesting, Redressing

The displaced are often rendered silent and invisible as they journey in search of refuge. Drawing on historical and contemporary examples from Turkey, the Ottoman Empire, Iraq, Syria, UK, Germany, France, the Balkan Peninsula, US, Canada, Australia, and Kenya, the contributions to this volume draw attention to refugees, asylum seekers, exiles, and forced migrants as individual subjects with memories, hopes, needs, rights, and a prospective place in collective memory. The book’s wide-ranging theoretical, literary, artistic, and autobiographical contributions appeal to scholarly and lay readers who share concerns about the fate of the displaced in relation to the emplaced in this age of mass mobility.

Available here.
Available with open access here.

Volkswagen Foundation awards Academy in Exile a new grant

Volkswagen Foundation awards Academy in Exile a new grant. Our cohort will grow to 60 scholars, with more publications, online-courses, exhibitions, & archiving, moving AiE to the forefront of scholar rescue.

2021 CfA for fellowships at the Institute for Advanced Study in the Humanities (KWI) Essen and the Forum Transregionale Studien Berlin.

Fellows of the Academy in Exile


12-24 months


visiting professorship

36 months


emergency stipends

3 months


visiting professorship

12 months


39fellowships granted

Disciplines of Academy in Exile-Fellows


Social sciences






Political sciences






Media studies



* includes 2 visiting professors

Current Academy in Exile Funding Recipients





visiting professor


Host Institutions

  • FU: 6
  • Forum: 5
  • KIWI: 2
  • UDE: 2*

* 1 fellow & 1 visiting professor

Former Academy in Exile Funding Recipients





visiting professor


Fellow Placement Record

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

15 in the tertiary education sector in Germany

2 in the tertiary education sector abroad

2 returned to home institutions; 1 retired

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 July 2020, a total of 39 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 of these courses came on line in 2019; additional courses will follow in 2020.

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.

A third international conference is planned for 2021.

“Exile Lounge” is an internal discussion forum for Academy in Exile members located at the Kulturwissenschaftliches Institut Essen to workshop papers, articles, and work-in-progress. This interdisciplinary workshop series supports fellows in sharing their research with the scholarly community in Essen and beyond. A similar format exists for Academy in Exile fellows of the Critical Thinking Program at Freie Universität Berlin. Fellows meet weekly to discuss their scholarship, share ideas, network, and provide mutual support.


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