University of Erfurt

Profile of the Research Centre



The key competence of the Gotha Research Centre lies in the history of knowledge of the modern times. In this sense, we are interested in so called ‘high forms’ of knowledge (such as philosophy, scholarship or scientific knowledge) as well as in more basic and often less institutionally shaped kinds of knowledge which are rather based on experience (e.g. administrative knowledge, practical knowledge, laical knowledge); hereby our focus lies on the practices that characterize and give rise to certain kinds of knowledge. Besides knowledge in written form we also examine that of pictorial kinds – which is stored for instance in graphics or maps – as well as knowledge based on materialistic objects. Therefore, our research unifies a wide spectrum of questions and topics, ranging from classical history of ideas up to new approaches on the history of science and the history of scholarship. Furthermore, this wide range also covers a variety of other historical and cultural-scientific disciplines. The focus lies on the early modern period, dating from the 16th to the 18th century and corresponds with the collections of the Research Library.
Recent and contemporary history of the 19th and 20th century constitute another main topic, in connection with the Perthes collection which focuses on global interconnectedness. This includes geography as well as cartography. Regarding the methodological point of view our institution prefers source-oriented work that is based on cultural science and is accompanied by schooled and reflected research. The specific history of knowledge in Gotha is focused equally on practices and ideas as well as on geographical relations, visual media, materialistic objects and complexly entangled coherences of theories. At the same time, it aims to outline a new version of transdisciplinary history of knowledge and attach its empirical work to the collections of the Research Library.

Historical development of the Research Centre

Focus areas of research

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Organizational Structure

The Gotha Research Centre (FZG) is divided into:

a) Members,

b) Departments and Working Groups,

c) Directorate,

d) Academic Advisory Committeee

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All those who are closely linked to the Gotha Research Centre through their national or international work of academic research are eligible to become a member. Additionally, members are able to gain the status of a “Gotha Scholar” if they can demonstrate their profound interest in research that requires a long-term stay and intensive usage of the collections of the Research Library. Further information is provided in the -> Statute of the Research Centre, notably § 6.

Please send all applications regarding a membership or Gotha-scholarship to:

Forschungszentrum Gotha
Schloßberg 2
99867 Gotha

List of Members of the Research Centre

Departments and Working Groups

1. History of culture and knowledge during the early modern period (Administration: Prof. Dr. Martin Mulsow)

2. History of culture and knowledge during the 19th and 20th century (Administration: Prof. Dr. Iris Schröder)

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Prof. Dr. Martin Mulsow (Director of the Research Centre)

Prof. Dr. Iris Schröder (Deputy Director of the Research Centre)

Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Struck

Dr. Markus Meumann (Advisory Member and Academic Manager of the Research Centre)

Dr. Bernhard Schirg (Advisory Member)

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Academic Advisory Committee

All activities of the Research Centre are guided by an academic advisory committee that also takes a stand on all general affairs. It consists of internationally renowned academics as well as a number of regionally and transregionally active people. The deputy president responsible for research and the promotion of young academics of the University of Erfurt as well as the director of the Castle Friedenstein Foundation are also permanent members of the advisory committee. Further information is provided in the statute of the Research Centre, notably § 10.

The academic advisory committee consists of:

Prof. Dr. Jean-Marc Besse (Paris/France), Directeur de Recherche of the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS) at the Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne

Prof. Dr. Arndt Brendecke (Munich/Germany), Lehrstuhl für die Geschichte der Frühen Neuzeit at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München

Prof. Dr. Martin Eberle (Gotha/Germany), Direktor der Stiftung Schloss Friedenstein Gotha (Advisory Member)

Prof. Dr. Angelika Epple (Bielefeld) Professorin für Allgemeine Geschichte unter besonderer Berücksichtigung des 19. und 20. Jahrhunderts

Prof. Dr. Anthony Grafton (Princeton, NJ/USA), Henry Putnam University Professor of History at the Princeton University

Prof. Dr. Rebekka Habermas (Göttingen/Germany), Lehrstuhl Neuere Geschichte at the Georg-August-Universität Göttingen

Prof. Dr. Benedikt Kranemann (Erfurt) Vizepräsident für Forschung und Nachwuchsförderung der Universität Erfurt

Prof. Dr. Volker Leppin (Tübingen/Germany), Lehrstuhl für Kirchengeschichte at the Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen

Prof. Dr. Ulrich Raulff (Marbach/Germany), Direktor des Deutschen Literaturarchivs Marbach

Prof. Dr. Simon Schaffer (Cambridge/UK), Professor of the History and Philosophy of Science at the University of Cambridge

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Statute of the Gotha Research Centre

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