The Organisers

Vincenzo Carlotta.jpgVincenzo Carlotta is PhD candidate at the Humboldt University of Berlin. His research focusses on Greco-Egyptian and Byzantine alchemy and its connection with the Neoplatonic and Aristotelian philosophical tradition. His research interests are also directed to the influences of Late Antique medicine and religion on the alchemical tradition. At present he is carrying out a detailed study on Stephanus’s Lessons (7th century CE).

JD-6o6D8.jpegMattia Cipriani is Alexander von Humboldt Research Fellow at the Freie Universität Berlin. Since his PhD (EPHE Paris / SNS Florence), his research focuses on perception of nature during the Middle Ages, and in particular on the source, the ideas and the influence of the Liber de Natura Rerum, one of the most important and influent encyclopaedias of the 13th Century. He is now finishing a new philological edition of this text enriched with a complete statement of the sources used by its author.

Scaler.jpegKatja Krause heads a research group on “Experience in the Pre-Modern Sciences of Soul and Body, ca. 800-1650” at the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science in Berlin, and is Professor for the History of Science at TU Berlin. Her work focuses on the intersection between premodern philosophy and medicine.

DSC_0073.jpegNicola Polloni is Alexander von Humboldt research fellow at the Humboldt University of Berlin. His research is focussed on Premodern theories of matter and materiality, with special attention paid to the phenomena of cross-cultural pollination of knowledge in the Middle Ages.

Screenshot 2019-03-18 at 09.00.13Nicholas Aubin is a Research Fellow at the Humboldt University in Berlin. His research is focused on ancient Greek and medieval Arabic natural philosophy, specifically on Avicennan and pre-Avicennan theories of nature and epistemology.

The Group


Nicholas Aubin (HU Berlin)

Maria Avxentevskaya (MPIWG Berlin)

Angela Axworthy (MPIWG Berlin)

Vincenzo Carlotta (HU Berlin)

Grégory Clesse (Köln)

Mattia Cipriani (FU Berlin)

Anne Grons (FU Berlin)

Yehuda Halper (Bar Ilan)


Joshua Harvey (Oxford)

Giouli Korobili (HU Berlin)

Katja Krause (MPIWG Berlin)

Emmanuelle Kuhry (Orleans-IRHT)

Tom Lancaster (Durham)

Robert Middeke-Conlin (MPIWG Berlin)


Cesare Pastorino (TU Berlin)

Nicola Polloni (HU Berlin)

Rosie Reed Gold (London)

The Participants


Gracija Atanasovska (Potsdam)

Gracija Atanasovska is currently a master student at the University of Potsdam, Germany. She did her Bachelor’s degree in General and Comparative Literature at the Ss. Cyril and Methodius University in Skopje, Macedonia. Her main research areas are postcolonial and postmodern theory and literature, queer theory and feminist studies, affect theory, new materialism, as well as ecocritical theory and eco-philosophy.  She’s mostly interested in the role of the body as a generative site of signification, as well as the relationship between animality and language; she’s also fascinated by the notion of tactility and touch, the plurality of means of communication and reception of the world, as well as the relation between desire (love), subjectivity, the body, knowledge and imagination.

Luca Beisel (Tel Aviv)

Salvatore Carannante (SNS Pisa)

Salvatore Carannante (Naples, 1988) is honorary fellow (“cultore della materia”) at the University of Pisa and, since 2018, Habilitated Full Professor in History of Philosophy. After earning in 2016 a PhD in Philosophy at the Scuola Normale Superiore (Pisa), he was post-doc fellow at the Istituto Nazionale di Studi sul Rinascimento (Florence) and again at the Scuola Normale Superiore, within the research program PRIN (Research Projects of national Interest) 2015 “Costellazioni concettuali della prima età moderna. Fonti, testi, fortuna”. His research interests lie in Renaissance Philosophy (with special reference to Giordano Bruno and Leonardo da Vinci) and German Idealism. He has published several articles on peer reviewed journals and four books: Giordano Bruno e la caccia divina; Giordano Bruno e la filosofia moderna; Unigenita natura. Dio e universo in Giordano Bruno and Un Teseo per la nuova Germania. Hegel e Il Principe. He has contributed 150 entries to Giordano Bruno. Parole concetti immagini, an encyclopedic companion in three volumes to Bruno’s thought. Since 2015 he is member of the editorial board of the peer reviewed international journal Rinascimento.

