Mercator Fellows & Guests

Former mercator fellows

Former Mercator-Fellows

2018 – JERZY „JUREK“ ELŻANOWSKI

Jerzy Elżanowski is Assistant Professor in Indigenous and Canadian Studies (Heritage Conservation) at Carleton University, jointly appointed to the Institute for Comparative Studies in Literature, Art and Culture. His current research projects focus on a) the history and historiography of urban war damage, including archival bomb damage maps and destruction surveys; b) difficult monuments in Canada’s National Capital Region in the context of transnational commemorative practices; c) multi-vocal consultation methodologies for engaging communities in design for public installations. He holds a professional Master’s degree in Architecture from McGill University, and a joint PhD in Heritage Conservation, Architectural History, and Interdisciplinary Studies from the Bauhaus University Weimar and the University of British Columbia. He has taught and practiced in the fields of architecture and heritage conservation across Canada, Germany, and Poland.

Jurek was our Mercator-Fellow at the Research Training Group from June to December 2018. He worked intensively with our PhD students in Berlin and Weimar on subjects such as memory and identity politics and served as a respondent to them in our colloquia. He organized (together with Emily Putnam) our study trip to Canada including visits to Montreal, Ottawa and Toronto.

In our “Identity and Heritage” Lecture Series he held two lectures – one in Berlin and one in Weimar (together with Carmen Enss). You can listen to the lectures in our Podcast Section.

More information on Jurek you will find here.

Current Mercator Fellow

Prof. Zvi Efrat

Prof. Dr. Zvi Efrat will be part of our research group from October 2021 to March 2022.

Zvi Efrat, Architect and Architectural Historian, is partner at Efrat-Kowalsky Architects (EKA) and was Head of the Department of Architecture at the Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design, Jerusalem (2002-2010). He holds B.Arch. from Pratt Institute, MA. In Cinema Studies from NYU and PhD. In Architectural History and Theory from Princeton University. He has taught and lectured worldwide, published extensively and curated numerous exhibitions.

Research Areas

  • Planning and architecture of early Zionism
  • Israeli Architecture: The Formative Years (1948 – 1967)
  • Post-War European and American architecture
  • Brutalism and Post-Brutalism
  • Tropical Modernism (in West Africa, South-East Asia and Central America).

His book, The Israeli Project: Building and Architecture 1948-1973, was published in Hebrew in 2004 by the Tel Aviv Museum of Art. His book The Object of Zionism, The Architecture of Israel was published by Spector Books, Leipzig, in 2018.

Among the recent projects of Efrat-Kowalsky Architects (EKA): Performing Arts Campus in Jerusalem: The Israel Museum in Jerusalem (renewal and expansion); City Museum of Tel Aviv (preservation and new additions): The Ramat Gan Museum of Israeli Art; The Holocaust Museum in Thessaloniki, Greece.

Guests

Within public lecture series and annual conferences our guests have presented theoretical positions, history related artworks and planning strategies that relate to the theme of "identity and heritage".

Anna Angelica Ainio

Anna Angelica Aino studierte Kunstgeschichte und visuelle Kultur an der University of Oxford sowie Kunsttheorie und Erbeforschung am University College London. Laufende kunsthistorische Forschungen verfolgt sie mit den Schwerpunkten zeitgenössische Kunst, Erbeforschung und öffentliche Skulptur. Sie ist wissenschaftliche Assistentin an der Universität Mailand (Prof. Giancarlo Lacchin, 2019) und arbeitet an der Veröffentlichung von Il Cangiante (Mailand, 2020) mit. Seit 2021 ist sie Mitglied des European Young Heritage Ambassador-Programms, das eine Verbindung zwischen europäischen Institutionen und der Öffentlichkeit herstellt, um das Bewusstsein für die Erhaltung des kulturellen Erbes und Nachhaltigkeit zu erhöhen.

Götz Aly

Götz Aly has received numerous awards for his critically discussed contributions to the research of national his recently published book “Das Prachtboot. Wie Deutsche die Kunstschätze der Südsee raubten” (2021), he took part in the controversial debate about the handling of the exhibition pieces of colonial origin in the rebuilt Berlin Castle.

