Press releases

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Goethe University PR & Communication Department 

Theodor-W.-Adorno Platz 1
60323 Frankfurt


Jun 20 2023

Introducing the "Center for Critical Computational Studies" 

Goethe University launches pioneering research field on former Biocampus

With the establishment of the new "Center for Critical Computational Studies" (C3S for short), Goethe University Frankfurt is taking a significant step towards the advancement of computational, data and algorithm-based methods. C3S launches a future-oriented research, teaching and transfer environment that allows for system understandings to be deepened across domains, while at the same time sustainably and justifiably shaping the (post-)digital transformation. C3S will breathe new life into the former Biocampus on Frankfurt's Siesmayerstrasse.

"Critical Computational Studies" is a pioneering research field aimed at founding, developing, and applying computational – i.e. computer-, algorithm- and data-based – methods, while considering the interactions between computational advances on one hand, and humans, society and technology on the other. By interweaving the computational and the critical, one of Goethe University's goals is to understand the opportunities and challenges of (post-)digital transformations – and to actively shape them. The newly created center takes on a leading role in this. 

Commenting on C3S' establishment, Goethe University President Prof. Dr. Enrico Schleiff says: "The plan I outlined in my presidential election campaign for a new 'Center for Critical Computational Studies' to open up new paths into digitality is now being put into practice. The center underscores our commitment to cutting-edge research and methods development, and also serves as testimony of our accepting responsibility for shaping the (post-)digital age. To this end, we aim to significantly expand the development of effective computational methods and pave the way for the responsible use of such technologies. Not only will the center be a catalyst for innovative ideas and groundbreaking research, it will also serve both existing and future Goethe University colleagues. C3S also reflects our commitment to the sustainable use of existing buildings, as the center reactivates the former Biocampus on Siesmayerstrasse – a second key campaign promise for my term in office and a major achievement for Goethe University and the city of Frankfurt. I wish the center's directors a lucky hand and foresight. After all, it is the first steps that are the most crucial." 

The founding team is made up of four members, who come from the fields of humanities, social sciences, life sciences and computer sciences. Their diverse backgrounds are not the only reflection of the center's interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary aspirations. In the next two years, C3S will appoint twelve new professors. By cooperating closely with leading researchers from various faculties, the center will bundle a wide range of expertise while providing new impulses for Goethe University's Profile Areas. The special support offered to Early Career Researchers will also strengthen C3S' Principal Investigators. 

In addition to research, the center is also active in teaching, study and transfer, imparting "Critical Computational Literacy" not only to the university as a whole, but to society as well, thereby fostering the creative operation of promising computer technologies and at the same time propagating the necessary reflective competence for their ethical, social, political and economic implications. 

C3S will move into the former Biocampus on Frankfurt's Siesmayerstrasse once the historic space is renovated. Revitalizing this location will create inspiring contexts that will provide researchers with the space they need for research, teaching and transfer. 

Commenting on the center's significance and its initial activities, C3S' founding spokesman Prof. Dr. Christoph Burchard says: "C3S is a unique opportunity – both for our university and the Rhine-Main region. I am very grateful for the trust placed in me as the center's founding spokesperson. Together with the C3S Principal Investigators, we in the founding board will create the necessary structures to truly establish 'Critical Computational Studies'. I would like to add here that none of this would have been possible without the initiative and tireless commitment of Goethe University's president. In drawing on all the important preparatory contributions, we are now setting priorities and integrating our activities into the university's overall strategy. To this end, we are in close contact with the Cluster of Excellence initiatives and are actively seeking an intensive exchange with the Profile Areas and the faculties – all of which are key C3S partners. We have already initiated first research projects together with Goethe University colleagues, we are advancing 'Critical Computational Studies' in teaching (by promoting 'Critical Computational Literacy'), and are starting first transfer activities. At the same time, we have launched the processes to appoint twelve new professors to C3S. This is one of our main goals right now." 

Information on the center's research priorities and initiatives can be found on its website:

Additional information:
Prof. Dr. Christoph Burchard (founding spokesperson)

Editor: Pia Barth, Public Relations Officer, PR & Communications Office, Tel. + 49 (0)69 798 12481, Fax + 49 (0)69 798 763 12531,


Jun 12 2023

Art historian Miguel A. Gaete receives Klaus Heyne Award for Research in German Romanticism 

Postcolonial Reflections on Romantic Understandings of Nature

The Award for Research in German Romanticism – endowed by the pediatrician and Romanticism enthusiast Prof. Dr. Klaus Heyne from the German city of Kiel – will be awarded for the second time in 2023. This year's prize recognizes the work of Dr. Miguel A. Gaete on the romantic and colonial influence of German artists who traveled to Chile in the 19th century.

