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International Research Fellowship Program IRF 2012

In winter 2011, the Dahlem Humanities Center published a Call for Applications for the IRF 2012, an international fellowship program for postdoctoral researchers from the humanities. The program is designed to support the career of distinguished postdoctoral students, and to facilitate cooperations between Freie Universität and international researchers from selected partner organizations, which are:

  • Columbia University
  • Johns Hopkins University
  • The University of Chicago
  • The Chinese University of Hong Kong
  • University of Cambridge
  • Scuola Normale Superiore di Pisa
  • École des hautes études en sciences sociales.

The program is open to projects from all disciplines of the humanities and offers funding for the maximum of six months.

Applications were reviewed and preselected by a committee of professors from different fields of the humanities at Freie Universität. Potential applicants had to defend their proposals by conducting an interview with the selection committee on March 2, 2012.

The following 7 research projects have been selected for funding:

Pavel Blažek (University of Cambridge, École des hautes études en sciences sociales, Scuola Normale Superiore di Pisa):

Household, Marriage and Gender in Medieval Thought. Bartholomew of Bruges Commentary on the Pseudo-Aristotelian Economics (1309)

Ruth S. Noyes (Johns Hopkins University):

I will oversee revision and publication of Bitter Pills. Peter Paul Rubens, Cesare Baronio, and the Counter-Reformation crisis over the Beati moderni, a book which takes up the question of the issues involved in the formation of recent saints – or Beati moderni (modern Blesseds) as they were called – in the new environment of increased strictures and censorship that developed after the Council of Trent with respect to legal canonization procedures and cultic devotion to the saints. My secondary project is to further a second book project, Double-edged sword. Figuring conversion and martyrdom in Counter-Reformation Rome.


Leon Antonio Rocha (University of Cambridge):

Creating a Canon of "Chinese Sexology": Ye Dehui's Shadow of the Double
Plum Tree Anthology (1903-1914)

This project broadly investigates the reception of and resistance to Western sexual sciences in China, and the invention of a tradition of "Chinese sex" and "Chinese sexology", in the late-nineteenth to early-twentieth century. It focusses on the book-collecting activities and the philological scholarship of Hunanese literatus Ye Dehui (1864-1927), particularly the making of his Shadow of the Double Plum Tree Anthology (Shuang mei jing an cong shu, 1903-1914) and its subsequent reception among European Sinologists.



Scott James Rufolo (Johns Hopkins University):

Zooarchaeological Contributions to Understanding Patterns of Social Evolution in Northern Mesopotamia. From the Ubaid to the Early Bronze Age



Nils F. Schott (Johns Hopkins University):

Nils F. Schott studied comparative literature and philosophy at Johns Hopkins and at The American University of Paris. His primary research interests are eighteenth-century literature and philosophy, their legacies in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, and their relevance today. His particular focus is on the role the theories, beliefs, and practices grouped under the heading “religion” play in the elaboration of a self-styled rational view of the world. In another major aspect of this work, he draws on the philosophy of time to shed new light on central concepts such as “conversion” and “revolution”. He is currently revising his dissertation, The Conversion of Knowledge—Enlightenment and Religion in Eighteenth-Century Catechisms, for publication. The focus of his work during his tenure at the DHC is research for a companion project, The Political Theology of Secular Catechisms, which explores articulations of quintessentially modern approaches to the problems of human agency in authors from the last two centuries (including Kleist, Comte, Engels, Joyce, Enzensberger, Ratzinger and al-Sistani).
He is also the translator of several books and numerous articles (see the CV www.nilsfrederickschott.wordpress.com/cv for a full list).



Eleonora Vratskidou (École des hautes études en sciences sociales):

Genius and the Psychological Turn in Aesthetics in the Late 19th Century: the Work of Gabriel Séailles and Georgios Vizyinos

This project aims to study the redefinitions of the concept of genius against the background of an emerging psychological aesthetics in late 19th-century Europe. I concentrate on the work of a French and a Greek philosopher, Gabriel Séailles and Georgios Vizyinos, both of which were largely inspired by German developments in experimental psychology, as students of Wilhelm Wundt at the University of Leipzig. Proposing a comparative analysis of Séailles’ and Vizyinos’ essays on genius, I investigate the alliance between psychology and aesthetics in different European contexts, in view of contributing to a cross-cultural history of the humanities.


Zemian Zheng (The Chinese University of Hong Kong):

A Comparative Study of Emotions and Moral Consciousness: Between Max Scheler’s Phenomenological Ethics and Zhu Xi’s Neo‐Confucianism

My doctoral dissertation was about the moral psychology in later Confucianism (especially Zhu Xi's thought and Wang Yangming's criticisms). Now my new research plan is to explore the issue of moral consciousness and emotions repeatedly discussed in later Confucianism, through a comparative approach, with a special focus on Scheler’s phenomenological ethics.