For best experience please turn on javascript and use a modern browser!

dr. R.A.F.L. (Robbert) Woltering

Faculty of Humanities
Capaciteitsgroep Semitische talen en culturen
Photographer: Bob Bronshoff

Visiting address
  • Spuistraat 134
  • Room number:
Postal address
  • Spuistraat 134
    1012 VB Amsterdam
  • Profiel

    Dr. R.A.F.L. Woltering

    Associate Professor Arabic Language and Culture


    Robbert Woltering (Alkmaar 1977) obtained his propaedeutics  in Oriental Languages and Communication (1996) from Maastricht University, before proceeding to study toward an MA in Arabic Studies (cum laude 2003) and an MSc in Political Science (2003) at the University of Amsterdam. He wrote his PhD under the supervision of Asef Bayat at the International Institute for the Study of Islam in the Modern World (ISIM), on the representation of the West in post-Cold War Egyptian non-fiction. He was awarded his doctorate at Leiden University in 2009. His PhD thesis was published by IB Tauris in 2011: Occidentalisms in the Arab World. Ideology and Images of the West in the Egyptian Media.

    Purchase this book

    Since 2010 he is Assistant Professor of Arabic studies at the University of Amsterdam. In 2012 he initiated the establishment of the Amsterdam Centre for Middle Eastern Studies (ACMES), which was inaugurated in November 2013. ACMES has since been active in organizing lecture series, inviting international key scholars to the UvA and securing external research funding for innovative research projects.

    Woltering’s publications range from the philological (research into the literary revival of Queen Zenobia in the 19th century Arabic novel) to a somewhat anthropological approach (e.g. his research into the Egyptian football ultras). Most of his work however is based on discourse analysis and falls within the area of contemporary Arabic ideological discourse and its relation to the West. He has also authored a general introduction to the Koran (in Dutch, with Michiel Leezenberg) and a guide to Egyptian architectural history (with Jorrit Kelder).


    Recent and current research projects are:

    Abd al-Wahhab al-Masiri (Elmessiri) and the perception of Judaism and Zionism in the Arab world, Forthcoming in the International Journal of Middle East Studies

    A study into the relevance of ‘post-Islamism’ in post-Mubarak Egypt, Welt des Islams.

    Pseudo-Arabic in Renaissance European art, Forthcoming.

    Perceptions of the West in Egypt after the Arab Spring

    A study into the political meaning of the Egyptian revolutionary Facebook page Kullina Khaled Said.


    Master in Middle Eastern Studies

    Robbert Woltering is the coordinator of the MA Middle Eastern studies. This is a one-year master programme open to students who have obtained a BA in the Humanities or the Social Sciences with a minor in Middle Eastern Studies. (Alternatively, they should be able to demonstrate that they have studied topics of relevance to Middle Eastern Studies, together totaling 30 ec.) The master is focused on the contemporary Middle East and offers an interdisciplinary approach with a range of courses hailing from Arabic studies, Religious studies, Political Science and Law. See the website of the Graduate School for the Humanities for more information.

    Informatie Midden Oosten Master

    Verschenen in 2010

    De koran voor beginners

    Robbert Woltering & Michiel Leezenberg

    'De koran voor beginners' wil de lezer een eerste inleiding geven op een veelbesproken maar weinig gelezen tekst. Het beschrijft hoe de huidige korantekst tot stand is gekomen, wat de belangrijkste discussies onder moslimgeleerden zijn over de juiste lezing ervan, en hoe de koran in de loop der tijden door gelovigen is gebruikt. Daarbij worden ookgevoelige kwesties, zoals de (on)gelijkheid van man en vrouw, (homo)seksualiteit en het gebruik van geweld tegen andersdenkenden of ongelovigenniet uit de weg gegaan. Zo biedt het een nuchtere kijk op eenbelangwekkende heilige tekst, en een helder inzicht in de zin en onzin van een langlopende discussie. Aanschaffen bij

    Onderwijs verzorgd in voorgaande jaren:   

    Arabische cultuurgeschiedenis, Arabische Literatuur, Wetenschapsfilosofie, Islam & Transnationalisme, Geschiedenis van het Moderne Midden-Oosten, Sociale & Politieke Ideologieën in de Islam, Islamitische Kunst & Architectuur, Koran, Occidentalisme, Inleiding regiostudies, Jihad.

