Cover of the magazine LICHTGEDANKEN issue 10.


The Research Magazine
Cover of the magazine LICHTGEDANKEN issue 10.
Image: Jens Meyer (University of Jena)

Feature: »The imagined reality​«

On the legacy of Romanticism in the modern world

Does life have a meaning? And if so, what is it? Are we as individuals part of a greater whole? Some questions cannot be answered unequivocally, even with the most sophisticated scientific methods. But that does not stop us from searching for answers nevertheless. In doing so, we allow ourselves to be guided by our imagination: we create utopias, envision the future and imagine worlds and dimensions that go beyond those that can be measured and experienced. This form of conscious creation of meaning is an invention of Romanticism—the second innovative movement after the Enlightenment to set modernity on its way. Researchers at the University of Jena are studying the present-day traces of this era, in the very place where Romanticism had its origins in Germany.


In the former Leutragasse 5 the famous »Romanticist Gathering« took place in November 1799.
The roots of Romanticism in Germany can be found in Jena
Stefan Matuschek behind busts of central protagonists of Jena's early Romanticism.
An Interview with literature expert Stefan Matuschek
Often described as a landscape of romantic longing: the »mystical« forest
Three researchers and their projects on the »Romantic Model«
Prof. Dr Johannes Grave at the university’s collection of paintings.
On the traces of Romanticism in the visual arts of Europe
The wanderer above the Sea of Fog, painted around 1817 by Caspar David Friedrich.
A painting offers Romantic approaches to crisis management
View of a manuscript by Caspar David Friedrich.
Art historian Johannes Grave examines the writings of Friedrich
PD Dr Sandra Kerschbaumer, research coordinator of the Research Training Group »The Romantic Model«.
Sandra Kerschbaumer on Romantic motifs in politics
Nature, in the middle of the city: a magpie, observed at the Paradiespark in Jena.
An invitation to view the urban environment with different eyes
Dr Helmut Hühn in the Ernst Abbe veranda of Schiller's Garden House in Jena.
Helmut Hühn on the importance of Romantic places of remembrance
Replica of a »dry charging pile« designed by Johann Wilhelm Ritter (Ernst-Haeckel-Haus collection).
Johann Wilhelm Ritter discovered the UV radiation in Jena


Restorer Gina Grond conserves the epitaph "Johann Arnold Friderici".
Image: Jens Meyer (University of Jena)
Ortolph Fomann the Younger died in 1640 and was buried in the church at the »Collegium Jenense«. Now, almost 400 years later, an interdisciplinary team is working on virtually resurrecting the man who taught history, poetry and law in Jena.

Further Topics:

Dr Laith Almazahreh investigates the mechanism of electrocatalytic hydrogen formation.
International research team describes complete reaction path for electrocatalytic hydrogen generation
Poet and scientist Dirk von Petersdorff in the garden of the Frommann estate.
Dirk von Petersdorff—scientist and poet
Bernhard Bock inspects the preserved brain of a primate before putting it into the moving box.
The Phyletic Museum's wet collection has been relocated
View of the display of a camera and a lecture hall at the 2nd MINT Festival at the University of Jena.
Why do we need science communication?

Articles identified by name do not have to correspond with the views of the publisher and the editorial team. The signatories are responsible for the content. For better readability, we have sometimes only used the masculine language form in the articles.

However, all genders are equally addressed with the chosen phrases. Download the current issue of LICHTGEDANKEN as a pdf herepdf, 11 mb