International Max Planck Research School (IMPRS) "Knowledge and Its Resources: Historical Reciprocities" Welcomes First Doctoral Cohort

The Max Planck Institute for the History of Science is very excited to announce the arrival of the first Predoctoral Fellows in its International Max Planck Research School "Knowledge and Its Resources: Historical Reciprocities" (IMPRS-KIR).

The new graduate school is a joint project of the MPIWG with Freie Universität Berlin, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, and Technische Universität Berlin. It will trace the deep entanglements of knowledge and its resources from a long-term and global perspective.

Presenting the Predoctoral Fellows and Their Research Projects

The opening event on September 5, 2022 served as a kick-off for the graduate school and brought together numerous Institute members, the professors of the Principal Teaching Faculty from all four partner institutions, and the new Predoctoral Fellows.

In vivid elevator pitches, they presented their research projects on the semantics of cuneiform scripts (Satria Quaijtaal), premodern New Persian agricultural texts (Riaz Howey), the maintenance and repair of late Ottoman-era telegraphy and railways (Zeynep Ecem Pulas), reading practices of British common readers in the 18th and 19th centuries (Jakob Kaaby Hellstenius), the postcolonial history of ethnomusicology (Christopher Klauke), and uranium mining in China (Lejie Zeng).


Click photo for gallery view

The audience was introduced to the conceptual framework and the curriculum by the Speakers of the IMPRS-KIR, Prof. Dr. Dagmar Schäfer (MPIWG), Prof. Dr. Viktoria Tkaczyk (HU), and Prof. Dr. Christine von Oertzen (MPIWG/HU). Dr. Lisa Onaga (MPIWG) introduced adaptations of existing MPIWG-wide activities such as the Methods Intensive Master Classes and Digital History trainings for the new campus curriculum. As part of the opening, a workshop was held with Dr. Andrea Westermann (Konstanz) on the notion of "resources" in the history of knowledge and her work on terrestrial and geopolitical conditions in contemporary societies.


For the next three and a half years, the Predoctoral Fellows of the IMPRS-KIR will work at the Institute on their research projects, including individual research trips. While focusing on specific topics, regions and time periods, they will address material resources of knowledge, resource economics of knowledge as well as long-term developments and global specificities of knowledge. The IMPRS-KIR aims to create synergetic effects among their projects and enable the students to develop a historically grounded as well as critical approach to globally diverse knowledge cultures.

The IMPRS-KIR will offer a total of ten additional doctoral positions. The next call for applications will be published in October 2022. Further information is available on the MPIWG/IMPRS webpage. The IMPRS-KIR's own website will be launched in fall 2022.