The Herzog-Ernst-Scholarship Programme

The Herzog-Ernst-Scholarship Programme of the Fritz Thyssen Foundation at the Research Library Gotha and the Gotha Research Centre of Erfurt University

Applications Due: 15 October 2016

The Gotha Research Centre is an internationally renowned research institute of the University of Erfurt, maintaining close ties to the Gotha Research Library. Our main objective is to conduct and facilitate international interdisciplinary research projects in the field of cultural and intellectual history of the modern period. A large part of our research is closely related to the remarkable holdings of the adjacent Research Library housed in Gotha’s Friedenstein Castle. Current research projects include e.g. work on European Orientalism in the seventeenth century, natural history, history of cartography of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, and on the Order of the Illuminati of the Late Enlightenment. In addition, the Research Centre offers a rich programme of (guest) lectures, conferences, and colloquia. Our goal is to serve as a platform where scholars from all over the world can conduct research and discuss their ideas and work in progress in a challenging and congenial atmosphere.

The Scholarship Programme

1. Content and direction of the scholarship

The research support programme for visiting academics of the Herzog-Ernst-Scholarship aims to promote academic research through the use of the resources of the Research Library Gotha and of the associated historic collection of the Justus Perthes Gotha Publishing House as well as collections held by the Schloss Friedenstein Trust. The academic orientation of the scholarship programme is intended to carry on the universal spirit of the library itself and its diverse resources. In this sense, the programme possesses an open thematic and disciplinary character. Still, the following focal points are emphasized and applications should reflect the clear-cut fields of the Research Library:

  • The Ducal court in Gotha as an example for German and European court culture
  • History of publishing and book trade
  • History of science and cultures of knowledge as global history, history of transfer, and entangled history, 16th to 20th century
  • History of European literature, particularly 16th to early 19th century
  • Early Modern and 19th-century study of Classical religions, history of Protestantism, and Islam
  • Philosophy and history of the German and European Enlightenment
  • Heterodoxy, dissidence, and subversion
  • History of the humanities, e.g. numismatics, oriental studies, philology
  • History of natural science, e.g. alchemy, astronomy, and botany
  • The history of spatially oriented disciplines, 16th to 20th century, e.g. ethnology, geology, geography, and statistics
  • History of cartography and imperial history
  • Cartography and “critical geopolitics”
  • History of objects and the historical study of material culture

Also available for researchers are the holdings of the Thuringian State Archive of Gotha, which is located in the Perthes-Forum. In addition to this, the collection of medieval and early modern manuscripts, and early prints at the Bibliotheca Amploniana and other historical collections at the university library in Erfurt offer a valuable addition to the Gotha holdings. The collections at the Herzogin Anna Amalia Library in nearby Weimar are also readily available.

2. The conditions of the scholarship

For academic engagement with the resources held in Gotha, research scholarships for Ph.D. students will be awarded for periods of up to nine months (€ 1,100 per month) and postdoctoral scholarships for up to six months (€ 1,600 per month), starting on 1st February 2017.

Senior scholars are invited to apply for a Hiob Ludolf-Fellowship (a monthly grant of up to € 1,200 for one or two months to help cover travel and boarding expenses). The Research Centre is particularly happy to receive applications by female scholars. In the case of visiting scholars with children we are happy to assist in finding appropriate child care.

Applications for the scholarship can be made under the heading “Herzog-Ernst-Scholarship of the Fritz Thyssen Foundation” until 15th October 2016. Applications are accepted in German and English.

Please note: German language skills are not necessarily a requirement for admission into the programme.

For more details, please see the programme website.


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