Jordan Cohen (University of California)

My research interests are primarily focused on the academic history and the history of science within Ancient Greece, through the Classical and Hellenistic periods. I am particularly interested in themes and questions related to the intersection of philosophy, science, and the social world, as a means to understand the social pressures that informed knowledge production both in science and other academia. I am also interested in the daily processes of early academic institutions, which largely remain unknown and which information about can further clarify understanding of early knowledge production; thereby improving the understanding of early academic practices and trends in ancient knowledge.

Dominic Dold (MPIWG Berlin)

Viktoriia Dremova (Central European University)

Larissa Gniffke (HU Berlin)

I studied philosophy, protestant theology, cultural studies and educational studies in Erlangen and Berlin. Over the course of my studies I have been student assistant to the Departments of theology, philosophy and the Institute of educational studies. Some of the best discussions I had teaching some introductory tutorials, e.g. Introduction to Dogmatics, Introduction to Philosophy of Mind or Introduction to Analytic Philosophy. I’m currently (effective: 2019) doing an international master’s program called “Religion and Culture”, where I’m concerned with questions of all of the subjects I studied, but mostly philosophy, theology and especially their interplay. In my thesis I’m investigating Aquinas’s thoughts on the problems and limitations of theology as a science as well as its aims and prospects. Anyone working on a similar topic, who is interested in sharing ideas, is very welcome to e-mail me at larissa [dot] gniffke [at] hu-berlin [dot] de.

Niklaas Görsch (Lübeck)

Niklaas Görsch received a Bachelor of Arts in History from Philipps-Universität Marburg in 2014. Since 2012, he has been a member of the project “Archaeocopter and Archaeonautic” ( at HTW Dresden and Freie Universität (FU) Berlin and has participated in several photogrammetric landscape surveys with Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) and underwater photogrammetric surveys with UUV. From 2015 to 2017, he worked as a Student Assistant on the TOPOI-project “Antike Entfernungsangaben” in the Department of Historical Geography of the Mediterranean World within Friedrich-Meinecke-Institute at FU Berlin. With his main focus on history and classical archaeology, he completed his Master of Arts in History at Freie Universität (FU) Berlin in 2018. Between 2017 and 2019, Niklaas Görsch played a crucial role in supporting the IT-administration in strategic planning and coordination of the scientific part of the IT-unit of the German Archaeological Institute (DAI). In addition to organizational and administrative responsibilities, he managed the tasks concerning the intersections between computer science, archaeology and history. This includes the creation and teaching of elements of the Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) about Structure from Motion (SfM), as well as presentations at conferences referencing Geographic Information Systems (GIS) as a method in historical geography. As of May 2019, he is a Research Assistant at the University of Lübeck collaborating with four other interdisciplinary research groups in the SNF Sinergia Project, “In the Shadow of the Tree: The Diagrammatics of Relatedness as Scientific, Scholarly, and Popular Practice.” He is currently working on his PhD thesis entitled: “Joachim Jungius’s Morphology of Plants and its Reception in Natural History”.

Anna Heitger (FU Berlin)

I am a cultural and social anthropologist and currently a PhD candidate researching at the IRI Thesys in Berlin in the project Food4Future, my area of research being the relationship with the surrounding world that emerges in practices of food consumption. I have always been wondered why we see things the way we see them, and have always been curious to think about how things could be different. Cultural and social anthropology has given me the academic tools to think about these questions in a systematized and reflective way. I studied cultural and social anthropology in the BA and the MA program in Vienna, Austria, with a particular interest in different kinds of materialities and the subjectivities and objectivities that emerge in cultural practices. I am particularly interested in the borders between nature and culture that are navigated not only in ordinary everyday life practices, but also and importantly, in scientific practices. The intercultural perspectives and particularly decolonial perspectives I have learned about and have indeed learned to think with in the anthropological sense, have helped me to take note how these practices shape nature as we think of it, and how nature as a cultural concept itself emerges from these practices.

