Prof. Henrike Lähnemann | When Henrike Lähnemann moved to Oxford, she became the first woman to hold a chair in modern philology in 150 years. Before, she was Chair of German Studies at the University of Newcastle upon Tyne. Lähnemann's next stay in Freiburg will be in July and August 2016.
This novel cooperation is funded by the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) and the Volkswagen Foundation. "Our aim in providing funding for the German studies chair at the University of Oxford is to intensify scholarly exchange on Germany-related topics, particularly among young scholars. The teaching will enrich the discussion on German literature, culture, and history even outside of the two partner universities," says DAAD secretary general Dr. Dorothea Rüland.
"The model has precursors as early as the Middle Ages, when scholars moved between universities in various countries, thus breathing life into the academic culture," comments Lähnemann. In addition to conducting research, she will spend her time in Freiburg holding workshops and giving talks on topics like English abstract writing, presentation techniques, and the visualization of research. She herself uses social networks like Twitter to make her findings available and understandable.
Her research focuses on the religious literature of the Low German area, especially the manuscript tradition of the Cistercian convent in Medingen in the 15th century. Lähnemann is fascinated above all by the self-confidence of the nuns, whose writings reveal an independent theological profile. For example, the nuns of Medingen translated their prayers from Latin to Low German to make their religious messages available to laypeople.
(© Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg im Breisgau, AcademiaNet )