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Cordelia Hess

Senior lecturer

Cordelia Hess
Senior lecturer , Deputy Head
cordelia.hess@gu.se
+46 31 786 5084

Room number: 2417
Postal Address: Box 200, 40530 Göteborg
Visiting Address: Eklandagatan 86, plan 4 , 41261 Göteborg


Department of Historical Studies (More Information)
Box 200
405 30 Göteborg
www.historiskastudier.gu.se
historia@gu.se
Fax: +46 31 786 4456

Visiting Address: Eklandagatan 86 , 412 61 Göteborg

About Cordelia Hess

Born 1977, docent in history. M.A. from Hamburg University in history, theology and Scandinavian languages (2003), PhD from the same university in Medieval and Modern History (2007). 2009-2012, postdoc at Stockholm university, 2013 docent. Since 2012 researcher at the Royal Academy of Letters, Literature and Antiquities (Kungliga Vitterhetsakademien). In recent years research fellow at Herzog August Bibliothek Wolfenbüttel, Tel Aviv University and Zentrum für Antisemitismusforschung, Berlin. Since 2014 senior lecturer at the Department of Historical Studies.

Research Activities

My main interest is the interconnection between religion and politics, including the relation between religious majority and minority groups. I am also interested in processes of translation; between different languages, cultural regions and discourses or systems of knowledge. I often focus on the use of history and historical images in contemporary ideologies and political movements. This involves most recently several studies on the history of historiography, mainly in the area of German scholarship of the interwar period and National Socialism and how these scholars created paradigms for medieval population history and cultural history. The geographical focus of my work is on the Middle Low German area and the region that used to be the Teutonic Order’s state during the Middle Ages, Prussia. My research centers around four topics: hagiography, historical semantics, and most recently, Jewish-Christian relations and antisemitism, and late medieval urban conflicts.

My most recent monograph Social Imagery in Middle Low German addresses social metaphors. The purpose of the study is to question the historical narrative whereby the Holy Roman Empire was a homogeneous political construct, as well as to highlight the fact that the changes in the ecclesiastical and secular power relations that took place during the Reformation had their semantic precursor some 50 ̶100 years earlier – at least in the Northern parts of the Empire and in the Baltic region. Besides social ordering within Christian society, the social imagery investigated also draws attention towards its boundaries, here mostly represented by Jews.

Currently, my main project is an exploration of Jewish life in medieval Prussia and a study of the related German historiography. Although there has been substantial research into most aspects of Jewish life and Jewish settlement during the European Middle Ages, Prussia remains largely overlooked. There are two reasons for this: on the one hand, the source material is very limited, and on the other hand, there is a preconception that the German landlords had an active anti-Jewish policy and forbade Jewish settlements. The work of most of the researchers from the late 1800s until National Socialism and also in post-war Germany and Poland supported this thesis. The most influential and comprehensive survey was published in 1937 by Kurt Forstreuter, an archivist at the Staatsarchiv Königsberg who was actively involved in the looting of Polish and Jewish archives in the occupied territories. Forstreuter concluded that the Teutonic Order had functioned as an effective Germanic bulwark ("Bollwerk") against the surrounding Ostjudentum. Despite his undeniably antisemitic perspective, Forstreuter’s assertions about the medieval Jewish communities have never been questioned. My study is not aimed at detecting previously unknown Jewish communities in medieval Prussia, but is going to show that the Teutonic Order did not pursue an active anti-Jewish policy, and that Prussia was an area with comparatively little anti-Jewish propaganda and few conflicts between Christian and Jewish inhabitants.

For a complete list of publications, see Academia

Latest publications

Kommentar zu Jan Weyand, "Zum Wandel des Antisemitismus in der Debatte um die Judenemanzipation"
Cordelia Heß
EPD Dokumentation / Antisemitismus als politische Theologie. Typologien und Welterklärungsmuster Tagung der Evangelischen Akademie zu Berlin, 24. - 26. Januar 2017, Frankfurt am Main, Gemeinschaftswerk der Evangelischen Publizistik (GEP) gGmbH, Conference paper 2017
Conference paper

Jewish Life and Books under Scrutiny : Ethnography, Polemics, and Converts
Cordelia Heß, Jonathan Adams
Revealing the Secrets of the Jews / edited by Jonathan Adams and Cordelia Heß , Berlin, DeGruyter, Chapter in book 2017
Chapter in book

Jew-Hatred Sells? Anti-Jewish Print Production in the German Dialects
Cordelia Heß
Revealing the Secrets of the Jews/ edited by Jonathan Adams and Cordelia Heß , Berlin, DeGruyter, Chapter in book 2017
Chapter in book

Urban Community and Social Unrest. Semantics of Conflict in Fourteenth-Century Lübeck
Cordelia Heß
Imagined communities on the Baltic Rim from the Eleventh to Fifteenth Centuries / edited by Wojtek Jezierski and Lars Hermanson, Amsterdam, Amsterdam University Press, Chapter in book 2016
Chapter in book

Showing 1 - 10 of 19

2017

Kommentar zu Jan Weyand, "Zum Wandel des Antisemitismus in der Debatte um die Judenemanzipation"
Cordelia Heß
EPD Dokumentation / Antisemitismus als politische Theologie. Typologien und Welterklärungsmuster Tagung der Evangelischen Akademie zu Berlin, 24. - 26. Januar 2017, Frankfurt am Main, Gemeinschaftswerk der Evangelischen Publizistik (GEP) gGmbH, Conference paper 2017
Conference paper

Jewish Life and Books under Scrutiny : Ethnography, Polemics, and Converts
Cordelia Heß, Jonathan Adams
Revealing the Secrets of the Jews / edited by Jonathan Adams and Cordelia Heß , Berlin, DeGruyter, Chapter in book 2017
Chapter in book

Jew-Hatred Sells? Anti-Jewish Print Production in the German Dialects
Cordelia Heß
Revealing the Secrets of the Jews/ edited by Jonathan Adams and Cordelia Heß , Berlin, DeGruyter, Chapter in book 2017
Chapter in book

2016

Urban Community and Social Unrest. Semantics of Conflict in Fourteenth-Century Lübeck
Cordelia Heß
Imagined communities on the Baltic Rim from the Eleventh to Fifteenth Centuries / edited by Wojtek Jezierski and Lars Hermanson, Amsterdam, Amsterdam University Press, Chapter in book 2016
Chapter in book

2015

Showing 1 - 10 of 19

Page Manager: Cecilia Köljing|Last update: 2/21/2017
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