MWW on tour

The libraries of Karl Wolfskehl - a virtual reconstruction of a writer’s personal collections

Lecture by Ilka Schiele from the research project Writers' Libraries, Marbach 

January 25, 2018, 11:15 a.m.
Paper Session 4

January 24 -26, 2018
Riga, Lativa

Ilka Schiele is librarian at the Deutsches Literaturarchiv Marbach and works within the research project "Virtuelle Rekonstruktion der Bibliothek des Dichters Karl Wolfskehl". Themes of BOBCATSSS 2018 are: The Power of Reading. Skills, habits and Communication. Memory institutions. Technological solutions.

Goethe and Schiller Archive Weimar. From Poet's Laboratory to a Modern Archive of Literature

Public Lecture by Gabriele Klunkert at MWW's International Summer School in Wolfenbüttel

Wednesday, 5th July 2017, 6 p.m.

Herzog August Bibliothek Wolfenbüttel
Seminarraum Meißnerhaus
Lessingplatz 1
38304 Wolfenbüttel

How are literary archives created? How does one preserve, study and present literary estates?

Offering an archive-historical and -typological perspective, Klunkert examines how Germany's oldest literature archive has become a modern service-oriented collection of German literary heritage. The presentation invites the audience on a virtual tour of the archive which Grand Duchess Sophie von Saxony-Weimar-Eisenach had built from 1893 to 1896 for the purpose of preserving and studying Goethe's and Schiller's literary estates.

This public lecture is part of the research association MWW´s two week International Summer School which begins 2nd July 2017.

The event is open to the public and entry is free of charge.

Dr. Gabriele Klunkert is member of the research staff of the Goethe and Schiller Archive Weimar.

The New History of Archives. Early modern Europe and beyond

International Summer School

Herzog August Bibliothek Wolfenbüttel

2–14 July 2017

Headed by: Randolph C. Head, Professor of History, University of California-Riverside

Over the past decade, interest in the history of recordkeeping throughout all periods has been stimulated by the current revolution in digital technologies of making, keeping and using records. Especially historians of early modern Europe have been producing a growing body of studies, both detailed and comprehensive.

The third international summer school of the MWW research association, taking place from the 2nd to the 14th of July 2017 at the Herzog August Bibliothek Wolfenbüttel, will grant 15 interested postgraduates the opportunity to delve deeply into the current research on early modern European practices of archiving. In this context, provincializing European categories deserves particular attention, as it is the basis for fruitful comparative research.

The international summer school will be conducted in English.

Luther´s Stance: Expressivity – Historicity – Memory

Public lecture by Marcus Sandl to accompany the exhibition ‘Luthermania: Angles on a Cult Figure’ Weds, 12th April, 7 pm

Main hall
Bibliotheca Augusta
Lessingplatz 1
38304 Wolfenbüttel

Research on Luther has covered his ideas, his character and his struggles; his stance, however, has scarcely been an issue. This is remarkable considering that in Protestant commemorative culture, stance is a central focus. In the Worms Reformation memorial (1868), Luther towers towards the heavens, steadfast and erect. In the recent pop-oratorio ‘Luther,’ he is presented as equally imposing. This lecture maps out the contours of the (reception) history of Lutheran expressivity.

Dr. Marcus Sandl has been depury professor for Early Modern History at the University of Konstanz since April 2016. His research foci include the history of ideas and knowledge, and the history of the Reformation.

Hero, God’s Messenger, Damned: Images of Luther in Historiography until the Enlightenment

Public lecture by Harald Bollbuck to accompany the exhibition ‘Luthermania: Angles on a Cult Figure’ 

5th April 2017, 7 pm
Main hall
Bibliotheca Augusta
Lessingplatz 1
38304 Wolfenbüttel

Since the beginnings of his worldhistorical impact, remembrance of Martin Luther has been divided. Differing ideas about the reformer developed not only between denominational opponents but also within the Protestant camp. These ranged from enthusiastic receptions and saint-like veneration to sober reviews, reasoned rejection, or even demonisation. This lecture presents the diverse images of Luther and explores their evolution.

Dr. Harald Bollbuck is a research associate at the Herzog August library. His research focuses on the history of historiography in the late Middle Ages and the early modern era, and the historiography of the church. 

The Germans and their Martin Luther: Anniversaries of the Reformation in the 19th and 20th Centuries

The Germans and their Martin Luther: Anniversaries of the Reformation in the 19th and 20th centuries

16th March 2017, 7 pm
Main hall
Bibliotheca Augusta
Lessingplatz 1
38304 Wolfenbüttel

In the 19th and 20th centuries, a national interpretation of Martin Luther asserted itself.
His ‘struggle with Rome,’ his German translation of the Bible, and ultimately the reformer himself became a ‘German’ myth. This lecture traces the presentation and (historical-)political instrumentalisation of Luther according to trendsetting contributions to mark Reformation and Luther anniversaries.

Dr. Hansjörg Buss is a research associate in the Faculty of Theology at the University of Göttingen.  

Luther in Pamphlets

Public lecture by Michael Schelling to accompany the exhibition "Luthermania: Angles on a Cult Figure"

2nd February 2017, 7 pm
Main hall
Bibliotheca Augusta
Lessingplatz 138304

The lecture presents a diversity of images and texts: the 16th and 17th century visual media through which the reformer was introduced to a wider audience. These mostly Protestant pamphlets also stand opposite some of Catholic provenance. 

Until his retirement in 2014, Dr. Michael Schilling was a professor of Old German Literature at the Otto-von-Guericke-University Magdeburg. 

Luthermania – Angles on a Cult Figure

Exhibition at the Herzog August Library Wolfenbüttel / MWW Research Association

15th January – 17th April 2017
Extended 18th June
Augusteerhalle der Bibliotheca Augusta
Lessingplatz 1
38304 Wolfenbüttel

Exhibition opening on Sunday 15th January 2017, 2 pm with an Introductory speech by Professor Lyndal Roper, Regius Professor of History at University of Oxford

Martin Luther is one of the towering figures in Germany´s culture of remembrance. In the public sphere, the reformer is remembered through monuments, churches, street names, journals, books, comics, postcards, stamps and coins, not to mention anniversary celebrations and exhibitions. But who exactly are we remembering? Who was Martin Luther? Over the past 500 years, there have been countless answers given to this only seemingly trivial question. Even during his life time, Martin Luther became a figure who was not only the object of cult-like reverence and bitter hostility, but who also served as the legitimising instrument and a medium for identity politics in changing social, political and economic contexts. A multitude of Luther images emerged, some of which have remained potent to this day: saint, heretic, prophet, Antichrist, father of the church, splitter of the church, enlightener, anti-Semite, genius, charlatan, national hero and prince’s servant.

The exhibition ‘Luthermania: Angles on a Cult Figure’ aims to show that these images of Luther have an origin and a history, that they were shaped by social and political conditions, and by cultural developments and crises at the time. About 70 pieces are presented in the exhibition and discussed in a 400 page catalogue. They reveal little about Luther, the man; rather they are material agents which were assigned the function of producing a particular ‘visibility’ tainted with preconceptions, ascribed values, ideals and intentions. These objects reduced an obscure, complex and possibly contradictory individual to a clearly contoured, unambiguous and, indeed, distinct figure. In short, they created ‘Luther.’ The Wolfenbüttel exhibition presents four significant cultural ‘arenas’ in which images of Luther developed and had an effect over a long period of time: Luther, the saint, Luther, the devil, Luther, the brand and Luther, the German.

The majority of the objects and books originate from the Herzog August Library collection from the 16th and 17th centuries; they include numerous portraits, satirical pamphlets and unusual objects, such as an inkwell which Luther is said to have thrown at the devil.

Opening times: Tuesday-Sunday, 10 am – 5 pm
For more information about the museum, visit the Herzog August Library website. 

The exhibition is accompanied by an extensive virtual exhibition:

Exhibition flyer (in German)

Press release  (in German)

Princes as furniture. On the form and function of baroque ruler´s busts

Public evening lecture by Carsten-Peter Warncke as part of the workshop “Image Politics. Theory and History of the Power of Visual Persuasion”

Goethe-Nationalmuseum, Festsaal 
Frauenplan 1
99423 Weimar

From 1996 to 2015, Prof. Dr. Carsten Peter Warncke was chair of general art history at the Georg-August-Universität Göttingen. He specializes in early modern art with a particular focus on pictorial sign systems, ornaments, goldsmithery and architecture. 

Image Politics – Theory and History of the Power of visual Persuasion


29 November – 1 December 2016
Goethe National Museum, Festsaal
Frauenplan 1
99423 Weimar

Workshop leaders: Christian Hecht, Hole Rößler and Ellen Strittmatter

Portraits of authors are more than a decorative flourish in our seemingly text-based literary culture. Since antiquity, portraits of authors have been employed for various purposes inside and outside of books, in prints, paintings, sculptures and photography. The study of such portraits is closely connected to the term “image politics” which primarily refers to the potential function of images as powerful tools to sway public opinion and shape cultural self-awareness. But in a more specific sense and in all cultural fields – business, science, education, religion, art and sports – the use of image politics has resulted in historically variable practices which extend far beyond the political sphere. The term “image politics” can generally be defined as referring to the strategic use of images in all their many forms as a means of interacting with large target groups.

This analytical frame has proven relevant for the study of authorial portraits in all historical periods and over a diverse range of media forms. Within this context, researchers can examine the conditions of production and functionalisation of images which are explicitly or primarily created for the public depiction of an author. At closer examination of the image politics for specific authors, other questions arise regarding the social, economic and artistic productivity which these images were intended to promote and accomplish, as well as the conditions under which they became part of a cultural imagology.

The intention of the third workshop by the project group Politics of the Image: The Portrait of the Author as Iconic Authorisation is to identify the various levels of “image politics” in the context of portrait research, examine the theoretical and methodical options with regard to how the term is used, and encourage dialogue between various disciplines that deal with issues of image politics. To this end, image and literary scholars, historians, philosophers, art historians and archive experts will be invited to speak.

Download detailed exposé (in German)

Download programme (in German)

If you wish to participate, please register in advance with Ms Veronika Spinner by e-mail at