Ringvorlesung vom 16.11.2021:
GÖTZ ALY (BERLIN): CRAZY ABOUT HISTORY. THE GERMANS – A NATION WITHOUT A CENTRE

Arnold Bartetzky

Arnold Bartetzky is an art historian and architecture critic, and works as the head of department at the Leibniz Institute for the History and Culture of Eastern Europe (GWZO) and as honorary professor at the University of Leipzig. He writes among others at the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung. He is a member of various expert committees for urban development, preservation of historical monuments and the promotion of science. His fields of work include architecture, urban planning, monument preservation and political iconography. Recent book publications: Das verschwundene Leipzig. Das Prinzip Abriss und Neubau in drei Jahrhunderten Stadtentwicklung. Leipzig 2020 (together with Anna Reindl); Geschichte bauen. Architektonische Rekonstruktion und Nationenbildung vom 19. Jahrhundert bis heute, Cologne-Weimar-Vienna 2017 (ed.); Die gerettete Stadt. Architektur und Stadtentwicklung in Leipzig. Erfolge – Risiken – Verluste. Leipzig 2015.

Heike Becker

Prof. Heike Becker is a sociocultural anthropologist and author. She is Chair of the Anthropology Department of the University of the Western Cape in South Africa, where she teaches courses about anthropological theory, visual culture, popular culture, and the politics of difference. Her research interests have focused on the politics of memory, popular and visual culture, and social movements of resistance in southern Africa (South Africa and Namibia). She currently also works on decolonizing the public space, memory activism and anti-racist politics in Germany and the United Kingdom. She has published widely on monuments, commemorations and public art in Namibia and South Africa, among others, ‘Changing Urbanscapes: Colonial and postcolonial monuments in Windhoek’ (Nordic Journal of African Studies), ‘Commemorating heroes in Windhoek and Eenhana: memory, culture and nationalism in Namibia, 1990-2010’ (Africa. Journal of the International African Institute), and ‘Remembering Marikana: public art intervention and the right to the city in Cape Town’ (Social Dynamics), and together with Carola Lentz a special issue on ‘The politics and aesthetics of commemoration: National days in southern Africa’, (Anthropology Southern Africa).

Ringvorlesung vom 22.11.2021:
Falling Monuments, Rising Memories: The Politics and Aesthetics of Postcolonial Memory Cultures and Urbanscape in Southern Africa.

Prof. Zvi Efrat

Prof. Dr. Zvi Efrat will be part of our research group from October 2021 to March 2022.

Zvi Efrat, Architect and Architectural Historian, is partner at Efrat-Kowalsky Architects (EKA) and was Head of the Department of Architecture at the Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design, Jerusalem (2002-2010). He holds B.Arch. from Pratt Institute, MA. In Cinema Studies from NYU and PhD. In Architectural History and Theory from Princeton University. He has taught and lectured worldwide, published extensively and curated numerous exhibitions.

Research Areas

  • Planning and architecture of early Zionism
  • Israeli Architecture: The Formative Years (1948 – 1967)
  • Post-War European and American architecture
  • Brutalism and Post-Brutalism
  • Tropical Modernism (in West Africa, South-East Asia and Central America).

His book, The Israeli Project: Building and Architecture 1948-1973, was published in Hebrew in 2004 by the Tel Aviv Museum of Art. His book The Object of Zionism, The Architecture of Israel was published by Spector Books, Leipzig, in 2018.

Among the recent projects of Efrat-Kowalsky Architects (EKA): Performing Arts Campus in Jerusalem: The Israel Museum in Jerusalem (renewal and expansion); City Museum of Tel Aviv (preservation and new additions): The Ramat Gan Museum of Israeli Art; The Holocaust Museum in Thessaloniki, Greece.

Marco A. M. Gabriel

Marco Antonio Minozzo Gabriel is a Brazilian architect currently holding a scholarship as a Ph.D. candidate in Preservation of the Architectural Heritage at Politecnico di Milano, Italy. His research focuses on the constitution, patrimonialization, and touristification of the fachwerkarchitecture made by Pomeranian Immigrants in the Itajai Valley, Santa Catarina, Brazil.  Marco holds an M.Sc. in Architectural Conservation from the University of Edinburgh (2015-2016), obtained with distinction as a UK Chevening Awards scholar.

