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Institute for Advanced Study Invites Klaus Oschema

Jun 16, 2016

Prof. Klaus Oschema, principal investigator of the Cluster’s Project A27 “World Orders” was invited to the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton as a fellow for the academic year 2016/2017. There, he will research the role of late medieval astrologers and their roles as experts and “scientific political advisers”.

The Institute for Advanced Study is one of the world’s leading research centers for curiosity-driven basic research, built up of four departments: The School of Historical Studies, the School of Mathematics, the School of Natural Sciences and the School of Social Science. Since its foundation in 1930, it has been a model for protecting and promoting independent research and inquiry, underscoring the importance for academic freedom. It allows it permanent faculty and about 200 annual researchers to freely determine the course of their study and has been a role model for similar institutes around the world.

An expert in the field of the European Middle Ages, Klaus Oschema, during his stay in Princeton, is planning on researching the role of late medieval astrologers and their roles as experts and “scientific political advisers”. Proceeding from the observation that various ‘scientific’ prognosis by financial and economic experts turned out to be false in the course of the financial crisis in 2007, Oschema will look at astrologers from the 13th to 15th century. He will try to answer the question, how representatives of a discipline with at least uncertain quality of knowledge can succeed in establishing themselves as central and important consultants. Besides the argumentative strategies which astrologers apply in order to assert the importance and meaningfulness of their work Oschema also analyses the performative aspects of their appearance as well as the significance of striving for orientation and forward-looking behavior.

Prof. Klaus Oschema is principal investigator of the Cluster’s Project A27 “World Orders” in Research Area A: Governance & Administration and a member of SFB 933 “Materiale Textkulturen”. He has been teaching Medieval History at Heidelberg University since 2007 where he qualified as professor in 2012. He studied Medieval History, Philosophy, English Linguistics and Medieval Studies in Bamberg and Paris and graduated in Dresden/Paris.



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  • picture: Eecc (wikimedia)