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Kristine Chalyan-Daffner, Dr.


Kristine Chalyan-Daffner, Dr.

Contact information

+49 (0) ‎17631029039

About Kristine Chalyan-Daffner

Kristine Chalyan-Daffner completed her PhD within the project of the Junior Research Group A6 "Cultures of Disaster". She wrote her thesis in the field of Islamic Studies under the supervision of Professor Gerrit Jasper Schenk and Professor Susanne Enderwitz. Her study examined the socio-cultural history of ‎‎“natural” disasters such as earthquakes, ‎floods and droughts in Egypt during the Mamluk era (1250-‎‎1517). The research focused on the interpretation and impact of disasters. Apart from her research, her professional interests involve activities in the sphere of multilinguism, Public and International Law.

Academic Activities 

Papers Held


23-25 March “Socio-Cultural Attitudes to the Flooding of the Nile (13th-16th centuries)”, 16. Symposium des Mediävistenverbandes: Gebrauch und Symbolik des Wassers in der mittelalterlichen Kultur,  Bern


March 26‎ "Natural Disasters in Medieval Arab Divination", International Conference ‎Organized by A6, Cluster of Excellence “Asia and Europe in a Global ‎Context” in Cooperation with Orient Institute Beirut, ‎Lebanon


July 7 ‎"Natural Disasters in the Medieval Arabic Literature: Plurality and ‎Transculturality of Meanings", Colloquium: Department of Languages and ‎Cultures of the Near East, Heidelberg University

June 24‎ "Disasters in Mamluk Egypt", Seminar Organised by A6: New Research Approach on “Cultures ‎of Disaster”/ Socio-cultural Coping with Catastrophes, Heidelberg University

January 16 "Natural Disasters in Mamluk Era (1250-1517): Perceptions, Interpretations ‎and Human ‎‎Responses", Workshop Organized by A6, Heidelberg University

Conferences / Workshops


November 15‎ "The Series of Earthquakes in Tübingen in 1655 — Methods and Problems of ‎Historical Seismology", Workshop Oragnised by A6 and held by Martin Hoenisch und Konrad Schellbach (Potsdam), Heidelberg

May 21-22 Organisation of the Workshop ‎"The End of the World that Never Came" and Key Lecture on "Reports of a Volcano Eruption in Western Arabia in the Year 1256AD" held by Professor George Saliba (Columbia University), Heidelberg

March 25-27‎ Organization of the Conference "Hybridity of Historical Disasters. ‎Nature, Society and Power" in Cooperation with Orient ‎Institute Beirut, Lebanon


December 18 Organisation of the Workshop Held by Sarah Schmitz (Halle-Wittenberg) "Nomads and Sedentary People in Times of Disaster: Demography, Resources ‎and Power in Egypt due to the Plague of 748/1347", Heidelberg

December 7-11‎ Participation at the International Symposium in ‎Athens "The Development of Citizenship in a Transcultural Context", ‎Project A11, Cluster of Excellence “Asia and Europe in a Global Context,” Heidelberg 

December 3-5‎ "Europe and the Mediterranean World. Learning from Disaster in Premodern ‎Times: Knowledge and Experience, Flow and Blockage", Workshop ‎Organized by A6, Heidelberg

July 23-25‎ ‎"(Hi-)Stories of Crises. ‘Crisis’ as Key Concept and Narrative Pattern in the ‎Perspective of Cultural Studies", Interdisciplinary Conference at Karl Jaspers ‎Centre, Organized by A6 in Cooperation with the Department of History, ‎Heidelberg

July 13-16‎ "Objects on the Move – Circulation, Social Practice and Transcultural ‎Intersections", Summer School 2009 of the Cluster of Excellence “Asia and Europe ‎in a Global Context”, Heidelberg 

June 18-20‎ The 5th KatNet-‎Conference on "Vulnerability and Resilience in Development Context", Disaster Research Centre of the Institute of Social Sciences of ‎Christian-Albrecht University in Kiel

