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Researchers and Fellows at the IEG: A Portrait Series

In the framework of their model TV editing project (2015/16, 2017/18, 2019/20), students of the Journalistic Department of Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz created video clips presenting researchers and fellows at the Leibniz Institute of European History (IEG).

The members present their current projects and talk about their work at the IEG as well as their stay in Mainz. Thus, the IEG offers an insight into its research activities to the public. Furthermore, future scholars are able to get an idea of how life at the institute and their own professional development could look like.

New episodes of the interview series (2019/20):

Born in 1982 in Offenburg, Sarah Panter studied (early) modern history and political science at Albert Ludwigs University in Freiburg and at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, USA. 2013, she completed her PhD in Freiburg with her dissertation on »Jewish experiences and loyalty conflicts in World War I«. Since then, she is a member of the academic staff at the IEG.

In this video, Sarah Panter talks about the relevance of her current research project for today’s discussions about migration, how she manages her job and her family life and why, in her mind, the Schillerplatz – her favourite place in Mainz – is not only linked to carnival.

Alessandro Grazi was born in Cento, Italy in 1979. He studied different variations of Jewish studies in numerous places: Hebrew paleography and codicology at the University of Bologna, modern Jewish cultural history at the University of Amsterdam and at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, followed by his PhD at the University of Groningen. After taking on postdoctoral positions in Gießen and Amsterdam, he became a member of the academic staff at the IEG.

In this portrait, Alessandro Grazi talks about the steps eventually leading him to Mainz, tells us why he still commutes from Giessen to Mainz and explains how the number of the countries he visited always has to be higher than his age.

Lars-Dieter Leisner studied history and gender studies in Bremen and Oldenburg and has been a PhD candidate at the University of Vienna since 2015. He became a fellow at the IEG in March 2019, working on his dissertation »Das Ehepaar als Arbeitspaar in der frühneuzeitlichen Diplomatie. Geschlechterrollen zwischen Hofgesellschaft und Staatsgeschäften«.

In this video, Lars-Dieter Leisner tells us how the women of the early modern period have been underestimated for a long time, why his fellowship at the IEG is more than just work and why he dreams of going to space one day.

Born in Nancy, France, Noëmie Duhaut studied Eastern European and Jewish History in London and Belgrad. After completing her PhD in 2017, she was a visiting scholar at Dartmouth College and subsequently held postdoctoral fellowships at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and the Central European University in Budapest. Since May 2019, she is a member of the academic staff at the IEG.

In this video, Noëmie Duhaut talks about where she feels at home, pets named after street food and why we shouldn’t forget about Adolphe Crémieux, a French politician of the 19th century.

Earlier episodes of the interview series:
 David Roman de Boer Eveline G. Bouwers Johanna Blume Johannes Dafinger Elsa Duval
Mihai-D. Grigore Andrea Hofmann Elisabeth Janik-Freis Henning P. Jürgens Fabian Klose
Vít Kortus Marie-Christin Lux Nora Mengel Esther Möller Markus Müller
Patrick Rummel Jan Schubert Róisín Watson
Thomas Weller Christian V. Witt
John Carter Wood

David Roman de Boer:
David Roman de Boer was a fellow at the IEG from 2016–2017. He made the journey from the Netherlands to Mainz by bicycle. De Boer is a PhD student at the universities of Constance and Leiden, where he works on his research project »The Fate of Others: Religious Persecution, Public Media, and Transnational Solidarity in the Dutch Republic, 1650–1750«.

Eveline G. Bouwers
Eveline G. Bouwers is head of the Emmy Noether Research Group »Battles over Belief: Religion and Violence in Catholic Europe, 1848-1914«. After beginning her studies in the Netherlands, she went on to Belgium and Italy. She completed her PhD in Florence, Italy with her dissertation on a comparative European history of the revolutionary wars. In this interview, she talks about her research project »Catholic crowd action: the violent protest over public religion in Europe, 1864–1914«.

Johanna Blume: 
Johanna Blume was a PhD student in Early Modern History at the University of the Saarland in Saarbrücken. At the IEG, she completed her dissertation titled »Verstümmelte Körper? Lebenswelten und soziale Praktiken von Kastratensängern in Mitteleuropa 1712–1844«. What she enjoys most at the IEG are the lively discussions with other researchers, the free access to the library and the comfort the institute offers. Moreover, she is fascinated by the beautiful old town of Mainz, the river Rhein and the number of destinations you can reach by foot – despite the size of the city.

Johannes Dafinger:
In his dissertation, Johannes Dafinger takes a closer look at the informal and societal, as well as cultural and economic relations in the times of national socialism. In this video, he gives an answer to the question why it is still important to remember that period of German history.

