The Forschungsstelle „Geschichte und Kulturelles Erbe“ (History and Cultural Heritage research unit) (FGKE) based in Villa Poensgen in Heidelberg innovatively combines cultural studies and cultural education. On the one hand, it is a research unit of the University of Heidelberg’s Department of History. On the other hand, it has extremely close ties to the Reiss-Engelhorn-Museen (rem) in Mannheim.
It has been funded by the foundations that support the rem and by the Bassermann-Kulturstiftung since 2021. Scholarship at the FGKE is oriented toward the study of cultural processes and ties. This includes our entire cultural heritage that has arisen out of our cultural memory. One of its most important jobs is designing and providing major history exhibitions scholarly support.
Key issues are developed in association with the foundation museums of the rem gGmbH Stiftungsmuseen. The state of scholarship on these topics is surveyed and advanced by international conferences, workshops and studies of its own. The findings are concomitantly implemented and disseminated in exhibitions, film productions, lectures, media relations and publications for a wide audience.
Through this collaboration with the Reiss-Engelhorn-Museen foundations, the University of Heidelberg is furnishing a new model for expediting, pooling and ensuring the transfer of knowledge and scholarship to the public. The research unit was significantly involved from 2013 to 2017 in the major exhibition about the papacy and assisted from 2018 to 2020 with the scholarly development of the exhibition about the Holy Roman Emperors in Mainz. The FGKE was provided support for the major special cultural history exhibition “Die Normannen” (The Normans) (2022 – 2023), which was produced in collaboration with French partners and which was incorporated in an international and interdisciplinary research network.