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Research | Exhibitions | Projects


Research Journeys in Colonial Contexts - The Acquisition Contexts of the Museum's "Thorbecke 1911-13" Collection

Funded by the German Center for the Loss of Cultural Property (DZK) in cooperation with the museums Rautenstrauch-Joest-Museum | Kulturen der Welt Cologne, Reiss-Engelhorn-Museen Mannheim and Université de Dschang (Cameroon)

Project duration: December 2022 to November 2024

Contact person: Yagmur Karakis

The project deals with the heterogeneous (scattered) "Thorbecke Collection 1911/12," the as yet unexplained whereabouts of Human Remains, and the geographical and natural history (data) collections attributed to the geographer Franz Thorbecke. He had undertaken 'collection services' for various institutions in Germany during the "Research Trip of the German Colonial Society to Cameroon" (1911-13). The main focus of the "collection area" (Tikar-Ngambe), and thus the largest part of the collection, has so far remained unprocessed. Therefore, the project simultaneously presents historical contextual research on the change of ownership of the above-described conglomerate of objects, but also subjects. The contexts of appropriation or acquisition of the above-mentioned objects or individuals will be assessed by means of a micro-historical analysis with different types of sources for the impact of systematic and direct violence, explicitly including the perspectives of communities of implication. The exemplary and micro-historical examination of this "research journey" can show how the journeys and contexts of acquisition, although individualizable each time, were structurally incorporated into the colonial situation.

more information about the project: p-r-ogress

Human Remains from Cameroon in German institutions

The Cameroonian PhD student Julie Laurissa Likondem Lekeufack will conduct a research project on "Human Remains from Cameroon in German Institutions" under the supervision of Prof. Stefanie Michels. She will spend four years in Düsseldorf for this purpose. Her second supervisor is Prof. Albert Gouaffo from the University of Dschang in Cameroon, who has been researching Düsseldorf and Rhineland colonial history for many years. Some results of the cooperation project between the universities of Düsseldorf and Dschang can be found here.

The research project is funded by the DAAD scholarship "German Colonial Rule", which supports the reappraisal of German colonial rule in African, Asian and Pacific countries through the financial support of the German Foreign Office (AA). The "German Colonial Rule" program will support young scholars from former German colonial regions until 2026.


Colonial connections: Rhineland/Grassland - Germany/Cameroon

The exhibition developed by PD Dr. Stefanie Michels, Jun.-Prof. Dr. Martin Doll and students "Colonial Connections: Rheinland/Grasland - Germany/Cameroon" showed in 2017 in Düsseldorf (Germany) and 2018 in Dschang (Cameroon) the close colonial and postcolonial interconnections between the regions. As part of the exhibition, students and faculty produced short articles and films that can be viewed here.


Collection Stolzenberg

As a friend and supporter of HHU, Harald Stolzenberg bequeathed part of his extensive book collection to the university. The project is funded by the Society of Friends and Sponsors of the Heinrich Heine University Düssseldorf and started in May 2022. The donation includes 205 books and one DVD, which arrived at Heinrich Heine University in October 2022. The book collection includes a genre range from (historical) novels, comics, crime stories, illustrated books, and exhibition catalogues to research literature. Formerly, these genres were divided into 10 further usable categories: General, East India Company, Biographies, India, China/Hong Kong, Other Asian Countries, North Africa, Africa, Australia, and Other, which could be accessed in card file form before the arrival of the donation. As a department of Global History, we were very pleased with the task of preparing this donation for the use of all interested parties. A large part of the collection is currently being added to the ULB's holdings, and parts can already be borrowed. From the end of May 2023, the remaining books can be borrowed by students, staff, and interested parties in the reference library of the workspace. We look forward to your visit.

Consultation of the reference library holdings: here

Lending: During the lecture-free period, the lending takes place only on request. Building 24.21 floor 03 room 87.

During this time there is also the possibility to look at books on-site and to work quietly with the literature at a free table. Due to limited space, we are not able to offer you a separate reading room.

If you have any questions about the project or about borrowing books, please contact Hannah Pohlen.

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