Elsa Duval:
Elsa Duval became a member of the academic staff at the IEG in 2013. Today, she is an affiliated scholar to the IEG. Her recent research project is called »European Heritage on a Global Stage: Aachen Cathedral, German Heritage Politics and the Beginnings of the UNESCO World Heritage List«.
Elsa Duval studied History and Sociology at the University of Bielefeld and completed her master’s degree in Paris. She then was a visiting fellow at Columbia University in New York and a French teaching assistant at Tamkang University, Taiwan. Her project is part of the research project »Knowledge of the World - Heritage of Mankind: The History of UNESCO World Cultural and Natural Heritage«.

Mihai-D. Grigore
PD Dr. Mihai-D. Grigore became a member of the academic staff at the IEG in 2012. In 2007, he obtained his PhD in church history from the Friedrich Alexander University of Erlangen and Nuremberg with his dissertation in historical anthropology on the topic of the sense of honour in medieval society based on a case study of the Pax Dei in the 10th and 11th century.
One of his research interests at the IEG lies in interreligious dynamics in Southeastern Europe. In this project, he takes a look at the three most important Christian denominations in the principalities of Wallachia, Moldavia and Siebenbürgen.
Mihai-D. Grigore is a coffee enthusiast and appreciates the location of the IEG – that is, close to one of Mainz’s coffee-houses. There, he likes to start his day with a nice cup of coffee before heading to work. The father of a young daughter likes to spend his free time in nature with his family.

Andrea Hofmann:
Dr. Andrea Hofmann studied Protestant theology and musicology and obtained her PhD at Heidelberg University in 2013. From 2013 until 2017, she was a member of the academic staff at the IEG, department »Abendländische Religionsgeschichte«. Her research at the IEG focused on images of war in Protestant sermons and devotional literature in WWI. In this video, Andrea Hofmann talks about her research, her faith and her life in Mainz.

Elisabeth Janik-Freis

Elisabeth Janik-Freis was a fellow at the IEG in 2017. Today, she is an assistant at the department of »Eastern European History« at the University of Basel. She was a doctoral candidate at the Doktoratskolleg of the University of Vienna and wrote her thesis on »Networks of Transatlantic Migration. Emigration from Galicia to South America (1870–1914)«, focusing on the itinerary and 5 exemplary transit stations that blossomed due to the mass migration from Eastern and Middle Europe.
In this video portrait, Elisabeth Janik-Freis tells us how she found her research topic after her studies in Bochum and Cracow and reveals the similarities between her research topic and her own biography.

Henning P. Jürgens
Dr. Henning Jürgens is a member of the academic staff at the IEG, department »Abendländische Religionsgeschichte«. He does research on the early modern period, focusing on the Reformation and the 17th and 18th century.

Fabian Klose: 
Dr. Fabian Klose was a member of the academic staff at the IEG from 2013 until 2018, working on his research project »In the Cause of Humanity. A History of Humanitarian Intervention in the long 19th Century«.
In addition to his research, Klose was one of the initiators of the »Global Humanitarianism Research Academy«, which aims at bringing together young academics doing research on global humanitarianism in an international network.

Vít Kortus
Vít Kortus was a fellow at the IEG from 2017 to 2018, where he continued his research on Bohemian aristocrats in the 17th century after the Battle of White Mountain. He examines how the new aristocracy managed to fit into the existing social and cultural circumstances.
In this video, Vít Kortus talks about his research project »Ankommen, niederlassen, eingliedern? Die böhmischen Linien der Grafenfamilie von Thun und Hohenstein im 17. Jahrhundert«, his relationship to Germany and the German language, as well as the daily fight to overcome his weaker self.

Marie-Christin Lux:
Her studies led Marie-Christin Lux to Lake Constance, Paris and Heidelberg. After obtaining her master’s degree, she started her PhD in Berlin, writing her thesis on the polyphony of war experiences in the correspondence of Jewish and non-Jewish couples in France (1914–1918).
Marie-Christin Lux does not want to look at war experiences from a conventional perspective. In her thesis, it is not the soldiers at the front playing the main role, but the civilians.
In her eyes, the IEG does not only provide ideal working conditions: Marie-Christin Lux also enjoys the close and friendly interaction between colleagues and the range of cultural activities offered by the city.

Nora Mengel: 
Nora Mengel was a fellow at the IEG from 2016 to 2017. After finishing her bachelor’s degree in cultural studies, she decided to cherish her own cultural heritage and obtained a master’s degree in Eastern European studies. She writes her dissertation on lexical biographies of the 19th and early 20th century. Nora Mengel thinks of Mainz as a very versatile city and likes to relax in its many coffee shops or the city park.

