| Centre for Transcultural Studies, Faculty of Philosophy, Knowledge, Spaces, and Media, Research, Personalia

Philipp Meyer receives research award

For his dissertation "Kartographie und Weltanschauung. Visuelle Wissensproduktion im Verlag Justus Perthes 1890-1945" (Cartography and Worldview. Visual Knowledge Production at the Justus Perthes Publishing House 1890-1945) Philipp Meyer has now been awarded the research prize "Landesgeschichtlicher Forschungspreis für Industriekultur" 2021. The prize is endowed with 3000 euros.

Meyer's dissertation at the Professorship of History and Cultures of Spaces in Modern Times at the University of Erfurt deals with visual knowledge production at the Gotha publishing house Justus Perthes from 1890 to 1945. After all, maps are versatile media: they are used to develop resources, plan military operations, symbolize political demands, present scientific findings, and decorate homes. They always convey a certain view of the world, which is also shaped by the cartographers and their visual knowledge. In the analysis of maps, however, these protagonists of worldview production often fall into the background.

Philipp Meyer places Hermann Haack (1872-1966) and Paul Langhans (1867-1952), two extremely productive cartographers, at the center of his study. In the first half of the 20th century, both made their mark on the most renowned contemporary German publisher of cartographic products: Justus Perthes in Gotha. Using Haack and Langhans as examples, Meyer examines how, in the age of the colonial movement and nationalist discourses, völkisch and racist patterns of interpretation were visually translated in maps.

In doing so, the relationship between politics and cartography is illuminated with regard to the connection between economic publishing interests and the visual design of maps.

Philipp Julius Meyer is a historian specializing in the history of cartography and was a doctoral candidate at the professorship for History and Cultures of Spaces in Modern Times at the University of Erfurt. Since 2020, he has been a research employee at the Leibniz Institute for Regional Geography in Leipzig. His work has been published by Wallstein Verlag in 2021.


Although technical innovations and changes in the mode of production in Thuringia in the mid-19th century led to fundamental changes in the economy and society, which also affected people's lives and were accompanied by an increasing democratization of the political system, with visible consequences to this day, research has so far only marginally dealt with Thuringia's industrialization process and its effects. For this reason, the "Historische Kommission für Thüringen" (Historical Commission for Thuringia), together with the Thuringian State Chancellery 2021, had once again called for research into industrialization, industrial culture and social movements. The incentive was a state history prize offered in a public competition. It is intended to honor recent research in the field of economic and social history, industrial culture and related neighboring disciplines. The central criterion for the award-worthiness of the work is, in addition to its scientific relevance, a concrete reference to the Free State of Thuringia.