Informed by approaches drawn from a history of ideas, cultural studies and postcolonial theory, art historian Dr. Miguel A. Gaete examined the paintings and drawings of six less-known German artists, who travelled to Chile in the 19th century and depicted the indigenous population, the South American landscapes and the local flora and fauna. 

In his dissertation thesis, “Depicting Terra Incognita: German Romanticism, Arts, Sciences, and the Colonial Gaze in Chile, 1800–1899," Gaete demonstrates that German artists had more than just Humboldt's South American images and romantic theories about the relationship between humankind, nature, landscape, and aesthetics in mind when they journeyed to the Spanish-American colony to depict and describe the country and its people. Their paintings and drawings can also be seen as influenced by contemporary notions of “race," “Volk," a profound sense of cultural superiority and ambitious colonial aspirations. 

Chilean-born Miguel A. Gaete will receive the Klaus Heyne Prize for this postcolonial study. Awarded for the second time in 2023, the prize was donated to Goethe University Frankfurt by the pediatrician and Romanticism enthusiast Prof. Dr. Klaus Heyne (1937–2017), to honor outstanding contributions to the study of German Romanticism. Endowed with €15,000 (5,000 euros for own purposes, 10,000 euros for the organization of a conference conducted at Goethe University), the scientific award will be presented at a ceremony held at Goethe University on October 11 this year. 

In announcing its decision, the jury highlighted the fact that Gaete's work paves the way for future research into the discursive and cultural connections between German Romantic art and colonial structures. The Heyne Award jury is composed of Prof. Dr. Katharina Boehm (Chair of English Literature and Culture, University of Passau), Prof. Dr. Roland Borgards (Department of German Literature and its Didactics, Goethe University), Prof. Dr. Mechthild Fend (Department of Art History, Goethe University), Dr. Aurelio Fichter (Benvenuto Cellini Society e.V.), Dr. Mareike Hennig (Freies Deutsches Hochstift Frankfurt), and Prof. Dr. Frederike Middelhoff (Department of German Literature and its Didactics, Goethe University). 

The chair of the jury, Frederike Middelhoff, Professor of Modern German with a focus on Romanticism Studies, emphasizes: “Gaete's work constitutes a milestone in the inquiry into the motivations, scholarly networks and artistic practices of artists – both close to German Romanticism and working within colonial contexts –, who, with their pictures and drawings, lastingly shaped how Germans viewed Chile in the 19th century. Gaete's critical reading of the artists' 'colonial gaze' prompts important conversations about German Romanticism in the history of art and cultural studies, which must address Romanticism's problematic areas and colonial legacies. It should be noted that Gaete's monograph does not aim to provide exhaustive answers to the extensive questions related to these issues. Further research is necessary, and Gaete is committed to deepen this investigation at an international conference, scheduled to take place in Frankfurt in 2024 and made possible by the award money. We are very pleased that the Klaus Heyne Award for Research in German Romanticism can help promote this essential research." 

The award winner prevailed over a large number of innovative applications from the fields of German literary studies, musicology, the history of philosophy, and comparative Romantic studies. Dr. Miguel A. Gaete studied art history in Santiago and Barcelona, and is currently conducting research with a scholarship from the Gerda Henkel Foundation. Gaete, who completed his award-winning dissertation at the University of York (UK), already holds a PhD in philosophy from the Autonomous University of Madrid. He completed several fellowships and scholarships in Germany, including in Jena and Weimar. His monograph "Cultural Exchanges and Colonial Legacies in Latin America: German Romanticism in Chile, 1800–1899", which has been developed from his doctoral research, will be published this year by Cambria Press in New York. Gaete is currently preparing another manuscript for print, titled “The Leader of the Time: Carl Alexander Simon, Romanticism, and Colonial Imaginations in Southern Chile."

Image for download: 

Caption: Dr. Miguel Gaete, winner of Goethe University Frankfurt's German Romanticism Award. (Photo: private) 

Further information
Prof. Dr. Frederike Middelhoff
(W1-Professorship for Modern German Literature with a focus on Romanticism Studies)
Goethe University Frankfurt
Department of German Literature and its Didactics

Editor: Pia Barth, Public Relations Officer, PR & Communications Office, Tel. + 49 (0)69 798 12481, Fax + 49 (0)69 798 763 12531,


Jun 6 2023

Goethe University raises around 233 million euros in additional funding / Increase in international fundraising particularly high 

Third-party funding at an all-time high 

Goethe University increased its third-party funding by 17 percent in 2022. EU-funded projects saw the strongest growth: Their volume rose by 50% to €27.2 million.