Prior experiences include working as the Immigration Region Technical Office Chief for the Brazilian National Historical and Artistic Heritage Institute (2017-2019); being the Brazilian delegate at the UNESCO’S World Heritage Young Professionals Forum in Bahrain (2018) and at UNESCO Third International Youth Forum on Heritage and Creativity along the Silk Roads (China-2019); and a speaker at the UNESCO International Youth Forum Special Dialogue on Youth’s Response to COVID-19 (2020).

Ringvorlesung vom 1.12.2021:
TRANSTRANSNATIONAL ARCHITECTURAL IDENTITIES. THE ROLE OF FACHWERK IN THE VALORIZATION OF THE GERMAN-BRAZILIAN CULTURES IN THE ITAJAI VALLEY BRAZIL FROM THE 1970S ONWARDS

Rachel Győrffy

Rachel Győrffy studied architecture at the TU Munich in Germany and at the Arts University Bournemouth in the United Kingdom. Following her ten years of professional experience in Germany and Hungary, she started her PhD at Moholy-Nagy University of Art and Design in Budapest in 2019. Her research focuses on architectural theory and the study of urban planning processes in the context of the current paradigms of reconstructivism and the smart city. She investigates possible causes of the negative perception of postwar modernism and the effects (or lack) of adaptive reuse on urban space, incorporating concepts from sociology (Martina Löw) as well as aspects of aesthetic capitalism (Gernot Böhme) and the tourism industry into her research. Recently, she participated in a competition of ideas in which she proposed new uses for a post-war building in Budapest that was threatened with demolition and its reintegration into the urban fabric. She published an article on this in the Austrian student architecture journal LAMA (Spring 2021). Since October 2021, she has been working as a Research and Teaching Assistant at the Institute of Architectural Theory, History of Art and Cultural Studies at TU Graz.

Nasima Islam

Nasima Islam is an assistant Professor in the department of English at Nasima Islam is an Assistant Professor in the Department of English at Acharya Girish Chandra Bose College at the University of Calcutta in India. She did her MPhil in 2018 on the thematic of the women sphere of rural Bengali Muslims of the state of West Bengal in India from Centre for Studies in Social Sciences, Calcutta (CSSSC). Currently, she is working on the idea of postcolonial literary-cultural Censorship in India as a PhD scholar at CSSSC. Her broader research areas include Censorship studies, subaltern studies, Dalit literature, Minor Literature, studies on New Social Movements, Critical literary theories, Gender and Sexuality Studies.

Irakli Khvadagiani

Between 2005-2009, Irakli Khvadagiani studied in the Faculty of Social and Political Sciences at the Tbilisi State University, specializing in journalism. From 2010 to 2013 he studied at the Master Programs at Ilia State University, specializing in Caucasus in the European and Global context. From 2014 he is a Ph.D. candidate at the Ilia State University. Since 2010 he works as a researcher at the Soviet Past Research Laboratory and as a chairman of the board since 2017.

Johan Lagae

Johan Lagae is Full Professor at Ghent University, where he teaches 20th Century Architectural History with a focus on the non-European context. In 2007, he was a chercheur invité at the Institut National d’Histoire de l’Art in Paris and recently was a fellow at the Paris Institut des Etudes Avancées. He holds a PhD on colonial architecture in the former Belgian Congo and has published widely on the topic, as well as on 20th century architectural and urban history in Central-Africa, and on the notion of colonial built heritage. He co-authored two books on the built landscapes of the city of Kinshasa and (co-)curated several Congo-related exhibitions, such as Le mémoire du Congo. Le temps colonial (2005), Congo belge en images (2010), and more recently A chacun sa maison. Housing in the Belgian Congo 1945-1960 (2018). From 2010 till 2014 he co-chaired a European research community devoted to the theme “European Architecture beyond Europe” (COST-action IS0904), and he currently is co-editor of ABE-Journal, a peer reviewed, open access scholarly magazine devoted to 19th and 20th century architecture beyond Europe.

