Doctoral Candidate (Gotha Research Centre)

Office hours

nach Vereinbarung

Visiting address

Forschungszentrum Gotha der Universität Erfurt (FZG)
Schloßberg 2
99867 Gotha

Mailing address

Forschungszentrum Gotha der Universität Erfurt (FZG)
Schloßberg 2
99867 Gotha

Magdalena Fricke

Curriculum Vitae

July 2021
Research fellowship of the Evangelische Wittenbergstiftung (research stay at the Research Library of Reformation History, Wittenberg)

March-April 2021
Research fellowship of the Rolf and Ursula Schneider Foundation (research stay at the Herzog August Library, Wolfenbüttel)

June 2020-February 2021 
Scholarship of the Leibniz Institute for European History (IEG, Mainz).

Since March 2018 
Associate member of the graduate centre "History of Knowledge in the Modern Era", Erfurt Doctoral and Postdoctoral Programme (EPPP), Gotha Research Centre of the University of Erfurt

Since January 2017
PhD studies at the University of Erfurt, working title of the dissertation: "Theory and Practice of Subversive Textual Strategies in the Age of Enlightenment Using the Example of Gotthold Ephraim Lessing"

January 2016 - December 2016
Research Assistant with Prof. Dr. Daniela Elsner, German Linguistics, University of Leipzig

April 2014 - December 2016
Research assistant at the chair of Prof. Dr. Dieter Burdorf, Modern German Literature and Literary Theory, University of Leipzig

Studies of German Studies and History at the University of Leipzig (M.A.), title of the master thesis: "Lessing und die 'gefährlichen' Bücher. The rescue of the Inepti Religiosi and its unnamed author as a contribution to the public discourse of the 18th century"

German Studies and History at the University of Leipzig (B.A.), title of bachelor's thesis: "Die Umwortung aller Worte. Discomfort with language as a catalyst for poetic innovation in Christian Morgenstern".

2009-2010 Studium Generale at the Leibniz College Tübingen

Research Interests

  • Gotthold Ephraim Lessing
  • Religion and Literature
  • Theological Apologetics in the Early Modern Period
  • History of ideas of the 18th century

Project Description

Lessing's beginnings in the philosophy of religion

As early as 1753, in the early phase of his creative work, Gotthold Ephraim Lessing described religion as a particularly productive subject for writing. As he explains in the context of his early edition of his works, it had "already been for several years" the preoccupation of his "more serious muse". The planned study is devoted to this first phase of literary engagement with religion. It examines texts written between 1749 and 1753, in which the young author reflects on the tense relationship between Religion and Philosophy, Reason and Revelation, and in the process tries out ways of writing that take into account the special conditions of philosophical authorship.


Seminar "Lessings frühe Schriften" (University of Osnabrück, Summer Semester 2019) Seminar "Einführung in die Literary Studies am Beispiel Lessings" (University of Osnabrück, Winter Semester 2019/20) Seminar "Lessings Religionsphilosophie im Kontext" (University of Osnabrück, Summer Semester 2020)


Mental Gymnastics - Deceptive Forms in Lessing's Early Writings (October 6, 2019, German Studies Association 43rd Annual Conference, Portland/USA).

The Measurement of Crimes against Nature: Mylius' Reflections on Vivisection (April 30, 2022, Conference "Crimes against Nature" of the SFB 1385 Law and Literature, Münster).

Suspicion Made. Lessing's engagement with the religions of revelation in Saving the Here. Cardanus (30.06.2022, conference "Practices of Provocation. Writing and Argument Strategies in the Work of G.E. Lessing", Wolfenbüttel).


Conference Report: Lessing digital? Zur Bilanzierung und konzeptionellen Weiterentwicklung der Lessing-Editorik (Wolfenbüttel, March 10-12, 2020), in: Lessing Yearbook 47 (2020), pp. 179-185.

Heimliche Angriffe auf die christliche Religion: Johann Lorenz Mosheims Bestandsaufnahme subversiver Textstrategien, in: Florian Gassner, Nikola Roßbach (Hrsg.): Zensur vom 16. bis zum 18. Jahrhundert: Begriffe, Diskurse, Praktiken, Jahrbuch für Internationale Germanistik, Bd. 136, Bern 2020, S. 191–216.


International Conference "Practices of Provocation. Schreib- und Streitstrategien im Werk von G.E. Lessing", together with Hannes Kerber and Eleonora Travanti, organized by the Herzog August Bibliothek in cooperation with the Lessing-Akademie e. V., Wolfenbüttel 29.06-1.07.2022.