Third-party funds, i.e. the funds a university acquires above and beyond its basic funding from the state and federal governments, are an important component of a university's budget. Last year, Goethe University's third-party funding saw across-the-board increases and came in at a total of €232.8 million, €33.9 million more than in 2021. 

At €71.4 million, the largest single source of public third-party research funding was the German Research Foundation (Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft, DFG). Projects funded by the federal and state governments rose from €45.2 million to €52.2 million in 2022, representing a year-on-year increase of 15 percent. Funding for cutting-edge research projects by the state of Hesse alone amounted to €18.5 million. That figure also includes funding for three cluster projects supported by the state of Hesse ahead of the application for the German federal and state governments' Excellence Strategy. 

Particularly gratifying within the international context is the fact that the projects funded by the European Union (EU) increased by almost half to a volume of €27.2 million. All disciplines were able to attract new EU funding: Three ERC grants – highly competitive individual funding from the European Research Council – and three new European collaborative projects under Goethe University's leadership resulted in a substantial increase in acquisitions. 

Third-party funding from private sources totaled almost €60 million, up 22 percent. Of these, donations alone increased by 10 percent and came in at €10.3 million. Industry and legally independent foundations increased their funding by 35 percent to €25.6 million. 

"The new record level of third-party funding is a testimony to Goethe University's research strength and innovative power, as well as its increasing internationality. After all, the largest increase in third-party funding in 2022 came in against strong international competition in EU projects," says Goethe University President Prof. Dr. Enrico Schleiff. "I would like to congratulate not only all our university researchers on this success, but also all employees who contribute to these scientific achievements." 

The general increase in third-party funding at Goethe University can be attributed to a large number of newly acquired small and large projects. Examples include the two newly launched DFG Collaborative Research Centers (Sonderforschungsbereich, SFB) in the life sciences – "Membrane-associated protein assemblies, machineries and supercomplexes " (SFB 1507) and "Damage control by the stroma-vascular compartment" (SFB 1531) – as well as the newly established research unit (Forschungsgruppe 5417) on: "Translational polytrauma research to provide diagnostic and therapeutic tools for improving outcome". In the humanities and social sciences, the Academy for Islam in Research and Society (AIWG) was able to successfully commence its second funding period. 

Goethe University's total budget came in at about €764.5 million in 2022.

Editor: Pia Barth, Public Relations Officer, PR & Communications Office, Tel. + 49 (0)69 798 12481, Fax + 49 (0)69 798 763 12531,


Jun 5 2023

Goethe University Conference looks at the development of the African-American freedom struggle in the 1960s and 1970s

New Directions in the History of the Black Power Movement

New currents within the history of the Black Power movement are the focus of a conference organized by Prof. Simon Wendt, American Studies professor at Goethe University. Titled "New Directions in the History of the Black Power Movement", the conference will be held in English and is open to the public. 

Friday, June 23, through Sunday, June 25,
Lecture Hall Center, HZ 14 (3rd floor)
Theodor-W.-Adorno-Platz 5
60323 Frankfurt

Black Power. The energetic slogan of a civil rights movement of African Americans dates back to the 1960s. Contrary to more moderate civil rights activists like Martin Luther King, it confronted the white population of the USA with a strong black self-confidence. Much research has been conducted on the history of the Black Power Movement in the past 20 years, and numerous studies have revised one-dimensional interpretations of the movement, exploring its roots, the significance of local organizing, African American women's contributions, the movement's political impact, and its radical internationalism. 

Building on this foundation, this conference brings together a new generation of American, British, and German historians, who shed new light on the Black Power movement's complex history. While some of their contributions revisit topics that have long been of interest to historians of the era—African American women, education, and the movement's global impact—others open up new historiographical trajectories, including the role of religion, and collaborations between Black Power organizations and LGBTQ activists. Ultimately, the conference aims to make a contribution towards better understanding both the Black Power movement's history and its legacy. 

Prof. Dr. Simon Wendt
Institute of English and American Studies (IEAS)
Tel. +49 (0)69 798-32358

Editor: Dr. Anke Sauter, Science Editor, PR & Communication Office, Tel: +49 (0)69 798-13066, Fax: +49 (0) 69 798-763 12531,


Having undergone extensive renewal works, the "Goethe NHR" mainframe, part of the Konsortium Nationales Hochleistungsrechnen Süd-West [National High-Performance Computing (NHR) South-West consortium], is now one of the two most resource-efficient in Germany, and ranked 9th worldwide. 