Ringvorlesung vom 07.12.2021:
“SORRY CONGO !?” ON THE POSITIONALITY OF ARCHITECTURAL HISTORY IN DEALING WITH CONGO’S COLONIAL PAST

Friederike Landau-Donnelly

Friederike Landau-Donnelly is an Assistant Professor of Cultural Geography at Radboud University in Nijmegen, Netherlands, where she currently teaches courses in urban and cultural geography, spatial theory, research methods and geographies of care. She is an interdisciplinary scholar whose research interests focus on the politics of public space and contested narratives around the ‘creative’ city. Her empirically grounded research interweaves political theories of conflict, power and urban space with literature on artistic activism, social movements and civic self-organization. She recently co-edited the volume “[Un]Grounding – Post-Foundational Geographies” with Lucas Pohl and Nikolai Roskamm, in the quest to advance conflict-oriented notions of space and spatiality. 

Kristina Leko

Kristina Leko is a Berlin based visual and interdisciplinary artist and an educator. Since 2013 she teaches contextual based art practices with focus on participatory and community art and art in public space at the Institute for Art in Context, at the UDK Berlin. She works in the medium of installation, video, documentary film, photography, text, objects, drawings, with social interaction and empowerment at the core of her mostly participatory artistic practice, which is often placed in public space.

Patricia Lenz

Patricia Lenz is a Ph.D. student in Art History at the University of Zurich. With a background in socio-scientific Japanology and Global Art History, her research examines Asia-Pacific War memories in contemporary Japanese art since the 1990s focusing on artists from the second postwar generation and later, including Ōura Nobuyuki’s “Holding Perspective”, Aida Makoto’s “War Picture Returns” series as well as Dokuyama Bontarō and Fujii Hikaru addressing Japan’s history as a colonial power in Taiwan. Lenz is a JSPS-fellow and will pursue her research at Tokyo University at the end of 2021.

Nnenna Onuoha

Nnenna Onuoha is a Ghanaian-Nigerian artist and filmmaker based in Berlin. Her work centres Afrodiasporic voices, to explore monumental silences surrounding the histories and afterlives of colonialism across West Africa, Europe and the US, asking: how do we remember, which pasts do we choose to perform and why? She is currently a PhD researcher in Anthropology with Media at Harvard University, and in Global History at Potsdam University.

Lukas Rathjen

Lukas Rathjen has been a doctoral student at the Chair of Literature and Cultural Studies at the ETH Zurich since March 2021. In 2020, he completed his Master’s degree in History and Philosophy of Knowledge with a dissertation on the “Darmstädter Gespräche”. Prior to that, he studied History, Archaeology and Interdisciplinary Anthropology in Hamburg and Freiburg. His thesis on the intellectual culture of communication in the post-war period in the Federal Republic of Germany is supervised by Prof. Dr. Andreas Kilcher and Prof. Dr. Philipp Felsch (Humboldt University Berlin), and is supported by the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF) with a doc.ch-scholarship. The working title of his PhD project is: Rhetorical Humanism: A History of Knowledge on ‘Conversation’ in the Early Federal Republic (1947-1968).

Natalie Reinsch

Natalie Reinsch studied modern and contemporary history, medieval history and political science at the Eberhard Karls University of Tübingen. Since June 2020 she works as a research assistant at the Museumsverband für Niedersachsen und Bremen e.V. She also served as the curator of the exhibition “Horst Brandstätter und die Frage der (Un)Freiheit. A Swabian Intellectual, Networker and Cultural Mediator”, Württembergischer Kunstverein Stuttgart (2020) and as a research assistant at the Haus der Geschichte Baden-Württemberg between June 2014- June 2018. Her publications: Barbara Magen, Natalie Reinsch (Hrsg.): Vom Ihr zum Wir. Flüchtlinge und Vertriebene im Niedersachsen der Nachkriegszeit. Hannover 2021. Horst Brandstätter und die Frage der (Un)Freiheit. Ein schwäbischer Intellektueller, Netzwerker und Kulturvermittler, Katalog zur Ausstellung im Württembergischen Kunstverein, Stuttgart 2020.

