University of Technology Nuremberg brings renowned historian of knowledge to Franconia as second Founding Chair

Prof. Prömel und Prof. Uhlmann halten gemeinsam die aufgeschlagene Urkunde hoch. Sie stehen vor einer Pressewand, auf die "Picture the Future" geschrieben ist.
Gründungspräsident Prof. Prömel überreicht Prof. Uhlmann die Urkunde zur Bestellung als Gründungs-Chair an der UTN. (Copyright: Technische Universität Nürnberg)

Prof. Dr. Gyburg Uhlmann accepted the position as Professor of Classical Philology at University of Technology Nuremberg (UTN).  Starting April 1st, she will establish the Department of Liberal Arts and Sciences as Founding Chair.  Most recently, she was a professor at the Free University of Berlin.

NUREMBERG: “Another top-class addition for UTN: Youngest recipient of the Leibnitz price, outstanding expert in digital humanities, experienced university politician – Prof. Dr. Gyburg Uhlmann is a big win for the UTN and the entire scientific region of Bavaria. Her appointment is proof: The best of the best is coming to Bavaria. Already today, our “University of the future” in Nuremberg has international appeal due to its consistently interdisciplinary approach and unique concept. Mr. Markus Blume, Bavarian Secretary of State for Arts and Science greets the scientist with Welcome to the free state of Bavaria, Prof. Dr. Gyburg Uhlmann.” Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. mult. Hans Jürgen Prömel, Founding President at UTN, adds: “We are very happy to fill the position with such an excellent candidate as Prof. Dr. Gyburg Uhlmann.  With her research focus and her experience in higher education policy, she has the best possible qualifications to establish the Department of Liberal Arts and Sciences at UTN.  It is a big success to have won a second Gottfried Wilhelm Leibnitz price recipient, after Prof. Dr. Wolfram Burgard.”

Founding Chair of the Department of Liberal Arts and Sciences: Prof. Dr. Gyburg Uhlmann

Gyburg Uhlmann, born in 1975, was most recently Professor of Classical Philology with a focus on specializing in Greek philology at the Free University of Berlin. As of 2012 she is spokesperson of the special research area “Episteme in motion”. She also headed the Aristotelism Center Berlin and was a member of the excellence cluster “Temporal Communities”. Prior to that she conducted research at Harvard University and at the Universities of Marburg and Heidelberg. In 2006, the German Research Foundation (DFG) awarded Professor Uhlmann the Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz Prize which is most prestigious research prize in Germany.  She is recognized as the youngest recipient of this award. The main focus of Professor Uhlmann’s work is on antique philosophy and rhetoric as well as antique and late antique history of education and science, which she also investigates with the methods of digital liberal arts. In doing so, she understands her historical research as a dialogue with the present and as a contribution to current systematic questions. In her book “Rhetoric and Truth. A precarious relationship from Socrates to Trump” she analyzes, for example, current phenomena such as fake news and populist propaganda and brings into discussion ancient theories of rhetoric as tools of analysis.

Prof. Dr. Gyburg Uhlmann emphasizes “The liberal arts and sciences can and should play an important role in the transition to a more sustainable and just society. By using them, we can analyze the occurring and necessary changes historically, communicate target group-oriented and support decision-making processes. Together with the social sciences but also the natural and engineering sciences, mathematics and computer sciences they are crucial for the development and communication of new technologies. This process can only be successful by using all historical and current knowledge resources available. The concept of UTN offers a unique opportunity of rethinking university, cooperating scientifically across disciplinary boundaries and breaking new ground in research, teaching and transfer in order to shape this change. I am very much looking forward to this exciting task and working with the outstanding team at UTN.”

Departments instead of faculties

Contrary to other universities, the UTN will not have classic faculties and clear boundaries between subjects. The core idea is an interdisciplinary structure, making it possible to research and study across disciplines and topics. For that reason and following the international model, departments are introduced. The Department of Engineering, headed by founding Chair Prof. Dr. Wolfram Burgard, brings together all disciplines of engineering. The second department, Liberal Arts and Sciences, comprises humanities, social sciences, natural sciences and mathematics.

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About the University of Technology Nuremberg

The University of Technology Nuremberg was founded on January 1, 2021 and has been the first new foundation of a state-run university in Bavaria since 1978.  With its consistently interdisciplinary approach, an innovative spectrum of subjects, new teaching methods and a future-oriented organizational structure, a model university will be created when it comes to teaching and research. The university is to have an international, interdisciplinary and digital approach. Upon completion, up to 6,000 students will be able to study on a campus embedded in the surrounding quarters.