3-year Research Project on Humboldt’s American Travel Diaries announces Openings at the University of Potsdam, Germany

Announcement of Openings

Detail of Julius Schrader's portrait "Alexander von Humboldt", 1859 (Source: Wikimedia Commons)

Detail of Julius Schrader’s portrait “Alexander von Humboldt”, 1859 (Source: Wikimedia Commons)

The Chair of French- and Spanish-speaking Literatures (Prof. Dr. Ottmar Ette) at the Institute for Romance Languages and Literatures of the Philosophical Faculty of the University of Potsdam announces 5 openings in the context of a new BMBF project entitled “Alexander von Humboldt’s American Travel diaries: Genealogy, Chronology, and Epistemology.”

The following three-year positions are available for February 1, 2014:

  • 1 Postdoctoral Research Assistantship (full-time, 40 hours/week) [155/2013]
  • 1 Postdoctoral Research Assistantship (half-time, 20 hours/week) [156/2013]
  • 3 Pre-doctoral Research Assistantships (full-time/40 hours/week) [157/2013]

Salaries for all positions are competitive (E 13 and E 14 in the German context).

In the context of this transdisciplinary project (under the direction of Prof. Dr. Ottmar Ette), the following research disciplinary foci are most desirable: literary studies, visual studies, history of science, geography. The expected outcome for each position is either a completed doctoral dissertation or a publishable monograph.


  • write a dissertation or monograph in the context of the above project.
  • help organize conferences/workshops about the topic of the BMBF project.
  • assist in preparing scholarly editions and/or collections.
  • collaborate with the project’s partners (Stiftung Preußischer Kulturbesitz) Continue reading

Published @ Vimeo: Interview with Ottmar Ette on TransArea Studies (English subtitles)

TransArea: Ottmar Ette on Caribbean Literatures, Fractal Gardens and Tropical Microcosms on Vimeo.


Ottmar Ette (OE): My name is Ottmar Ette, I was born in the Black Forest region of Germany and was raised bilingually. I live in Potsdam, though not here in the Botanical Garden. I have been working here in Potsdam for many years, studying the works of Alexander von Humboldt for over three decades. Humboldt was very familiar with gardens like this one. So this is a very special place for me. I would describe myself as a scholar in Comparative and Romance literature, and I have always understood Romance Studies to be a global science. It has fascinated me since my days as a student and still does today.
I wrote my PhD thesis on a Cuban poet and my „Habilitation“ on a French theoretician. I am passionate about what I do, and I try to share that passion with others.

Nina Hübner (NH): Thank you so much for this nice introduction, Mr. Ette. As you just mentioned, we are sitting here in the Botanical Garden of the University of Potsdam. We chose this place because you have been working for many years now on the tropics and the Caribbean. You recently published a book concerned with TransArea Studies.
In a nutshell: What exactly does TransArea mean? Continue reading

Published @ Vimeo: Interview with Ottmar Ette on TransArea Studies (German)

TransArea: Ottmar Ette über karibische Literaturen, fraktale Gärten und tropische Mikrokosmen on Vimeo.

Interview with Ottmar Ette, Professor of Romance and Comparative Literature at the Universität Potsdam, Germany. The interview was conducted in German and filmed in 2012 at the Botanical Garden, Potsdam. In it, Ottmar Ette explains and reflects upon his concept of TransArea Studies. On this subject, Ette published in 2012 his monograph TransArea. Eine literarische Globalisierungsgeschichte (Berlin, Boston: De Gruyter).

The video interview was drafted, prepared, and produced by Jan Schmieder, Maria-Anna Schiffers, Nina Hübner, and Sebastián Roldán. It is the result of the project seminar “Broadcasting Science: Video-Interviews zu Schlüsselkonzepten der TransArea Studies” (instructor: Tobias Kraft) and is part of the Master Degree studies program for Romance Studies at the Universität Potsdam.

Technical assistance and consulting: Audiovisuelles Zentrum (AVZ), Universität Potsdam