Senior Fellow

Prof. Dr.Klaus Koschorke

Klaus Koschorke (Dr. theol. Heidelberg 1976; Habilitation Bern 1991) is Professor Emeritus of the Chair for Early and Global History of Christianity at the Ludwig-Maximilian University Munich, which he developed into a centre for the study of the History of Christianity in the Non-Western World (Asia, Africa and Latin America); since 2013, he has been teaching and researching as guest professor in the UK (Liverpool), China (Beijing, Huangzhou), Japan (Tokyo), Korea (Seoul), South Africa (Pretoria), among other places. Inspired by several guest lectureships and research stays in India and Sri Lanka; as the convenor of the international and interdisciplinary Munich-Freising conferences; and as the director or lead investigator of various research projects, he developed with his team the concept of a polycentric history of World Christianity. As a senior Fellow of the DFG-Research Group, he is currently working on a History of Christianity in Asia, Africa and Latin America (1450-2000) and a collection of essays on the polycentricity of World Christianity.

SS 2022

Prof. Dr. Simon Ditchfield (May  July 2022)

Simon Ditchfield gained his Ph.D from the Warburg Institute at the University of London in 1991. Since then he has held a variety of positions in the department of history at the University of York, UK. In 2014 he became Professor of History there and has been working on writing a history of the making of Roman Catholicism as a world religion in the period 1500-1700ca. For the POLY project he gave a lecture in May 2021 on 'Agency and Appropriation in early modern Roman Catholicism' and in July 2022 he will speak on the topic: 'Rome Calling? Rewriting the Catholic Reformation for the 21st century'.

Dr. Kateryna Kovalchuk (March – June 2022)


My academic path took me from Classical Philology to the fields of Medieval and Byzantine Studies. Following my passion for the Medieval World, I undertook studies for degree programmes and conducted research in some of the world's leading universities and research centres.  I was generously supported by a number of prestigious scholarship awards (including the UK Foreign & Commonwealth Office Chevening Scholarship for the University of Oxford, A. Onassis scholarship, Dumbarton Oaks/Harvard University Fellowship, etc).  Preceded by MA and MPhil degrees in Medieval Studies from the Central European University in Budapest, I completed my doctorate at the Catholic University of Leuven and was awarded a PhD degree in Greek and Latin languages and literatures. My research focuses on Byzantine narratives of church and monastery foundations, Hagiography, Animal Sacrifice as a Chrisianized ritual.

Dr. Svitlana Potapenko (March July 2022)

Svitlana Potapenko (PhD in History 2010, M. S. Hrushevsky Institute of Ukrainian Archeography and Source Studies of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine), is a senior research fellow at the Department for Act Acheography of M.S. Hrushevsky Institute of Ukrainian Archeography and Source Studies of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine. She explores the early modern history of Ukraine and Eastern Europe with a focus on elites, social and juridical practices, and the transition of ideas. Within the POLY project, she examines the literary legacy of the eighteenth-century Ukrainian ecclesiastic intellectuals and their interactions with Western academic and artistic circles.

Dr. Oksana Prokopyuk (March – July 2022)


Oksana Prokopyuk (PhD in History 2007, Taras Shevchenko National university of Kyiv) is a Leading Research Fellow, Department of History and Archeology, National Preserve “Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra" Kyiv, Ukraine. She publishes widely on the history of the church, religious studies, social history, religious culture, history of empires of Eastern Europe, eighteenth-century studies. In the frame of the POLY project, she examines “communication through donations" within the religious culture of the Kyiv Orthodox Metropolitanate in the late 17th and 18th centuries.
PD Dr. Klaus Peter Todt (May – July 2022)


Dr. Samuel Weber (June – July 2022)

Samuel Weber (Ph.D. 2019, Bern and Durham, U.K.) is an Advanced Postdoctoral Researcher at the University of Bern and a Swiss National Science Foundation Fellow at the Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales. He is interested in the interplay between media and religion in the Catholic Mediterranean of the early modern period. His work on the cults of the Immaculate Conception and the Sacred Heart looks at how the second media revolution of the eighteenth century amplified the voices of both the proponents and the critics of these divisive devotions and, in so doing, contributed to the fragmentation of Catholic public opinion. As a POLY Fellow, he will examine the role of mass-produced devotional objects and novel habits of media consumption in the rapid spread of the cult of the Sacred Heart from a Visitation convent in rural Burgundy to the rest of France and the wider Catholic world at the dawn of the eighteenth century.