  • Publications


    • Woltering, R. A. F. L. (2018). Encompassing Judaism: Elmessiri and the "Islamic Humanist" Self. International Journal of Middle East Studies, 50(2), 233-246. DOI: 10.1017/S0020743818000041  [details] 
    • Woltering, R. A. F. L., & Hamad, H. (2018). Télémaque, Tahtawi and the (Counter-) Enlightenment in the Arab World. International Journal for History, Culture and Modernity, 6(1). DOI: 
    • Woltering, R. A. F. L., & Riphagen, W. (2018). Tales of a Square: The Production and Transformation of Political Space in the Egyptian (Counter)Revolution. Arab Studies Quarterly, 40(2), 117.
    • Woltering, R. A. F. L., van den Bent, J. M. C., & Van de Wijngaert, L. (2018). Representations of the West in Post-Mubarak Egypt. In M. Del Fiol, & C. Mitatre (Eds.), Les Occidents des mondes arabes et musulmans. Afrique du nord. XIXe-XXIe siècles (pp. 225). Paris: Geuthner.
    • Abdulla, R., Poell, T., Rieder, B., Woltering, R. A. F. L., & Zack, E. W. A. (2018). Facebook polls as proto-democratic instruments in the Egyptian revolution: The ‘We Are All Khaled Said’ Facebook page. Global Media and Communication, 14(1), 141-160. DOI: 10.1177/1742766518760085 


    • Poell, T., Abdulla, R., Rieder, B., Woltering, R., & Zack, L. (2016). Protest leadership in the age of social media. Information, Communication & Society, 19(7), 994-1014. DOI: 10.1080/1369118X.2015.1088049  [details] 


    • Rieder, B., Abdulla, R., Poell, T., Woltering, R., & Zack, L. (2015). Data critique and analytical opportunities for very large Facebook Pages: Lessons learned from exploring "We are all Khaled Said". Big Data & Society, 2(2). DOI: 10.1177/2053951715614980  [details] 
    • Woltering, R., Abdulla, R., Poell, T., Rieder, B., & Zack, L. (2015). A Page and Its Politics: Situating Kullinā Khālid Saʿīd in Egypt’s Ideological Landscape at the Time of Revolution. Cyber Orient, 9(2). [details] 


    • Woltering, R. A. F. L. (2014). Post-Islamism in Distress? A Critical Evaluation of the Theory in Islamist-Dominated Egypt (11 February 2011-3 July 2013). Die Welt des Islams, 54(1), 107-118. [1]. DOI: 10.1163/15700607-00541P04  [details] 
    • Woltering, R. A. F. L. (2014). Zenobia or Al-Zabbāʾ: The modern Arab literary reception of the Palmyran protagonist. Middle Eastern Literatures, 17(1), 25-42. DOI: 10.1080/1475262X.2014.903047  [details] 
    • Woltering, R. (2014). Pseudo-Arabic. In L. Edzard, & R. de Jong (Eds.), Encyclopedia of Arabic Language and Linguistics Online Leiden: Brill. [details] 


    • Woltering, R. (2013). De oudheid onder Ummayaden en Abbasiden. Schetsen van de historische en ideologische context. Lampas, 46(3), 256-266. [details] 
    • Woltering, R. (2013). Unusual Suspects: "Ultras" as political actors in the Egyptian Revolution. Arab Studies Quarterly, 35(3), 290-304. [details] 


    • Woltering, R. (2011). Occidentalisms in the Arab world: ideology and images of the West in the Egyptian media. (Library of modern Middle East studies; No. 96). London: I.B. Tauris. [details] 


    • Woltering, R. A. F. L. (2009). 'Wanneer vergeet je nu eens dat ik een vrouw ben?' Leven en Nachleben van Zenobia, een Arabische koningin. Jaarboek voor Vrouwengeschiedenis, 29, 79-96, 204. [details] 


    • Woltering, R. A. F. L. (2007). Images of the West in Post-Cold War Egypt. In Orientalistik im 21. Jahrhundert Freiburg: Deutsche Morgenländische Gesellschaft.



    • Woltering, R. A. F. L. (2018). Just give money to poor people? Egyptian poverty alleviation strategies since 2014. Paper presented at WOCMES (World Conference on Middle East Studies), Seville, Spain.


