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New Humboldt Fellows at LMU

Munich, 02/03/2011

Two new Humboldt Fellows have just embarked on their research projects at LMU Munich. Professor Angela Esterhammer (University of Zürich) is a Visiting Professor in Professor Christoph Bode’s department at the Institute of English Philology, while Dr. Maria-Rosa Cioni (University of Hertfordshire, UK) has begun a collaboration with Professors Andreas Burkert and Ralf Bender at LMU’s University Observatory. The Fellowship Program sponsored by the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation enables highly qualified post-doctoral scholars and scientists from abroad to carry out research projects in Germany. The successful applicants work together with an established investigator of their own choice. Thus the number of Humboldt Fellows hosted by a university is a useful indicator of its international reputation and the size of its network of contacts.

Maria-Rosa Cioni

Maria-Rosa Cioni, who is a Senior Lecturer in Astronomy at the University of Hertfordshire (UK), is Principal Scientist of the VISTA Magellanic Cloud Survey. This large-scale project is designed to investigate a region of the Southern sky that includes two members of the so-called Local Group of Galaxies, the Large and the Small Magellanic Clouds. The survey is being carried out with the VISTA telescope at the European Southern Observatory (ESO). VISTA is designed to cover the near-infrared segment of the electromagnetic spectrum. Near-infrared light has a longer wavelength than visible light and can penetrate the dusty gas clouds that otherwise obscure our view of many of the most interesting objects in the Universe. Dr. Cioni has been using the VISTA telescope to study the three-dimensional structure and evolution of the two satellite galaxies of our Milky Way. In the course of her stay at the University Observatory, Cioni will collaborate with Professors Andreas Burkert and Ralf Bender. The three investigators plan to use data from the VISTA Survey to analyze the dynamics of stellar motions in the Magellanic Clouds. The results will give us a better understanding of the origin and evolution of these nearby galaxies.

Maria-Rosa Cioni studied astronomy in Bologna and Leiden, obtaining her doctoral degree at the University of Leiden in 2001. From 2001 until the end of 2004 she was a Research Fellow at the European Southern Observatory (ESO) in Munich. Cioni moved to Edinburgh University as a lecturer in 2005, before taking up her present position at the University of Hertfordshire in 2007.

Angela Esterhammer

Angela Esterhammer is Professor of English Literature at the University of Zürich. She is recognized as a leading authority in the fields of Improvisation and Performance-Oriented Speech-Act Theory. Speech-Act Theory postulates that utterances cannot be considered solely in terms of the descriptions or propositions they enunciate, they can also be regarded as autonomous actions. Esterhammer’s research is focused on the Age of Romanticism and its influence on 19th-century European culture. Angela Esterhammer is a founding member of the North American Society for the Study of Romanticism (NASSR). She has also collaborated closely with LMU’s Professor Christoph Bode (Institute of English Philology). Together they have set up a joint research group on the Discursive Construction of Identity in the Romantic Age and jointly given courses at Venice International University. Her present visit to the Institute of English Philology will be devoted to a project entitled ”Mediality and Improvisation in the Post-Romantic Information Age“. This is designed to provide new perspectives on public attitudes to literary and cultural creativity in Western Europe between 1820 and 1840.

Angela Esterhammer was born in Canada and studied English and Comparative Literature in Toronto and Tübingen. She received her doctoral degree from Princeton University (USA) in 1989, and went on to take up a professorship at the University of Western Ontario (Canada). She has served as Visiting Professor at the Free University of Berlin, LMU and the University of Toronto. In 2007 she was appointed Professor of English Literature at the University of Zürich.

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