Thomas Henderson (Durham)

Niek Kerssies (Nijmegen)

Niek Kerssies, research master student in the History of Philosophy and bachelor student in Physics and Astronomy, Radboud Universiteit Nijmegen. Academically, I am interested in how philosophical questions are (to be) addressed in the modern and contemporary sciences (and society). Over the past year, i have worked on research concerning, among other things, the relation of the development of mechanical computers and that of formal logic in 19th century Britain, the role of classical and early modern arguments against void space in the 19th century scientific debate on the existence of a luminiferous aether, and the historical connections between complexity theory and continental philosophy in the context of the climate crisis. More generally, I am convinced of the importance of the ability of researchers and scientists to see, and deliberate on, the ways in which their research is embedded within the larger context of their scientific field and the endeavour of science in general, as well as how their live choices and actions are embedded in society and the present state of mankind. I think most of the larger problems we are experiencing are an effect of the alienation present in both the specialization-oriented structure of the scientific world and the specific task-oriented structure of our political and economic organization. I would like our future as researchers to be one in which we can contribute to a more transparent and integrated big picture-understanding, in order for which to happen we must not be afraid to ask the big, often discipline-breaking questions- albeit not without a sound method of researching them.

HyeJin Kim (Halle)

Alina Therese Lettner (Kassel)

Post/Doctoral researcher with a classical humanistic background. English/American and Italian Studies at the Universities of Vienna, Stirling, Florence, and Innsbruck, Austria (M.A. 2002). Training in a whole range of classical philologies (Latin, Greek, Sanskrit, Tibetan, Biblical Hebrew) and modern languages (e.g. Hindi, Hungarian, some Indonesian and Norwegian), including sociolinguistic fieldwork (New Zealand, Singapore) and paleographical basics (Old English homilies, Latin and Byzantine manuscript cultures). Second degree in Indology and Medieval English Language and Literature at the University of Göttingen, Germany (M.A. 2013). Research assistant, part-time lecturer, and doctoral candidate at the Department of English and American Studies (IfAA), Univ. of Kassel. 2014 successful thesis defense (summa cum laude): Eine Philologie der Denkformen für Indien und Europa: Sanskrit-Sūtras und Semiotik in den Cultural Studies, a ‘semiotic philology of thought forms’ developed with regard to the intellectual traditions of classical India and Europe (revised ed. forthc.).

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Gerd Micheluzzi (Vienna)

Gerd Micheluzzi studied Art History at the University of Graz. From 2016–2019 he was a Junior Researcher at the Department of Art History, University of Vienna, where he worked on his PhD project on “Function and Genesis of Cast Shadows in Late Medieval and Early Modern Painting”, for which he was awarded a three-year scholarship for outstanding doctoral candidates (uni:docs). Recently, he was awarded a Marietta Blau Grant by the Austrian Ministry of Science and Research (BMBWF) that allows him to finalize his project at the Kunsthistorisches Institut Florenz, Max-Planck-Institut. His research interests revolve around fourteenth- and fifteenth-century Italian painting, combining art and art theory with coeval natural philosophy and literature, such as Dante Alighieri’s Divine Comedy. Besides various presentations at international conferences, Gerd Micheluzzi has authored a paper on Taddeo Gaddi’s murals in the Cappella Baroncelli (published 2015), a case study on the interplay of iconography and prayers at San Piero a Grado (2019; under review), and recently co-organized an interdisciplinary conference on medieval studies (Narrare–producere–ordinare, March 2019) whose contributions and responses will be published in 2020.

Eileen Morgan (Notre Dame)

Eileen’s research considers recipes as sites of intersection between medieval natural philosophical theory and common practice. While her primary research interest lies in medieval recipe traditions, and culinary recipes in particular, more broadly she is interested in the many ways the history of science, medicine, and technology manifests in medieval material culture. Other interests include the body, medieval citation practices, the concept of technique, medievalism, and the digital humanities.

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Jenny García Ruales (Berlin)

Claire Sabel (University of Pennsylvania)

Thomas Seissl (Vienna)

Thomas Seissl, born 1990, received a BA in philosophy at the University of Salzburg (Austria) with a specialisation in history of philosophy in 2011. He earned his MA in philosophy at the University of Innsbruck (Austria) with a focus on logic, analytic philosophy of religion and metaphysics as well as medieval philosophy. Furthermore, he took up studies in classics. From 2017 to 2018 he was scientific assistant of Professor Dr Giovanni Ventimiglia at the professorship of philosophy at the Faculty of Theology, University of Lucerne (Switzerland). Since October 2018, he is doctoral student and member of the scientific staff at the department of philosophy at the University of Vienna (Austria). Currently, he is working on his dissertation project concerning the reception of Aristotle’s account of time in Physics in late ancient philosophy, supervised by Prof Dr George Karamanolis (University of Vienna) and Dr Laura Castelli (LMU Munich).

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Kseniia Utievska (TU Berlin)

Altug Yildirim (FU Berlin)

Verity Walsh (Stanford)

Wenrui Zhao (Columbia)