Prof. Dr. iur. Isabelle Deflers

became Professor of History of the Early Modern Age at the Department of Social Sciences and Public Affairs in October 2020.

Professor Deflers studied law at the Universities of Paris XII and Osnabrück and obtained her doctorate degree at the Faculty of Law in Osnabrück with a dissertation on the understanding of law and state according to the Wittenberg reformer Philipp Melanchthon (1497–1560). For this dissertation, she received an award from the Eberhard-Freiherr-von-Kuenssberg Foundation. Professor Deflers went on to work on several projects as a postdoctoral research fellow at the Centre Marc Bloch and at Humboldt University in Berlin. In 2004, she successfully completed her training as a lawyer in Paris. In 2005, Isabelle Deflers took up a position as research assistant at the Department of History at the University of Heidelberg, where she qualified as a university lecturer in 2013 with habilitation on images of Prussia at the end of the Ancien Régime in France.

In her research, Professor Deflers deals with questions of legal humanism, the imagology and functionality of images in political discourse, the transfer of culture and knowledge between France and Germany or Prussia, and the cultural history of violence. In her new research project in the field of Military Enlightenment, she examines the interrelationships between Enlightenment and the military in Europe. In her teaching work, Professor Deflers offers a wide range of topics, including the history of the early modern period in Europe, current research discussions and the history of Franco-German historiography (16th – 20th century).

Professor Deflers is active in French-German networks, served as a member of the scientific advisory board of the French-German University (DFH-UFA) from 2009 to 2017, and is involved in scholarships for talented students and the advancement of women in several foundations. In addition, she was the recipient of several scholarships, including from the Robert Bosch Foundation, the University of Heidelberg and the German Research Foundation, and a junior fellow at the Freiburg Institute for Advanced Studies (FRIAS).

Professor Isabelle Deflers has German and French citizenship and is the first woman of French descent to be appointed to a professorship of history at a German university.


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