Odile Kommer is a PhD candidate at the University of Vienna’s Department of Social and Cultural Anthropology and recipient of a DOC-team-fellowship of the Austrian Academy of Sciences at the Institute for Social Anthropology (ISA).
For her dissertation, Odile Kommer analyzes ethnonyms for and inter-ethnic relations between different minorities and “native” tribal or South Arabian groups mentioned in al-Hamdānī’s texts from the 10th century CE. This Yemeni scholar, called “the tongue of South Arabia”, wrote on a variety of topics ranging from South Arabian history, geography, and society to genealogy, mining, and the pre-Islamic past. The central question is how al-Hamdānī uses ethnonyms as conceptual tools in the construction of collective identities, negotiations of social hierarchies, and political struggles. This research is being performed in comparison to other temporal and spatial contexts, regionally and transregionally, within the DOC-team project “Ethnonyms by Comparison: An interdisciplinary Survey in Medieval Western Europe and Southwest Arabia”.
- Von „Söhnen“ und ihrem Erbe: Persische Minderheiten im mittelalterlichen Jemen, Jemen Report 47 (2016), 126-127.