Goethe University is boosting its particularly energy-efficient mainframe power within the framework of the National High-Performance Computing (NHR) South-West consortium. Official rankings show that "Goethe NHR" ranks second among Germany's most energy-efficient mainframe computers, and holds sixth position nationally when it comes to speed. The mainframe is also a frontrunner in the worldwide "Green 500" ranking, where it stands at ninth place. The result is particularly remarkable considering the much lower investment volume compared to other mainframes, as well as the fact that both students and doctoral candidates have played and continue to play a vital role in the project's success. 

Goethe University has been a member of the NHR South-West consortium since October 2021. Set up at the suggestion of the Joint Science Conference of the federal and state governments (Gemeinsame Wissenschaftskonferenz, GWK), the consortium also includes Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU), the RPTU Kaiserslautern-Landau technical university of the federal state of Rhineland-Palatinate, and Saarland University. Developed by Prof. Dr. Volker Lindenstruth, the technology for energy-saving high-performance computers already received financial support from the state of Hesse in the past, including one million euros from the Innovation Fund and 850,000 euros from the LOEWE research funding program [known by its German acronym, LOEWE stands for Hesse's state offensive for the development of scientific and economic excellence]. 

"The updated 'Goethe NHR' strengthens our university's position within the NHR network," says Lindenstruth, who heads Goethe University's "Architecture of High-Performance Computers" working group. Lindenstruth is one of Germany's most renowned experts on the optimization and energy efficiency of mainframe computers. In the past 10 years, computers designed by him often held top positions in both national and international rankings of the most energy-efficient supercomputers, published every six months. 

"By upgrading the former Goethe HLR computer to the significantly more powerful Goethe NHR, we are opening up new research possibilities for scientific users nationwide within the framework of the NHR South West consortium. The fact that we ended up building one of Germany's most energy-efficient HPC computers is a particular highlight, especially considering the necessary transformation to sustainable systems and the high energy costs," says Prof. Dr. Thorsten Kollegger, professor of Green IT at Goethe University, and head of the Center for Scientific Computing, which operates the university's HPC systems. 

Goethe University President Prof. Dr. Enrico Schleiff congratulated Lindenstruth and Kollegger on their success in sustainably optimizing mainframes: "Thanks to the outstanding efforts of this work group, Goethe University is a pioneer in the field of green mainframes in Germany and beyond. It is remarkable how, time and again, Volker Lindenstruth and his team succeed in reaching top national and international rankings with the computers they design. When it comes to providing the most efficient and sustainably produced computing power for research, Goethe University is very well positioned – both within the NHR consortium and within Germany. Our partners in the NHR computing network also benefit from this unique knowhow. It's nice to see students and early career researchers involved in this success – further proof of the excellent work of this working group's young scientists." 

The "Goethe NHR" mainframe computer, which Lindenstruth and his team have now significantly renewed, and which is located in the Frankfurt-Hoechst Industrial Park, is based on the tried and tested, but significantly refined intelligent networking and individual optimization technology of 880 AMD MI210 graphics cards. This allows powerful mainframes to be built in a particularly cost-effective and energy-efficient manner. 

Facts and figures
Computing power: 9.087 PFlop/s with 105 nodes at 195.24 kW
Computing efficiency: 46.5 GigaFlops/W (floating point operations per watt of computing power per second) 

Germany's National High Performance Computing Alliance (Verbund des Nationalen Hochleistungsrechnen, NHR)
Powerful supercomputers are becoming increasingly important in science and research. Faced with handling complex and vast amounts of data, researchers across a wide range of disciplines are more dependent than ever on high-performance computers. Nowadays, a growing number of research questions, including in medicine, physics or chemistry, can only be answered using large computing capacities and intelligent applications. That is why, in 2018, the federal and state governments decided to establish a Germany-wide National High Performance Computing Alliance, tasked with bundling and further expanding the existing strengths of high-performance computing centers in a national network. The setting up of a coordinated alliance was a direct response to rising demand for high-performance computing, to enable university researchers across Germany to access the computing capacities they need, irrespective of their individual location and in line with their requirements. 

The NHR also aims to further develop and better coordinate the specialized and methodological strengths of high-performance computing centers. At the same time, training courses and advanced training offered at the nine NHR centers will introduce more researchers to high-performance computing, strengthen the skills of high-performance computing systems' users, and promote young talent with a view towards fully exploiting the potential of high-performance computing and strengthening Germany as a location for research and innovation. The NHR has been endowed with a total of 625 million euros over a 10-year funding period.

Editor: Dr. Olaf Kaltenborn, Goethe University Press Spokesperson, E-mail:; Tel: +49 (0)69 798 13035