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Indeß kann ich, wenn ich aufrichtig sein soll, dem Vorlesungenhalten selbst noch keinen rechten Geschmack abgewinnen; wäre man der Empfänglichkeit und einer gewissen vorbereitenden Fähigkeit bei den Studirenden versichert, so könnte ich überaus viel Interesse und Zweckmäßigkeit in dieser Art zu wirken finden. So aber bemächtigte sich meiner sehr lebhaft die Idee, daß zwischen dem Katheder und den Zuhörern eine Art von Schranke ist, die sich kaum übersteigen läßt. Man wirft Worte und Gedanken hin, ohne zu wissen und fast ohne zu hoffen, daß sie irgendwo fangen; fast mit der Ueberzeugung, daß sie von vierhundert Ohren vierhundertmal, und oft abenteuerlich mißverstanden werden. Keine Möglichkeit, sich wie im Gespräch an die Fassungskraft des Andern anzuschmiegen. Bei mir ist dies der Fall, noch mehr, da es mir schwer und ungewohnt ist, zur platten Deutlichkeit herabzusteigen. Die Zeit verbessert dies vielleicht — aber groß sind meine Hoffnungen doch nicht. Ich tröste mich damit, daß in jedem öffentlichen Amte immer nur der hundertste Theil der Absicht erfüllt wird.

Friedrich Schiller to Christian Gottfried Körner, May 28, 1789 [shortly after his first lecture as a university professor], in: Schillers Briefwechsel mit Körner. Von 1784 bis zum Tode Schillers, vol. 2, Berlin 1847, p. 102.

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After a long process, I have received the Baden-Württemberg Certificat for Didactics in Higher Education, awarded by the Center for Educational Development at Freiburg University.

My courses included a variety of topics, such as

  • dealing with a multicultural student body
  • student activating teaching methods
  • digital forms of learning assessment
  • techniques of conflict resolution

I am very grateful to the Center for Educational Development for their help and the opportunity to improve my teaching.

ll_hd

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In January of 2014, a group of colleagues from the Freiburg history department and I founded the ‘Reading Workshop History and Theory’ (Lektürewerkstatt Geschichte und Theorie). Its aim is to bring together scholars and students from all disciplines of the humanities with an interest in the theoretical basis of their respective fields.

Starting point was the observation that although the necessity to coordinate theoretical reflection and empirical research is often stressed, in practice the links between the two aspects are often neglected. The reading workshop confronts this weakness by providing an informal forum for rigorous discussion of the theoretical foundations of research in the humanities.

Two years onward, we have been discussing a wide variety of themes, such as:

  • Postcolonialism
  • Walter Benjamin
  • Niklas Luhmann
  • Spatial turn
  • Carl Schmitt
  • Actor-Network-Theory
  • Paul Ricœur
  • Max Weber
  • Michel Foucault
  • … and many others

Since this is a self-organized group and not an official teaching course, we are flexible with regard to themes, dates as well as to the form of discussion.

Anyone in the Freiburg area – from the first semester student up to the PhD and beyond – interested in joining is cordially invited to send an email to: geschichteundtheorie@gmail.com.

Our poster:

Poster1.LGT

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Summer break is coming to an end and soon the winter term will start again. As usual, I will be offering an intensive ‘Seminar’ course as well as a smaller ‘Übung’ or reading course.

The Fourth Estate: Press and Politics in Germany and France (1789-1914)

Whereas the constitutive role of the press in any well-functioning democracy stands beyond doubt today, at the same time its power in modern ‘mediocracies’ is often the target of criticism. The origins of this tension lie in the 19th century – when the press developed an unprecedented importance to political processes. In this seminar, these developments are traced from a comparative viewpoint, focusing on the French and German cases.

The Power of Language: Introduction to Historical Semantics

Since the emergence of the so-called ‘linguistic turn’ in the 1970s a variety of new theoretical and methodological approaches in the field of historiography have stressed the role of language not only as an indicator, but also as a factor in historical processes. This reading course offers an introduction to the different theoretical research models developped in this context as well as to their empirical results.

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Since my time in London at the German Historical Institute is slowly coming to an end, I’m starting to prepare for my teaching in the summer term in Freiburg. This time, I am offering two courses on different aspects of political history.

Politics from Below: Forms of Participation Beyond the Institutions (France and Britain, 1780-1914)

This seminar course deals with groups that remained excluded from the ‘authoritative’ political institutions (like women, workers, political fringe groups). It asks what strategies were available to them to participate in the political process nonetheless. The course also tries to determine the amount of success these different strategies could have, taking into account both the reactions of the wider public and establishment ‘countermeasures’.

Against Mob Rule and Government by Gabble: Left- and Right-Wing Criticism of Democracy in France and Germany (1870-1933)

In this reading course, we will look into the various traditions of French and German criticism of democracy before its collapse in the twentieth century. Considering the spectrum of anti-democratic positions at the end of the nineteenth and the beginning of the twentieth century from a double comparative perspective will allow us to better evaluate the nature and context of what is often reductively interpreted as a specifically German tradition of right-wing ‘forerunners to Hitler’.

007

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In the coming summer semester, I will be teaching two courses at Freiburg University.

 

One seminar course, titled:

Political Arenas: Parliamentary Cultures in the Long 19th Century in Comparison
(see the official website and the pearltree with links about this theme)

 

And a reading course:

A Small European Country: Introduction to Dutch History (1581-1914)
(see the official website and the pearltree with links about this theme)

Dutch History

 

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On December 2nd, I will present a lecture within the framework of a series titled “New Research in History”.

In this series, which is directed specifically at highschool teachers and students aspiring to become teachers, fifteen historians from Freiburg University present the current ‘state of the art’ in their respective fields of expertise. They ask which current developments in the academic historical discipline are such that they deserve incorporation into the history curricula at the highschool level. How has our understanding of history changed and how may this be reflected in history teaching?

My lecture will be concerned with the origins of modernity in the so-called ‘Sattelzeit’ era. Its title is:

Anfang der Moderne. Die ‚Sattelzeit‘ (ca. 1750-1850) in atlantischer Perspektive

(The Onset of Modernity. The ‘Sattelzeit’ (ca. 1750-1850) in Atlantic Perspective)

For more information, click here.
For the series’ program, click here.

 

Addition (February 10, 2014)

The powerpoint file of this presentation has been made available through the website and may be found here.

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