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Austrian Academy of Sciences
Institute for Social Anthropology

Alexander Weissenburger, MA MLitt.

Biography

Alexander Weissenburger holds an MLitt in Middle East, Caucasus and Central Asian Security Studies from the University of St Andrews and an MA in Islamic Studies from the University of Vienna. During his studies, Alexander travelled to several Middle Eastern countries and studied Arabic in Cairo for a year. He was an intern at the Austrian Institute for International Affairs and works currently at the Institute for Social Anthropology of the Austrian Academy of Sciences. His main research interests are Islamic mobilization and radicalization, Islamic religious and political thought as well as religious minorities of the Middle East. Alexander's PhD projects deals with the ideology of the Huthi movement.

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Publications & Activities

Articles

-‘The Massacre of Wādī Tanūma and the politics of its remembrance: From the Saudi Iḫwān to the Houthi Movement in Yemen’, Arabica, currently in peer-review.

-‘Al-Mawaddah al-Khālidah? - The Ḥūthī Movement and the Idea of the Rule of the Ahl al-Bayt in Yemen’s Tribal Society’, in Yemen’s Tribal Heritage: Tribes and Tribalism into the 21st Century, edited by Marieke Brandt, Vienna: Austrian Academy of Science Press, in print.

-‘Patterns of Migration in, from and to Yemen’: Refugee Outreach and Research Network, (RORn), Vienna, November 2018, http://www.ror-n.org.

-'Vague and Flexible: Explaining the Houthi Movement’s Resilience', Italian Insitute for International Studies (ISPI), March 2018, https://www.ispionline.it/en/pubblicazione/vague-and-flexible-explaining-houthi-movements-resilience-19928.

-'Die Yeziden', edited by Lea Müller-Funk et al., Kulturelle Schnittstelle Mesopotamien, Anatolien, Kurdistan. Geschichte. Sprachen. Gegenwart. Vienna 2014, Self-published by Department of Oriental Studies of the University of Vienna.

-'Das Königreich Himyar', edited by Stephan Procházka, Unterwegs in Saudi Arabien: Historische, Gesellschaftliche und Kulturwissenschaftliche Hintergründe. Vienna 2015, Self-published by Department of Oriental Studies of the University of Vienna.

Ecyclopedia Entries

-'Salafism', Conflict in the Modern Middle East: An Encyclopedia of Civil War, Revolutions, and Regime Change, ABC-CLIO, Santio Barbara (CA), 2020.

-'The Huthis', Conflict in the Modern Middle East: An Encyclopedia of Civil War, Revolutions, and Regime Change, ABC-CLIO, Santio Barbara (CA), 2020.

-'Zaydism', Conflict in the Modern Middle East: An Encyclopedia of Civil War, Revolutions, and Regime Change, ABC-CLIO, Santio Barbara (CA), 2020.

Reviews

-‘al-Salafiyya fi-l-Yaman: Madarisuha al-Fikriyya wa-Marj’iyyat al-‘Aqa’idiyya wa-Tahalufatuha al-Siyasiyya‘, review of the book by Ahmad Muhammad al-Daghshi, Chroniques du Manuscrit au Yemen, 7/26, 2018.

-'Leben für die Forschung. Das Ethnologenehepaar Wilhelm und Marie Hein in Südarabien (1901-1902)', review of the book by Gertraud Sturm, Wiener Zeitschrift für die Kunde des Morgenlandes (WZKM) 108, 2018.

-'Southwest Arabia across History. Essays to the memory of Walter Dostal', review of the book edited by Andre Gingrich and Siegfries Haas, Wiener Zeitschrift für die Kunde des Morgenlandes, 108, 2018.

-'The Land Bewteen', review of the documentary movie by David Fedele, Anthropology of the Contemporary Middle East and Central Eurasia (ACME), 4/2, 2018.

Invited Conference and Workshop Contributions:

-‘Yemen, current security development and impact on the MENA region’: presentation at a workshop of the George C. Marshall European Center for Security Studies at the Austrian National Defence Academy, Vienna, February 4th, 2020.

-‘Appropriating the Past: On the Use and Misuse of History in Yemen’s Current Crisis’: paper presented at The Roots of Yemen’s “Huthi” Movement: History, Memory, Continuity and Ruptures, Asutrian Academy of Sciences, Vienna, September 5, 2019.

- ‘Fatima and “the Mothers of the Martyrs”: The Huthi Movement and its Take on Gender Relations and the Role of Women in Society’: paper presented at Shi‘ite Islam and the Challenges of the Present Time, Czech Academy of Sciences, Prague, May 14, 2019.