    • Woltering, R., van den Bent, J., & van de Wijngaert, L. (2014). Beeldvormingen over het Westen in post-Mubarak Egypte. Amsterdam: Universiteit van Amsterdam, Amsterdam Centre for Middle Eastern Studies. [details] 


    • Woltering, R. A. F. L. (2010). Occidentalisme of beeldvorming over het Westen. Christen democratische verkenningen, 2010(2), 56-64.
    • Woltering, R., & Leezenberg, M. (2010). De Koran voor beginners. - 2e, herz. dr. Amsterdam: Bert Bakker. [details] 


    • Woltering, R., & Leezenberg, M. (2009). De Koran in een notendop. Amsterdam: Bakker. [details] 


    • Woltering, R. A. F. L. (2008). Arab Windows. In M. Wintle (Ed.), Imagining Europe. Europe and Earopean Civilization as Seen from its Margins and by the Rest of the World, in the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries (pp. 177). Bruxelles: Peter Lang.


    • Woltering, R. (2007). Egyptian Public Intellectuals and their 'Wests'. ISIM Review, 19, 42-43.


    • Woltering, R. A. F. L. (2003). Het nieuwe antisemitisme. Sociologische Gids, 50, 323-332.


    • Woltering, R. A. F. L. (2002). Huntington's ongelijk : geschiedenis van Ugandese moslims. Skript: historisch tijdschrift, 24(3).


    • Woltering, R. (2014). Geen pleinvrees: de Egyptische revolutie in sociaalwetenschappelijk perspectief [Bespreking van: J. Gunning, I.Z. Baron (2013) Why occupy a square? People, protests and movements in the Egyptian revolution]. Internationale Spectator, 68(6), 57-58. [details] 


    • Woltering, R. A. F. L. (2011). [Review of: H. Belting (2008) Florenz und Bagdad: eine westöstliche Geschichte des Blicks]. Bibliotheca Orientalis, 68(3-4), 427-430. DOI: 10.2143/BIOR.68.3.2136924  [details] 
    • Woltering, R. A. F. L. (2011). [Review of: N. Rabbat (2010) Mamluk history through architecture: monuments, culture and politics in medieval Egypt and Syria]. Bibliotheca Orientalis, 68(3-4), 430-433. DOI: 10.2143/BIOR.68.3.2136924  [details] 


    • Woltering, R. A. F. L. (2010). [Review of: S. Schiffer (2005) Die Darstellung des Islams in der Presse: Sprache, Bilder, Suggestionen: eine Auswahl von Techniken und Beispielen]. Bibliotheca Orientalis, 67(1-2), 240-242. DOI: 10.2143/BIOR.67.1.2052751 
    • Woltering, R. (2010). Oriëntalisme & Occidentalisme. Tussen exotisme, vooruitgangsdenken en kosmopolitisme. Simulacrum, 18(2/3), 30-33.


    • Woltering, R. A. F. L. (2008). [Review of: W. Mayer, P. Speiser (2007) A future for the past: restorations in Islamic Cairo 1973-2004]. Bibliotheca Orientalis, 65(3-4), 508-510. DOI: 10.2143/BIOR.65.3.2033379 


    • Woltering, R. A. F. L. (2004). [Bespreking van: L'islam mondialisé]. Sharqiyyat, (1).
    • Woltering, R. A. F. L. (2004). [Bespreking van: Occidentalism. The West in the Eyes of its Enemies]. Eutopia.


    • Woltering, R. A. F. L. (2002). Een Nieuw Amerikaans Sudanbeleid sinds Bush jr. Internationale Spectator, 56(11), 555-559.


    • Woltering, R. A. F. L. (2016). Islam as "a community of the middle". Paper presented at Conference Third Ways: The Politics of Moderation, Amsterdam, 22-11-2016 / 23-11-2016, .

    Media appearance

    • Woltering, R. (07-08-2018). BNR Nieuwsradio [Radio] BNR Nieuwsradio (spitsuur). Over de verzuurde Saudisch-Canadese relaties.
    • Woltering, R. (18-04-2018). BNR Nieuwsradio [Radio]. Reforms in Saudi Arabia.
    This list of publications is extracted from the UvA-Current Research Information System. Questions? Ask the library  or the Pure staff  of your faculty / institute. Log in to Pure  to edit your publications. Log in to Personal Page Publication Selection tool  to manage the visibility of your publications on this list.
  • Ancillary activities
    No known ancillary activities