Anatol Rykov

Anatol Rykov is Professor of Art History in the Department of History of Western European Art at the Institute of History in Saint Petersburg State University. His habilitation (2008), as well as his book “Postmodernism as Radical Conservatism” (2007) considered the connotations of right-wing politics and philosophy in the contemporary US “left” art criticism (October journal). His dissertation concerns the social aspects of David Hockney’s artwork (2003). He is also the author of the book “Politics of Avant-Garde” (2019) and numerous publications on the theory of deconstruction.

Ingrid Scheurmann

Prof. Dr. phil. Ingrid Scheurmann, historian, honorary professor for monument preservation at the TU Dortmund, lecturer at the TU Berlin (Master’s degree programme in historical building research and monument preservation)

2001-2008
Head of the Dehio office at the foundation Deutsche Stiftung Denkmalschutz, 2005 curator of the exhibition “Layers of time – Recognising and Preserving. Monument Preservation in Germany”

2008-2012
Professor for heritage studies and applied building research at the TU Dresden and head of the Master’s programme “Heritage Conservation and Urban Development”

2009-2912
Head of the sub-project “Between History and Historicisation” within the BMBF research project “Monument – Values – Dialogue”

2014-17
Head of the sub-project “Another Expansion of the Concept of Monument?” within the BMBF research project “Which Monuments of Which Modernity?”
Member of the board of the Working Group Theory and Teaching of Monument Preservation (2008-2018), of the board of the Association for the History of Berlin, of the Archeological Heritage Network of the Federal Foreign Office and of Icomos.

Ringvorlesung 10/26/2021
CONTINUITY OR CHANGE MANAGEMENT? HISTORIC PRESERVATION IN TIMES OF CLIMATE CHANGE

Alexandra Staub

Alexandra Staub is a professor of architecture at Penn State University and an affiliate faculty of Penn State’s Rock Ethics Institute. Her research focuses on how our built environment shapes, and is shaped by, our understanding of culture. This interest leads her to examine not just what we build, but also how we get there: design processes and their social implications, the economic, ecological, and social sustainability of architecture and urban systems, interpretations of private and public spaces, architectural ethics understood as questions of power and empowerment, and how social class or gender shapes our expectations for the use of space.
After receiving her B.A. from Barnard College in New York, Alexandra Staub studied architecture at the University of the Arts in Berlin, where she graduated in 1991. She received her Ph.D. at the Brandenburg University at Cottbus. She has published two books, Conflicted Identities: Housing and the Politics of Cultural Representation in 2015 and The Routledge Companion to Modernity, Space, and Gender in 2018, as well as countless articles and reviews. Her current work focuses on the intersection of architecture and urban design with ethics, stakeholder theory, and social justice concerns.

Lecture 11-01-2022:
WHOSE ARCHITECTURE? WHOSE IDENTITY? EXAMINING ETHICS AND STAKEHOLDER THEORY AS A FRAMEWORK FOR ARCHITECTURAL PRODUCTION

Niloufar Tajeri

Niloufar Tajeri is an architect, researcher and activist based in Berlin. She teaches at the Department of History and Theory of Architecture and City (GTAS) at the Technical University Braunschweig. Her PhD thesis is concerned with structural racism permeating planning processes and architectural practice. Focusing on a planned large-scale project in Berlin-Neukölln she is particularly interested in how societal discourse and normative architectural practice inform and reproduce spatial injustice. As a research fellow at Akademie Schloss Solitude in Stuttgart (2015/16) she looked into urban uprisings and memory conflicts in relation to neoliberal urban development. Her exhibition “Thinking a Monument to (Sub)Urban Riots” was first shown at the Akademie Schloss Solitude in Stuttgart and travelled to Ljubljana and Goricia. She co-edited the volumes “Nights of the Dispossessed: Riots Unbound” (New York, 2021), “Small Interventions. New Ways of Living in Post-War Modernism” (Basel, 2016) and “Kabul: Secure City, Public City” (Volume Magazine, 2008). 

Klára Ullmannová

Klára Ullmannová studied art history at the Charles University in Prague and conservation at Uppsala University. She is currently a PhD student in the Department of Theory and History of Architecture at the Czech Technical University. In her dissertation, she focuses on architecture of the second half of the 20th century in Czechia as heritage and on the context and discourses of this heritage process, both institutional and public. Her research interests include conservation of built cultural heritage and perspectives in heritage studies.