Dr. Lieselotte Kirchner Scholarship Programme
Thanks to a generous donation by Dr. Lieselotte Kirchner (Offenbach), the Francke Foundations are able to award research grants.read more
Interdisciplinary research into the history of the Francke Foundations from the seventeenth to the twentieth century, with a focus on the long eighteenth century, is part of the Foundations’ mission and its self-understanding as a research and communicative cultural institution. The thematically diverse projects are embedded in a cooperative structure within the Foundations, such as the 2013 exposition "Change the World" and the accompanying catalogue Die Welt verändern, which appeared in the Francke Foundations’ publishing house. The activities of the Research Section are associated with the research centres of the Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg located on the Francke Foundations’ Science Campus and with a network of national and international partners.
The Research Section is involved in the Foundations’ conceptual planning as well as in the development of exhibition projects and also organises conferences and workshops. Special attention is paid to the promotion of junior academics, for instance by means of the Francke Foundations’ Dr. Liselotte Kirchner Scholarship Programme. In addition, the Research Section supervises the work of the Foundations’ Youth Forum History.
Cooperation partners: Prof. Dr. Andreas Pečar, National Research Focus “Enlightenment – Religion – Knowledge” of the Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg; Prof. Dr. Rainer Godel, German National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina Study Centre; Dr. des. Eva Dolezel (Berlin).
Early-modern collections served institutions of teaching and learning in a variety of ways. The Francke Foundations’ Cabinet of Art and Natural History (Kunst- und Naturalienkammer) is a particularly interesting example not only because its collection was embedded in primary school tuition but also because the "guided tours," which were already instituted during the 1740s, represented an elaborate early form of the future public museum. Taking the Foundations’ Chamber of Wonders (Wunderkammer) in the Historic Orphanage as a starting point, the project studies the didactic moment in the formation of Cabinets of Art and Natural History in order to examine a relatively neglected aspect of early-modern acquisition culture. The focus lies on the wide range of collections realised by academies, learned societies, universities or schools during the seventeenth and especially the eighteenth century. Court and private collections will also be viewed from this perspective because their objects, by means of guided tours, were also integrated in a scenario of knowledge transfer.
On 5-7 October 2015, an international conference on this topic was jointly organised by the Leopoldina and the Francke Foundations and held at the Leopoldina. The results will be published in the Acta Historica Leopoldina in 2017.
The Francke Foundations are dedicated to the research and mediation of the historical dimension of its communication with Europe, Russia, North America and India. This leads to a large variety of topics, projects and collaborations. All sections of the Foundations are involved in this endeavour in various ways, as is the "Pietist Networks of Communication" project. Within the framework of the Research Section, for example, projects concerning the transfer of culture between the Netherlands and Central Germany ("Golden Age and the Age of the Enlightenment") were recently carried out in cooperation with the Dessau-Woerlitz Commission in the IZEA and the Kulturstiftung DessauWörlitz. Likewise, projects on the relations with England ("London and the Halle Orphanage") take place in collaboration with the German Historical Institute in London (see Hallesche Forschungen, volume 39, published by the Francke Foundations).
At present, the transfer of culture and the process of communication between Halle and Eastern Europe during the long eighteenth century take centre stage. At the end of 2015, a workshop entitled "The Halle Orphanage and Eastern Central Europe in the Eighteenth Century – New Research and Questions" took place in the series "International Encounters" under the direction of Friederike Lippold.
At the turn of the seventeenth century, Halle developed into one of the most important centres of learning and mediating foreign languages in Central Europe. At the schools in Glaucha pupils were taught foreign languages and (religious) texts were translated. Moreover, missionaries, priests and teachers were recruited and trained in order to serve in Eastern Europe, India and North America. The University of Halle offered foreign language courses, and professors at the university stood out as mediators of foreign-language literature. In the summer of 2015, an interdisciplinary conference on this complex subject (which was not only developed in the Foundations) was held. In it, the manifold linguistic and cultural relations between Halle and Western and Eastern Europe as well as the world outside Europe were discussed and placed within the context of the history of linguistics, religion and ideas.
A publication of the results is in preparation.
Cooperating partner: The Historical Commission of Saxony-Anhalt
The lifeworld of the nobility in the Baroque era was strongly shaped by secular concerns. The representation of the status, rank, and fame of one's family demanded visibility. At first glance, this seems to be difficult to reconcile with the Pietist ideal of a pious life style and a reform across social strata. Yet the available evidence indicates that August Hermann Francke and his son, Gotthilf August, entertained close relations with the nobility, not only in Central Germany. The available correspondence reveals a vast network of nobility, which converged in the Orphanage at Glaucha. Against this background, the 2014 National History Day invited contributions with regard to the interweaving of Halle Pietism and nobility in the current Federal State of Saxony-Anhalt. At the same time, the National History Day was a scientific event accompanying the Foundations’ annual exhibition of 2014, titled "Knighted by Divine Goodness" (Mit göttlicher Güte geadelt).
The proceedings were published in the series "Sources and Studies on the History of Saxony-Anhalt" by the Historical Commission of Saxony-Anhalt and officially presented at the Wernigeröder Kunst- und Kulturverein (Wernigerode) on 28 September 2016.
In the wider context of the same subject, the conference "Francke and his Kings: Halle Pietism and Prussia (1690-1750)” was conceived and organised jointly by Prof. Dr. Benjamin Marschke (Humboldt University and Arcata, California), the Interdisciplinary Centre for Pietism Studies (PD Dr. Christian Soboth), and the August Hermann Francke Study Centre of the Foundations (Dr. Brigitte Klosterberg). The publication of the results is planned for 2017.
The Research Section is linked to the teaching at the Institute of History of the Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg.
At present, the Foundations support the following scholars and their research:
· Thomas Grunewald, "The Balance of Europe" – Christian Ernst zu Stolberg-Wernigerode, the network of Pietist aristocracy and the Protestant block of power in the north (dissertation)
A research and graduate colloquium as well as interdisciplinary lectures are offered on a regular basis. Through the development of a topic, they lead the students to preparing a cabinet exhibition, which includes an accompanying publication in the Kleine Schriften series and is seen through the press by the Francke Foundations’ publishing house: