Humboldt Foundation Fellow on Research Stay at Greifswald’s Department of History
The French scholar Dr. phil. habil. Indravati Félicité commenced an eight-month research stay at the University of Greifswald in January 2022. Her Humboldt Research Fellowship is being hosted by Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. Michael North at the Department of History. She is performing research on the topic of ‘Northern Europe and the Orient at the emergence of the modern theory of international relations (16th–18th century)’.
Indravati Félicité has been maîtresse de conférences in early modern history at the Université de Paris since 2016. She completed her doctorate in history at the Sorbonne University in 2012. Last year, she also completed her habilitation in history at the Sorbonne. Her habilitation thesis carried the title ‘Le ‘vieil Empire’ face au monde. 1454-1806’ (‚The ‘Old Empire’ and the World, 1454-1806‘). In her thesis, she elucidates the global relationships of the Holy Roman Empire and reintroduces this empire to the focus of imperial studies.
Her doctoral thesis was published in French in 2016 by De Gruyter-Oldenburg under the title ‘Négocier pour exister. Les villes et duchés du nord de l’Empire face à la France 1650–1730’ (‘Diplomacy as a Means of Political Survival: The Cities and Duchies of the Northern Empire versus France, 1650–1730’) as part of the ‘Paris Historical Studies’ series from the German Historical Institute Paris. The publishing house Böhlau then published a German translation (translated by Markus Hiltl) under the title ‘Das Königreich Frankreich und die Norddeutschen Hansestädte und Herzogtümer: Diplomatie zwischen ungleichen Partnern’. In her study, Félicité analyses the diplomacy and foreign policy of the duchies of Mecklenburg-Schwerin and Schleswig-Holstein-Gottorp as well as the towns of Lübeck, Bremen and Hamburg and shows that their participation in diplomatic negotiations was not only tolerated but also of structural importance for safeguarding their own existence but also the survival of the European great powers. During her research into the European and worldwide interconnections of north German parts of the Holy Roman Empire, she contacted Professor Michael North whilst he was in Paris a few years ago. In her current project at the University of Greifswald’s Department of History, funded by the Humboldt Foundation, she is performing a reassessment and redefinition of early orientalism (17th century). Using sources from archives in Pomerania (Greifswald, Stralsund and others), Indravati Félicité aims to revise the idea that a diplomatic regime began to spread across the world from the middle of the 17th century, which was based on rules that were defined and agreed to in isolation on the European continent by imperial powers or those striving to become one.
Greifswald as a research location is very well suited for projects of this kind, which is shown, for example, by the appointment of professors for oriental languages by the town’s university from 1650 onwards, but also the local merchants’ participation in trade with Asia. Several of the region’s archives house documents that verify the Baltic Sea region’s early opening to parts of the world outside of Europe. Following on from her stay in Greifswald, Indravati Félicité would like to revitalise the institutional collaboration between the University of Greifswald and the Université de Paris, who already cooperate through Erasmus.
Every year, the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation https://www.humboldt-foundation.de/web/home.html enables more than 2,000 researchers from all over the world to come to Germany for a period of academic stay. The foundation maintains a network of more than 30,000 Humboldt Fellows from all subject disciplines in more than 140 countries – including 55 Nobel laureates.
The Alexander von Humboldt Foundation grants Humboldt Research Fellowships to foreign academics with above-average qualifications, who completed their doctorate no more than twelve years ago. The fellowships provide them with the opportunity to complete longer periods of research in Germany (6 to 24 months).
Contact at the University of Greifswald
Prof. Dr. Cordelia Heß
Head of the Department of History
Domstraße 9 A, 17489 Greifswald
Dr. Indravati Félicité