Florian Keller studied Islamic studies, history and philosophy in Hamburg, Amman, Beirut and Berlin. He holds a Master ́s in Islamic Studies from the Freie Universität Berlin. During his undergraduate studies he focused on non-European History and History of Ideas (Geistesgeschichte). His further interest in the field of Arab Thought developed during an exchange semester at the American University of Beirut. In his current research project he focuses on Contemporary Arab thought with a focus on the Maghreb, the western part of the Arab region.
On the Margins of History: (Post-)Marxist thought in the Maghreb after 1967
In his project Florian analyzes the influence of (post-)Marxist thought - first and foremost by the Italian thinker Antonio Gramsci – on Algerian, Tunisian and Moroccan intellectuals. When Maghrebi thinkers began to address the problems of “modernization” in the 1960s, Gramsci’s theories proved very inspirational. Moreover, by analyzing their own societies through the lens of Gramsci's ideas, Maghribi intellectuals gained a "provincialized" view of European history. Florian’s project will examine what motivations as well as historical and political conditions led Maghrebi Intellectuals to consider Gramsci relevant to their own context. In tracing Arab “Gramscianism,” Florian’s concern will not primarily be the search for differences between a given original text and its subsequent reception; rather, he intends to trace the migration and “entanglement” of key theoretical concepts between European and Maghrebi intellectual cultures and thus to contribute to the reconstruction of Arab, or more specifically, Western Arab political and historical thought in an age of global expansion.