Since October 2012 Martin van Gelderen is professor for European Intellectual History at the University of Göttingen. He was assistant professor at the TU Berlin (1989-1994) and Professor of Intellectual History at the University of Sussex (1995-2003). In 2003 he returned to his alma mater, the European University Institute (EUI), Florence, where he had obtained his PhD in 1988. Between 2003 and 2012 he was Professor of European Intellectual history at the EUI. During the last three decades the combination of academic management and research has been characteristic for his career. He was Director of the Graduate Research Center in the Humanities at Sussex, Dean of Graduate Studies at the EUI (from 2008 until 2012) and director of the Lichtenberg-Kolleg, the Göttingen Institute for Advanced Study in the Humanities and Social Sciences. In terms of scholarship the emphasis has been on the history of political and religious thought, in particular on European traditions of republicanism and on debates on religious toleration. He has been working on a new scholarly edition of the diaries of Anne Frank since 2013. The Dutch editio princeps and a number of translations are forthcoming. Research plans for the years to come include a new English edition and translation of Hugo Grotius, De Iure Belli ac Pacis/The Laws of War and Peace for the series Cambridge Texts in the History of Political Thought and the monograph Between Erasmus and Rembrandt: Visual and Textual Debates on Republican Politics.

Selected Recent Publications

  • ‘Der Sonntag der Lebens. Deutsche und niederländische Debatten über Rembrandts Bilder des jüdischen Alltags’ in: Ivan Gaskell and Martin van Gelderen (eds.), Rembrandt. Göttingen: Göttinger Verlag der Kunst (forthcoming).
  • 'Greek, Patristic and Roman Legacies: Hugo Grotius and the Freedom of Will’ in: Hannah Dawson, Annelien de Dijn (eds.), Rethinking Liberty Before Liberalism, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2022, pp. 38-59.
  • 'Über Krieg, Gewalt und Tyrannei: Die Bilder des niederländischen Aufstandes von Bruegel bis Goltzius (1558-1590)‘ in: Ivan Gaskell and Martin van Gelderen (eds.), Sturm der Bilder: Bürger, Moral und Politik in den Niederlanden, 1515-1616, Göttingen: Göttinger Verlag der Kunst, 2016, pp. 57-86.
  • ‘Hot Protestants: Predestination, the Freedom of Will and the Making of The Modern European Mind’ in: Gijsbert van den Brink, Harro Höpfl (eds.), Calvinism and the European Mind, Leiden: Brill, 2014, pp. 131-154.
  • Quentin Skinner and Martin van Gelderen (eds.), 2013. Freedom and the Construction of Europe, two vols., Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.


Dr. Kora Baumach

Nach dem Studium der Germanistik, Ethnologie und Romanistik in Göttingen und der Promotion als Stipendiatin der Rosa-Luxemburg-Stiftung an der FU Berlin, arbeitete ich von 2012 bis zu seiner Schließung 2021 am Lichtenberg-Kolleg, dem Institute for Advanced Study der Universität Göttingen. Mit Eröffnung des Moritz-Stern-Instituts der Philosophischen Fakultät habe ich dort die stellvertretende geschäftsführende Leitung übernommen. Neben der Betreuung der am Institut arbeitenden Gastwissenschaftler*innen koordiniere ich die Zusammenarbeit mit anderen Abteilungen und Institutionen der Universität und arbeite administrativ.

Veröffentlichungen (Auswahl)

  • Wahrnehmung von Gewalt. (Erzwungenes) Verschwinden bei Marcelo Figueras und Uwe Timm, in: Martina Kopf/Sascha Seiler (Hgg.), Komparatistische Blicke auf Lateinamerika und Europa, Heidelberg 2016, S. 119-132.
  • Standorte. Westdeutsche und lateinamerikanische Autoren im Wechselspiel politischer und ästhetischer Konstellationen, Berlin 2011, online.
  • Kontroverse Geschichtsbilder: Mario Vargas Llosas Strategie fiktionaler Erinnerungspolitik, in: Anne Ebert u.a. (Hg.), Differenz und Herrschaft in den Amerikas. Repräsentationen des Anderen in Geschichte und Gegenwart, Bielefeld 2009, S. 271-282.
  • Fremdheit in der Fremde. García Márquez' Doce cuentos peregrinos, in: Kora Baumbach u.a. (Hg.), Strömungen. Politische Bilder, Texte und Bewegungen. Neuntes DoktorandInnenseminar der Rosa-Luxemburg-Stiftung, Berlin 2007, S. 45-62.
  • Literarisches going native: Zu Uwe Timms Roman Morenga, in: Frank Finlay/Ingo Cornils (Hgg.), „(Un)-erfüllte Wirklichkeit“. Neue Studien zu Uwe Timms Werk, Würzburg 2006, S. 92-112.
  • Verdrängte Kolonialgeschichte. Zu Uwe Timms Roman Morenga, in: Monatshefte für deutschsprachige Literatur und Kultur, Special Issue: Integrität, hg. v. Andrea Albrecht/Horst Turk, Summer 2005, Volume 97, Number 2, S. 213-231.

