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Uwe Fleckner

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Uwe Fleckner

Gerda Henkel Visiting Professor of German Studies

Uwe Fleckner is the first of four Visiting Professorships that Stanford University offers in collaboration with the Gerda Henkel Foundation through 2013-14, concentrating on various questions of contemporary German culture and history. During his stay, Professor Fleckner will continue his research on Aby Warburg’s “Picture Series” as well as on pictorial didactics in art history. He will also offer two courses for Stanford students during the spring quarter: one on “German Expressionism and its Critics,” and the other on “Art in Public Spaces: Berlin 1980-2000).”

Fleckner’s research ties in with his forthcoming edition of Aby Warburg’s (1866-1929) “Picture Series and Exhibitions,” a collaborative work with Isabella Woldt, that will be published in 2011 by the Berliner Akademie Verlag. The project concerns Warburg’s mostly wordless picture-essays that assumed the role of articles in his late work. The edition – reconstructing the “Picture Series” for the first time, as well as offering a commentary and hence providing the material grounds for further research – constitutes the first step. At the Department of German Studies, Fleckner will be able to make use of the interdisciplinary exchange facilitated by Stanford University to explore the intellectual context of Warburg’s late work.Born in 1961 in Dortmund, Fleckner studied art history, philosophy and German literature in Bochum and Hamburg between 1982 and 1988. He was awarded a doctorate for his dissertation on “Image and Abstraction. The Art of Portraiture in the Works of Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres” in 1991 from the Free University of  Berlin. Positions followed at the Free University and at the German Forum for Art History in Paris, at which he served as associate director from 1997 to 2002.  In 2002 he was promoted to professor on the basis of his seminal work, Carl Einstein and His Century, Fragments of an Intellectual Biography. In 2003, he founded the research group “Degenerate Art” at the Institute for Art History at the Free University, which investigates the methods and strategies of National Socialist art politics, including the confiscation of modern art works by the Nazis in 1937. The Gerda Henkel Foundation has subsidized the research group with personnel and material costs, as well as travel expenses since 2005. In 2004, Uwe Fleckner took over as the director of the Warburg-House in Hamburg and was appointed Professor of Art History at the University of Hamburg, where he established a further center of the research group “Degenerate Art”. In the coming year, Fleckner will publish in collaboration with Martin Warnke and Hendrik Ziegler the two-volume “Handbook of Political Iconography”. The book will be published by C.H. Beck with the financial support of the Gerda Henkel Foundation.