Thomas Maissen

Thomas Maissen

Thomas Maissen studied history, Latin and philosophy in Basel, Rome, and Geneva. He completed his dissertation in 1993 under the guidance of the Swiss historian Hans Rudolf Guggisberg. Afterwards, he worked as an assistant professor at the Chair for Early Modern History at the University of Potsdam. From 1996 to 1999, he received fellowships for his habilitation from the Swiss National Science Foundation and other funds and habilitated in 2002 at the University of Zurich. From 2002 to 2004, he was associate professor at the University of Lucerne. In addition, he worked for eight years as editor for the Neue Zürcher Zeitung where he was responsible for the “Historical Analysis”. Since 2004, Maissen is full professor for early modern history at Heidelberg University.

Since 2006, Maissen became a member of the Kommission für geschichtliche Landeskunde in Baden-Württemberg. In addition, he was speaker of the Heidelberg Graduate School for Humanities and Social Sciences from 2007 to 2012.Starting in 2008, Maissen is coordinator of the joint master programme degree by Heidelberg University and the École des hautes études en sciences sociales (EHESS).In 2009, he was a visiting professor at the EHESS and in 2010 he was a visiting fellow at the Institute for Advanced Studies.Moreover, he was a fellow of the research seminar “Legitimität und Religion” at the Centre for Religion, Economy and Politics, which is a joint undertaking by the universities of Basel, Lausanne, Lucerne, and Zurich and the Collegium Helveticum. From 2012 to 2013, he was a fellow of the Marsiliuskolleg at Heidelberg University.

In 2007, Maissen became one of the founding members and principal investigators of the Cluster of Excellence “Asia and Europe in a Global Context”. From 2009 to 2012, he served as a member of the steering committee as well as deputy speaker of the cluster’s research area A “Governance & Administration”.[9] Since early 2013, Maissen is co-director of the cluster.[10] Maissen is a full member of the Heidelberg Academy of Sciences and Humanities.

In 2013 was named the new director of the DHI in Paris by the president of the Max Weber Foundation – Deutsche Geisteswissenschaftliche Institute im Ausland. The Max Weber Foundation promotes global research concentrated around the area of social sciences, cultural studies and the humanities. Research is concluded at ten institutes in various countries across the globe with distinctive and independent focal points. In Paris Maissens task will be to conduct research and publish concerning French, German – French and Western European history.

Maissen works on the history of historiography, the history of political ideas and constitutional history, especially republicanism, (religious) mentalities, collective identities, and representations. Furthermore, he is interested in concepts of history, Swiss history, and the history of education. In his dissertation, Maissen focused on “Die französische Vergangenheit bei italienischen Autoren des 15. und 16. Jahrhunderts”. His habilitation dealt with “The Birth of the Republic. Concept of the State and Representation in the Early Modern Period of the Swiss Confederation”.

Maissen is chair of the committee of the Heidelberg Academy of Sciences and Humanities for the edition of the correspondence of Melanchthon.


List of publications:


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