Esther Möller:
In her project »Humanitarian Engagement in the Context of Colonialism, Nationalism and Decolonization: The Egyptian Red Crescent (1882-1956)«, Esther Möller analyses the specific aspects of humanitarianism in non-European countries, using the example of the Red Crescent Society in Egypt. Since 2010, Esther Möller is a Research Fellow at the Leibniz-Institute of European History (fellow of the Gerda Henkel foundation 2013–2014, funding by the DFG since April 2014); visiting lecturer at the department of History at the university of Mainz since 2011 and project leader of the Research Project »Red Crescent« at the IEG since 2015.

Markus Müller
Markus Müller has been a member of the academic staff at the IEG since 2018. He grew up near Stuttgart and studied Theology in Tübingen, where he also obtained his PhD in Church History. In this video, he talks about his recent research project »Multiple denominational belonging? Reception and censorship of the Mainz cathedral preacher Johann Wild OFM (1495–1554)« and about the difficulty of deciphering old handwritings. He also shares his love for playing the piano, a love he has had since his childhood.

Patrick Rummel
Patrick Rummel, former fellow at the IEG and PhD student at the Philipps University in Marburg, talks about his research on Greek colonisation as a model for the British Empire of the late 19th century, as well as the time he spent at the IEG. What he likes most about the institute is its central location allowing him a fast and easy access to everything he needs, including the library.


Jan Schubert:
Jan Schubert is a postdoctoral student in the Graduiertenkolleg »Die christlichen Kirchen vor der Herausforderung ›Europa‹«. After spending one year of his studies in Great Britain with ERASMUS, he started to get enthusiastic about Europe and the European idea. His research project therefore focuses on the History of ecumenical Christianity in Europe. Watch the video to learn about Jan Schubert’s secret ingredient to successfully obtain your PhD.

Róisín Watson 
Dr. Róisín Watson was a Postdoctoral Fellow at the IEG from 2017 until 2018. In 2010, she obtained her Master’s degree in British and European History at the University of Oxford. The Irish-born graduate completed her PhD at St. Andrew’s University with her thesis on »Lutheran piety and visual culture in the Duchy of Württemberg, 1534–c. 1700«. Her main research focus lay in the Protestant Reformation in Germany.
In this context, her research in Mainz gives special attention to the interior of churches as well as the question of how the interior design of churches changed with the Protestant Reformation. Which catholic elements were taken on and which were removed? The cathedral in Mainz (Mainzer Dom) plays an important role in Watson’s research. In the interview, the Historian talks about the challenges of her work, for example the handling of sources and their classification, and her research stay in Baden-Württemberg.
Furthermore, she presents her thoughts on British and German stereotypes, reveals what she misses most about Great Britain and gives up the secret to making the perfect tea.

Thomas Weller:
Thomas Weller has been a member of the academic staff at the IEG since 2008. In his research project »Cultural Difference and Early Modern Foreign Relations. The Spanish Monarchy and the Hanseatic Cities (c. 1570–1700)« he analyses the discourse against slavery during the transition from the Ancien Régime to the modern age, focusing on Hispanolingual regions and countries. In this video, he talks about his connection to Spain, about rivers and seas, and about his work as a historian at the IEG.

Christian V. Witt 
Christian V. Witt is a member of the academic staff and Heisenberg fellow at the IEG. Within the framework of his fellowship, he currently works on two research projects, one examining the synergy effects between Church History and the conceptual history of the term, and the other being an analysis of theology as a way of expressing a feeling of superiority. This last project focuses on the way in which German Protestant theology dealt with Eastern and Middle European minorities in the 19th and 20th century. In this video portrait, he talks about his research, the profession of the historian and what he cherishes most about Mainz.

John Carter Wood:
Born in Chicago, John Carter Wood was a Visiting Lecturer at the University of Maryland, College Park, until he moved to Germany in 2001. Since 2011, he is a member of the academic staff at the IEG. He currently works on his research project Christian Social Thought in Britain as a Reaction to the European Crises of the 1930s and 1940s.
Among other things, his research focuses on the history of crime and justice in modern Europe. In his book »The Most Remarkable Woman in England: Poison, Celebrity and the Trials of Beatrice Pace« that was published in 2012, he describes the case of a woman who, being accused of murdering her husband with poison, became a star of the media.
In his free time, John Carter Wood is a passionate reader, a movie fan and guitar player, performing songs he has written himself. As he loves sports and exercising, the Rhine offers an ideal scenery for running. While wanting to stay in Germany, there is one thing he especially misses about the US: a classic American Diner.