​SS 2021

Dr. Jörg Feuchter (April – September 2022)


Dr. Jörg Feuchter (Ph.D. in Medieval History 2006, Humboldt University Berlin) is the research coordinator (Arbeitsstellenleiter) for the project Regesta Imperii – Regesten Kaiser Friedrichs III. (1440-1493) at the Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences. His research on medieval religion focuses on 3 topics: Christian dissidence and repression, religious violence and transcultural entanglements between Islam and Christianity, and royal policy towards Jewish subjects. Feuchter has published widely on such topics including his monograph Ketzer, Konsuln und Büßer. Die städtischen Eliten von Montauban vor dem Inquisitor Petrus Cellani 1236-1241 (2007) as well as edited volumes including Religion and Its Other: Secular and Sacral Practices in Interaction (2008) and Cultural Transfers in Dispute: Representations in Asia, Europe and the Arab World since the Middle Ages (2011). His new book project is Tötungsrecht und Tötungsverbot. Der Plan von Kaiser Friedrich III. und Markgraf Albrecht von Brandenburg zur Ausplünderung der Nürnberger Judenschaft, 1463/1464. He is also interested in premodern political rhetoric and representation as well as studying history using methods drawn from the natural sciences, especially ancient DNA-based research.

Dr. Dominik Fugger (April – June 2021)

Dominik Fugger (PhD 2006, University of Mainz) currently researches the early modern histories of ideas, religion, and scholarship. He has published widely on early modern festival culture, ritual theory, and historiography. Building upon his extensive work on the early modern scholarly perception and theorising of paganism, Fugger will spend his POLY fellowship exploring the concept of polytheism: how it may be used by historians to understand identity formation within Christianity, especially within polycentric processes occurring along or across denominational boundaries.

Dipl. Mus. (Recorder) Nelly Sturm, M. Mus. (Bassoon) (March – September 2021)

Nelly Sturm is a professional musician who specializes in early music. She plays recorder and historical bassoon. While focusing on medieval, baroque and classical European repertoire, she has always been fascinated by non-European musical traditions. In 2010, she completed her diploma thesis on the transmission of Armenian liturgical music. Although this tradition relied on oral transmission for centuries, Sturm's project examined the influence of Western musical elements (such as polyphony and notation) since the 19th century. Since 2011, she has attended several practical courses for Indian and Persian music, especially North Indian classical styles and modal improvisation, with Kenneth Zuckerman at the Ali Akbar College of Music in Basel. During her POLY fellowship, she is in exchange with the Greek Orthodox sisters of the monastery Dionysios Trikkis and Stagon (Germany). She is also taking lessons in Byzantine chant in order to expand her knowledge of Eastern liturgical music traditions as well as the variety of musical conceptions centering on modality and its systematization (Octoechoi).

WS 2020/2021

Prof. Dr. Julia Herzberg (October 2020 – March 2021)


Julia Herzberg (PhD in Eastern European Cultures and Languages 2011, University of Bielefeld) is Professor of Eastern and Central European History and the History of Premodern Russia at the Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich. She has published widely on the autobiographical writing of peasants in Tsarist Russia and the Soviet Union. More recently, her research has focused on the environmental history of Central Eastern Europe and Russia. She is working on an environmental history of frost in Russia that examines the social and cultural aspects of the country's harsh climate. She is most centrally interested in the cultural implications of bodily afflictions. As a POLY Fellow, she is working on a book project titled Vigilance and Abstinence: Conflicts Over Fasting in Early Modern Russia (Vigilanz und Verzicht. Konflikte um das Fasten im Russland der Vormoderne). This work analyses practices of abstinence in the polycentric and ethnically diverse world of early modern Russia, with an emphasis on how those practices were monitored by secular and religious authorities, medical experts, and other individual actors.

Dr. Iryna Klymenko (October 2020 – March 2021)


Iryna Klymenko (PhD in History 2018, Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich) is a postdoctoral researcher at LMU within the DFG-funded 'Cultures of Vigilance' Collaborative Research Centre. She publishes on discursive semantics of social transformation in early modern Europe, synergies between historiographies of Western and Eastern Europe, and historical theory and method. With the POLY Fellowship, she is pursuing two closely-related book projects. The first investigates the cultural histories of abstinence and fasting in the ethnically diverse and multi-confessional cities of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth (1540–1648). The second studies early modern Jewish body practices and administrative self-regulation in multi-confessional Polish-Lithuanian cities.


Prof. Dr. Birgit Emich
Historisches Seminar
Lehrstuhl für Geschichte der Frühen Neuzeit
Norbert-Wollheim-Platz 1
D-60629 Frankfurt am Main
Tel.: +49-(0) 69/798-32594
E-Mail: emich[at]em.uni-frankfurt.de

Administration Office
Claudia Pätzold
Historisches Seminar
Lehrstuhl für Geschichte der Frühen Neuzeit
Goethe-Universität Frankfurt am Main
IG Farbenhaus 3.413
Norbert-Wollheim-Platz 1
D-60629 Frankfurt am Main
Tel.: +49-(0) 69/798-32595
E-Mail: c.paetzold[at]em.uni-frankfurt.de