Service und Support für internationale Wissenschaftler*innen

Heidemarie Hopf



Jonas Gerlings

Jonas Gerlings is an intellectual historian of the Enlightenment with an emphasis on the Baltic Sea Region and its global contexts. In 2017 he received his PhD in Intellectual history from the European University Institute for a thesis on Immanuel Kant. He is currently a Marie Curie Global Fellow at the University of Göttingen and a recent Visiting Senior Research Associate at the Neubauer Collegium at the University of Chicago.

His project “Kant, a Cosmopolitan in Königsberg” examines Immanuel Kant's cosmopolitanism in the light of his lectures on Geography and Anthropology. Despite the immense interest in Kant’s cosmopolitanism there is still no comprehensive historical study of his lectures on geography and their role in his political philosophy. Until today, Kant’s cosmopolitan vision has largely been equated with an idea of cosmopolitan law formulated in his essay on Perpetual Peace. Despite its central place in the canon of political thought its present adaptation has often overshadowed a proper historical understanding of Kant’s cosmopolitan vision. Recent postcolonial critics have alluded to the Lectures on Physical Geography and his Pragmatic Anthropology as the proper historical context for understanding Kant’s cosmopolitan law, suggesting that his global order does not simply rest on universal values but is rather historically and geographically rooted in a European centre with an imperialistic agenda. The main hypothesis of the project is that Kant’s theory of cosmopolitan law is both informed by and displays an inherent criticism of the colonial thought expressed in his geography lectures. To reassess the post-colonial criticism, the project introduces a novel method of analysis into the field of Kant Studies, reconstructing the spatial dimension of Kant’s cosmopolitan vision. This allows for a proper historical understanding of the lectures as an active engagement with the inclusion of Königsberg in world society, and hence as a way of problematizing and criticizing the increasing globalization of Königsberg.


Brian Kjær Olesen

An historian by training, my main research interests lie in early modern and Enlightenment political thought and intellectual history. My research, thus far, has focused on two fields of study, the first of which concerns the history of Scandinavian and European monarchies in the early modern period. What particularly interests me in this context are the changing perceptions amongst monarchists and republicans alike of the nature and scope of monarchical power, not least in relation with questions about freedom. What how they were justified and repudiated by monarchists and republicans. My second field of research concerns the intellectual history of the Enlightenment in Scandinavia, focusing especially on the moral, religious, and political thought of the Danish-Norwegian writer Ludvig Holberg, one of the pioneering figures of the early northern Enlightenment.

As a Marie Skłodowska-Curie Fellow at the Moritz Stern Institute, University of Göttingen, I will be researching a project entitled “REFORMARCHY: The Reforming Spirit in the Age of Revolutions: The Counts of Bernstorff, Commercial Monarchy, and the Invention of Modern Liberty”. A study of enlightened reform in eighteenth-century Denmark, the project focuses on two reform-minded Hanoverian counts, who served as chief ministers to the Danish monarchy, that is, Johann Hartwig Ernst von Bernstorff (1712-1772) and his nephew Andreas Peter von Bernstorff (1735-1797). Through a detailed study of the personal, professional, and intellectual networks of the Counts of Bernstorff, the project reconstructs a series of entanglements and exchanges between Copenhagen, Geneva, and Göttingen in the eighteenth century. In so doing, the project aims to elucidate the economic and political ideas that shaped the reform programme of the Bernstorffs and their European connections, and to recover their main contribution to Enlightenment thought, that is, their vision of modern liberty in a commercial monarchy.

  • Francesca Antonini
  • Martin Gierl
  • Alexander Jordan
  • Deniz T. Kılınçoğlu
  • Avi Lifschitz
  • Matthijs Lok
  • David Meola
  • Alexandre Mendes Cunha
  • Kelsey Rubin-Detlev
  • Frank van Vree