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11 June 2002

Gadamer Professorship 2002: Peter Burke

Visiting professor Peter Burke is the incumbent of this year's Gadamer Professorship — Opening lecture on 25 June at 7.15 p.m. in the Great Hall of the Old University: "The Public Sphere — Past and Present" — Temporary Chair at the Department of Philosophy established early 2001 in honour of the famous Heidelberg philosopher Hans-Georg Gadamer

The Heidelberg philosopher Hans-Georg Gadamer died on 13 March 2002 at the age of 102. This is the second year in which the Gadamer Professorship is taking place in his honour. It was set up as a Temporary Chair in early 2001 and is devoted to renowned international scholars and their engagement with hermeneutics. The Temporary Chair has been made possible by generous funding from the Awards Fund of Deutsche Bank, Baden-Württemberg's Ministry of Higher Education and the University of Heidelberg.

Last year's incumbent, Karl-Heinz Bohrer, is succeeded this year by Peter Burke. The Professorship begins on 25 June with an opening lecture "The Public Sphere — Past and Present" in the Great Hall of the Old University at 7.15 p.m. Burke will be taking a culture-theoretical angle on the structure of the bourgeois public, a topic that has given rise to controversy ever since Habermas first broached it. The latest global-scale political events have shown the importance of a critical public. But Burke's survey ranges well beyond that to encompass the early modern age and contemporary society both in Europe and the Near and Far East.

Peter Burke is Professor of Cultural History (15th-18th centuries) at the University of Cambridge. His fame rests on his wide-ranging studies on the relevance of social and cultural history for major present-day issues. His interdisciplinary and multi-perspectivist approach has provided new impulses for understanding and dialogue between the cultures of the world.

Peter Burke will be in Heidelberg till 3 July. Alongside lectures on historical and philosophical topics he will be participating on 2 July in a round-table discussion with Heidelberg philosophers on the problem of fact and fiction in history.

For further information go to


Tuesday, 25 June 2002, 7.15 p.m.
Great Hall of the Old University
(Grabengasse 1, 69117 Heidelberg)
The Public Sphere — Past and Present
Lecture by Peter Burke, opening of the Gadamer Professorship 2002

Wednesday, 26 June 2002, 11.15 a.m.
Spiegelsaal, Prinz Carl, Kornmarkt
Languages and Communities in Early Modern Europe
Lecture by Peter Burke

Tuesday, 2 July 2002, 7.15 p.m.
New University, Lecture Hall 14
The Art of Re-Interpretation: Michel de Certeau
Lecture by Peter Burke
followed by round-table discussion on "The Art of History"
with Peter Burke, Lieselotte E. Saurma (Institute of Art History), Christoph Markschies (Faculty of Theology), Eike Wolgast (Department of History), Rüdiger Bubner and Jens Halfwassen (Department of Philosophy)

Wednesday, 3 July 2002, 11.15 a.m.
German-American Institute, Sofienstrasse 12
The Problem of Cultural Hybridity: Gilberto Freyre
Lecture by Peter Burke


Friday, 28 June 2002, 3.15 p.m.
The Novelist as Historian: Manzoni, Conrad, Fontane
Seminar with Peter Burke

Please address any inquiries to:
Sonja Frohoff
Department of Philosophy
phone: 06221/542485, fax: 542278

For more general inquiries contact
Dr. Michael Schwarz
Press Officer of the University of Heidelberg
phone: 06221/542310, fax: 54317

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Updated: 24.06.2002


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