-‘Der Konflikt im Jemen: Ideologische Aspekte und Hintergründe‘: presentation given for lecture Series Jour Fixe Nahost Aktuell, Vienna, Diplomatic Academy of Vienna, December 3, 2018.

-‘Religious Authority in a Tribal Society: The Idea of the Rule for the Ahl al-Bayt between Religious Ideal and Political Reality’: paper presented at Uses of the Past in Islamic Law (USPPIP), Exeter, September 29, 2018.

-‘Syria, Libya and Yemen, the Mena Crises’ Outcome. Towards Rome 2018’: Roundtable discussion Mediterranean Dialogue (MED), Moscow, September 18, 2018.

-‘The Role of Tribes in Huthi Framing’: paper presented at Workshop Yemen’s Living Heritage: Tribes and Tribalism into the 21st Century, Vienna, Institute for Social Anthropology of the Austrian Academy of Sciences, February 15, 2018.

Conference and Workshop Contributions:

-‘The return to purity: Husayn al-Huthi's ideas and their structural resemblance to Sunni fundamentalism’: paper at British Association of Islamic Studies (BRAIS) Conference, London, April 6, 2020. (cancelled due to COVID-19)

-Panel organiser and chair: ‘New Perspectives on an elusive conflict: A Multidisciplinary Approach to the Conflict in Yemen’: at British Society for Middle Eastern Studies (BRISMES) Conference, Canterbury, June 29-July 1, 2020. (postponed due to COVID-19)

-‘Between Alignment, Imitation and Autonomy: The Huthi Movement’s Ambiguous Relationship with Iran from an ideological Angle’: Paper at British Society for Middle Eastern Studies (BRISMES) Conference, Canterbury, June 29-July 1, 2020. (postponed due to COVID-19)

-‘The Ahl al-Bayt’s Return to Power: The Legitimation of Religious Rule in the Speeches of Husayn al-Huthi in the Context of the Current Crisis in Yemen’: paper read by Daniel M. Varisco Middle Eastern Studies Association (MESA) Conference, New Orleans, November, 16. 2019.

-‘The Concept of the Zaydi Imamate and its Role in Yemen’s Current Crisis’: paper presented at British Association of Islamic Studies (BRAIS) Conference, Nottingham, April 15, 2019.

-'The Massacre at Wadi Tanuma: Collective Memory and its use in Huthi Narratives': paper presented at World Congress for Middle Eastern Studies (WOCMES), Seville, July 17, 2018.

-'Conjuring up a Twelver Shi’ite Huthi Imam: Anti-Huthi Propaganda and the Narrative of the Sunni-Shia Conflict': paper presented at British Society for Middle Eastern Studies (BRISMES) Conference, London, June 25, 2018.

-Panel Chair: 'Panel Session 4, C- Shī`ism III: Imagined Pasts' at British Association of Islamic Studies (BRAIS) Conference, Exeter, April 10, 2018.

-'Framing the Huthi Movement as Twelver Shi’ites: Aspects of anti-Huthi Propaganda on the Internet': paper presented at British Association of Islamic Studies (BRAIS) Conference, Exeter, April 10, 2018.

-‘Pan-Islamism and the Concept of the Umma in the Lectures of Husayn al-Huthi’: paper presented at Peace and Conflict Studies in Anthropology (PACSA) Conference, Amsterdam, August 30, 2017.

-‘The Huthi Movement’s Framing of Localised Grievances in Terms of International Politics’: paper presented at British Society for Middle Eastern Studies (BRISMES) Conference, Edinburgh, July 7, 2017.

Teaching and other Lectures

Mai 4 and 18, 2020

University lectures held: ‘Salafism: History, Ideas and Forms’ and The Huthi Movement in Yemen as Example for Islamic Mobilisation in Sh’ism’ at lecture series ‘Religious Change and Fundamentalism in Islamic Regions in Africa and Asia’ at University of Vienna.

November 28, 2019

Lecture organised together with Médecins Sans Frontières: ‘The conflict in Yemen from a Humanitarian Angle: Perspectives from Doctors Without Borders’. At the Institute for Social Anthropology of the Austrian Academy of Sciences.

Summer term 2019

Lecturer University of Vienna, Department of Oriental Studies, MA-Seminar: The Arab World: Security and Political Perspectives

Summer term 2017

Arabic Lecturer at University of Vienna, Department of Oriental Studies

Media Appearances:

-Kurier: ‘Der vergessene Krieg’, interview, Dezember 2018.

-Ö1 Journal-Panorama: ‘Jemen - der blinde Fleck’, radio discussion, December 19, 2018.

-The Independent: ‘Yemen war: Who are the Houthis and why is Saudi Arabia fighting them?‘, interview, November 10, 2018

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