January 16‎ "Cultures of Disaster. Concepts and Research", Workshop Organized by A6, Heidelberg


Curriculum vitae


2013 PhD in Islamic Studies, Cluster of Excellence “Asia and Europe in a Global Context”, Heidelberg University

2005-2008 Master’s Degree in Islamic Studies, Public Law and English Philology, Heidelberg University

2002-2005 Oriental Studies, English Philology and Public Law, University of Kiel

1995-2000 Diploma, Specialist of the English and German Languages, Yerevan State Linguistic University

1985-1995 Russian Secondary School in Yerevan

Academic Career

2006-2007 Research Assistant at the Collaborative Research Center 619 "Ritual Dynamics", Socio-Cultural Processes from a Historical and Culturally Comparative Perspective, Heidelberg University

2005-2006 Student Assistant in the Institute of Languages and Cultures of the Near East, Heidelberg University

2004-2005 Student Assistant in the Department of Oriental Studies, University of Kiel


Since 2013  Teacher of German and Russian at F+U Academy of Languages, Heidelberg

Since 2010 Publicly Appointed and Legally Recongnized Translator and Interpreter of the Armenian and Russian languages in Baden-Wuerttemberg, Germany

2003-2004 Tutor of English in the Private Language School in Kiel

2001 Administrative Assistant of the Deputy Minister of Culture, Youth Affairs and Sports of the Republic of Armenia

2000-2001 Tutor of English at State Institute for Advanced Skills in Informatics in Yerevan

1998-2001 Regional Project Coordinator at Armenian Children’s Fund in Yerevan


11/2008-04/2012 Scholarship from the German Research Foundation (DFG) at the Cluster of Excellence “Asia and Europe in a Global Context”, Heidelberg University

2009-2010 Research Stays in Cairo, St. Petersburg, Berlin and Paris

07/-08/2007 European Department, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Republic of Armenia

2006 Summer School at Oxford Brookes University

09/-10/2005 Orient Institute in Beirut

02/-03/2005 Refugee Council of Schleswig-Holstein in Kiel

2003-2005 Association for Political Education in Kiel


“Ritual Purity in Islam”, Heidelberg University
“Ritual Transfer among Marginalized Religious Groups in Islamic Societies of the Near East and in the Diaspora”, Heidelberg University 


Armenian, Russian, German, English, French, Arabic, Turkish

Selected publications

Natural Disasters in Mamlūk Egypt (1250-1517): Perceptions, Interpretations and Human Responses, Dissertation, Heidelberg University 2013, archiv.ub.uni-heidelberg.de/volltextserver/17711/

"Natural" Disasters in the Arabic Astro-meteorological Malḥama Handbooks, in Historical Disaster Experiences. A Comparative and Transcultural Survey between Asia and Europe, Gerrit Jasper Schenk (ed.), Heidelberg (Springer), forthcoming.

Hybridity of Historical Disasters. Nature, Society and Power, Publication with Eleonor Marcussen, in H-Soz-u-Kult, 06.05.2010, Conference in Orient Institute Beirut, 25-27.03.2010, http://hsozkult.geschichte.hu-berlin.de/tagungsberichte/id=3102 and  in AHF-Information, Nr.084, 2010, http://www.ahf-muenchen.de/Tagungsberichte/Berichte/pdf/2010/084-10.pdf  http://www.ahf-muenchen.de/Tagungsberichte/Berichte/pdf/2010/084-10.pdf

Identity, Subalternity and Citizenship, with Eleonor Marcussen and Sarah Lüdecke, in The Development of Citizenship in a Transcultural Context, Research Area A 11, Symposium in Athens, 07.12-11.12. 2009, pp. 29-31.

Vulnerability and Resilience in Development Context, in H-Soz-u-Kult, 26.10.2009, http://hsozkult.geschichte.hu-berlin.de/tagungsberichte/id=2831

Cultures of Disaster. Concepts and Research, Publication with Julia Itin in H-Soz-u-Kult 01.05.2009, http://hsozkult.geschichte.hu-berlin.de/tagungsberichte/id=2591