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Prof. Dr. Esther Möller

Affiliated scholar
Room: 03-09, Diether-von-Isenburg-Str. 9-11, 55116 Mainz (Besucheranschrift)
Phone: +49 6131 39 39486
Fax: +49 6131 39 21050


Personal Details:

Born 1977 in Bielefed; 1999-2005 studies of History and French at the Universities of Mainz and Dijon in the context of a binational study program; 2005 Maîtrise d’Histoire and First State Examination in History and French; 2005-2006 Instructor for adult education; 2007-2010 PhD studies in Intercultural Humanities at Jacobs University Bremen; since 2010 Research Fellow at the Leibniz-Institute of European History; since 2011 visiting lecturer at the department of History at the university of Mainz; since 2013 applicant and one of the spokespersons of the scientific network “Dynamiken interkultureller Begegnungen” (Dynamics of Intercultural Encoutners), funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG); since 2013 member of the network “Forum Interkulturelle Frankreichforschung” (Forum of intercultural research on France) at the university of Mainz; since 2015 project leader of a Research Project on the Red Crescent at the IEG (together with Ceren Aygül). Since April 2020, she has been Professor of Modern and Contemporary Cultural History of North Africa at the University of the German Armed Forces in Munich. In 2021, she habilitated in Modern History at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz. In the academic year 2022-2023, she will hold the Alfred Grosser Visiting Professorship at the Institut d'Études Politiques ("Sciences Po") Paris.


DAVO (German Middle East Studies Association for Contemporary Research and Documentation)
ENIUGH (European Network in International and Global History)
VHD (Association of German Historians)

Research Interests:

Transnational history/entangled history/global history
History of the Middle East
History of France
History of humanitarian aid
Civilizing missions
History of education
Cultural encounters

Selected Publications:

(together with Julia Hauser und Christine B. Lindner) (eds.): Entangled Education. Foreign and Local Schools in Ottoman Syria and Mandate Lebanon (19th-20th Centuries), Würzburg: Ergon, 2015 (Beiruter Texte und Studien 137). (i.E.)
Humanitarismus ohne Grenzen? Die Rotkreuz- und Rothalbmondbewegung im Israel-Palästina-Konflikt 1948/1949, in: Geschichte in Wissenschaft und Unterricht 66, 2015, H. 1/2 (Special Issue on Human Rights and Humanitarianism), p. 61-77.
Orte der Zivilisierungsmission. Französische Schulen im Libanon 1909-1943, Göttingen : Vandenhoeck und Ruprecht, 2013.
(together with Johannes Wischmeyer) (eds.): Transnationale Bildungsräume. Wissenstransfers im Schnittfeld von Kultur, Politik und Religion, Göttingen: Vandenhoeck und Ruprecht, 2013.
Zwischen Zivilisierungsmission und Selbstdarstellung: Französische Schulen im Libanon und die Pariser Kolonialausstellung 1931, in: Kunkel, Sönke; Meyer, Christoph (eds.), Aufbruch ins postkoloniale Zeitalter, Frankfurt/Main: Campus, 2012, p. 233-250.
Elites as the Least Lommon Denominator: The Ambivalent Place of French Schools in Lebanon in the Process of Decolonization, in: Dülffer, Jost; Frey, Marc (eds.), Trajectories of Decolonization, London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2011, p. 94-109.
Clientélisme, concurrence ou coopération? Les écoles de la Mission laïque française face aux écoles israélites au Liban entre 1909 et 1943, in: Bocquet, Jérôme (eds.), L’enseignement français en Méditerranée. Les missionnaires et l’Alliance israélite universelle, Rennes: Presses Universitaires de Rennes, 2010, p. 149-165.

Research projects:

Engaging Europe in the Arab World – European missionaries and humanitarianism in the Middle East (1850–1970)

From 2015 to 2018, the IEG was involved in the transnational European network "Engaging Europe in the Arab World - European Missionaries and Humanitarianism in the Middle East, 1850-1970", funded by the Dutch Research Foundation NWO and coordinated at Leiden University (Netherlands). 

In Search for a New International Humanitarian Orgainsation: The Egyptian Red Crescent (1882–1956)

Esther Möller's habilitation project deals with the history of humanitarian aid in the Middle East from an Arab and especially Egyptian perspective. Building on archives from Cairo, Geneva, London, Paris and Beirut, it asks about specifically Arab discourses and practices of humanitarian aid in central conflicts of the Middle East in the second half of the 20th century. The habilitation project was completed in 2021.

The Ottoman Red Crescent and Its Relation with The International Red Cross Movement, 1911–1927

The project from Ceren Aygül is searching for the similarities and differences between Non-Western and Western societies in order to understand humanitarianism from a global perspective. The great variety of historical sources on the Ottoman Red Crescent will offer new insights not only into important political and social processes within the Ottoman society, but also on early moments of global internationalism.

The Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement as a humanitarian actor

By analyzing the Red Crescent Societies’ humanitarian engagement in the Middle East and beyond the Research projects opens new perspectives on hitherto neglected figures of humanitarian aid in the 20th Century.