Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin - Chair for the History of Science

M.A. Julia Heideklang

M.A. Julia Heideklang
serienju (at)

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After her undergraduate studies (B.A. Latin/Biology) from 2009 to 2012, Julia Heideklang obtained her master’s degrees (M. Ed. Latin/Biology; M. A. Classical Philology) from the Humboldt University of Berlin in 2017. In her master’s thesis „Theophrastusʼ Botanical Writings: Strategies and Knowledge“ she analysed strategies of presenting and evaluating botanical knowledge in the scientific botanical texts. From 2017 to 2021, she was a scientific researcher and doctoral candidate of the DFG graduate school „Literary and Epistemic History of Small Forms“. In her dissertation project she focuses on the paratexts of botanical writings in early modern Europe. In February 2022 she joined the DFG project „Versio latina“ of Prof. Anja Wolkenhauer at Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen (, where she starts a new research project analysing twelve cases of translations of early modern literary texts into Latin, their actors, objectives, contexts and functions.


Research interests

  • paratexts in print media in the early modern era
  • neo-Latin literature, translations into Latin
  • translation theory, particularly in Antiquity and the early modern era
  • history of botany, botanical print works
  • scientific texts, particularly of the early modern era


Research project

Botanics in the Making (1500–1700): Communication and Construction of the Botanical Science in Early Modern Europe

Heideklang_Projektbild.pngThe dissertation project explores small forms within the context of botanical scientific writings in early modern Europe (1500–1700). A central premise of the project is the strong interdependence between scientific texts, on the one hand, as literary products under specific aesthetic and economic constraints and on the other hand the authors’ efforts to position themselves within both a literary tradition and their contemporary scientific community. The form and content of early modern scientific texts—and in particular their paratexts—are deeply shaped by contemporary scientific discourse; at the same time, they shape that very discourse. Despite their seemingly marginal position, in fact, paratexts play an important role as epistemic catalysts in defining the botanical science and strengthening its independence in the early modern era. The project will analyze a selection of representative botanical works, especially the historiaeand Kreutterbücher, paying attention to title pages, dedicatory epistles, dedicatory poems and other prefaces and their relationship to the larger work. The project thereby aims to offer deeper insight into the communication strategies, literary composition and forms, by which early modern authors shaped their readers’ perception of their writings. More broadly, it seeks to understand the development of botanical science’s self-conception and how this self-conception in turn was conveyed to those in- and outside the scientific community.


Picture information: Title-page of Andrea Cesalpinoʼs De plantis libri XVI, Florentiae: Apud Georgium Marescottum 1583.(digitised by Zentralbibliothek Zürich: NB 721;


Other Research Projects

  • “Constructing History and Knowledge through Small Forms: Mapping Paratextual Strategies of 16th- and 17th-century Herbals”

LBI Fellowship 01.08.—15.01.2022 (Ludwig Boltzmann Institute for Neo-Latin Studies;

  • “Leaves in Florentine Libraries”

Paul Oskar Kristeller Fellowship 2022



  • 2022: “Paratextual Debates in De plantis (1583): On the Best Form of Botanical Prose, Garden and Things, and the Author-Figure of Cesalpino”, in: Andrea Cesalpino: An Aristotelian Natural Philosopher in the Renaissance, ed. by Fabrizio Baldassarri and Craig Martin, London et al.: Bloomsbury (forthcoming).
  • 2022: „Leaf: Preserving Knowledge, Constructing Histories“, in: Natural Things, Ecologies of Knowledge in the Early Modern World, ed. by Mackenzie Cooley, Anna Toledano and Dyugu Yıldırım, (forthcoming).
  • 2022: „Hos Centones: Brunfelsʼ Herbarum vivae eicones (1530) and Contrafayt Krëutterbuch (1532)“, in: Cento-texts in the Making, Aesthetics and Poetics from Homer to Zong!, (= Bochumer Altertumswissenschaftliches Colloquium, Bd. 109) ed. by Manuel Baumbach, Trier: Wissenschaftlicher Verlag Trier (in press).
  • 2021: zusammen mit Helmut Kettenmann und Hans-Joachim Pflüger. De fabrica systematis nervosi evertebratorum. Die kommentierte Dissertation von / commented Thesis by Hermann Helmholtz. Darmstadt: WBG Academic.
  • 2019: zusammen mit Urte Stobbe (Hrsg.). Kleine Formen für den Unterricht. (= Themenorientierte Literaturdidaktik, Bd. 2), Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht unipress.
  • 2019: „Conrad Gesners Historia animalium: Großes Werk und kleine Form im fächerübergreifenden Unterricht“, in: Kleine Formen für den Unterricht. (= Themenorientierte Literaturdidaktik, Bd. 2), Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht unipress, 197–223.



  • 07/02/2021: „In the Arena of Science: Mattioli against his Critics”, Innsbruck; Saevia Scientia: Denigration and Defamation in Early Modern Science (07/01.-02/2022) am Ludwig Boltzmann Institute for Neo-latin Studies, NOSCEMUS, Universität Innsbruck
  • 02/26/2022: „Paratextual Debates in De plantis (1583): On the Best Form of Botanical Prose, Garden and Things, and the Author-Figure of Cesalpino” (virtually); Andrea Cesalpino: An Aristotelian Natural Philosopher in the Renaissance (towards the publication of the volume) (02/25.-26/22), Ca’Foscari University of Venice& Indiana University Bloomington
  • 09/30/2021: „Helmholtzʼ Doktorarbeit und der Blick durch das Mikroskop“, Potsdam; Helmholtz-Feierstunde at Helmholtz-Gymnasium Potsdam, organized in collaboration with ProWissen Potsdam e.V. and Universität Potsdam
  • 09/15/2021: „Sehen, Beobachten, Durchwandern: Helmholtzʼ Sprache des Mikroskopierens“, Berlin; Helmholtz-Virchow-Dinner, Science Dinner at the Max-Delbrück-Center, Helmholtz Society
  • 05/12/2021: „Botanics in the Making: Writing and Reading 16th-Century Herbals“, (virtually); Guest talk at Ludwig-Boltzmann-Institute for Neo-Latin Studies, NOSCEMUS, Universität Innsbruck
  • 11/13/2020: „Literature and Practices of Collection: Brunfelsʼ Herbarum vivae eicones (1530) and Contrafayt Krëutterbuch (1532)“ (virtually); Interdisciplinary Workshop on the Technique of Cento Texts, Universität Bochum
  • 07/24/2019: „Traces of the Plant World: How to Read Botanical Prose“ Utrecht (NL); HSS Annual Meeting (07/23–07/27/19), University of Utrecht
  • 09/04/2019: „Writing Histories of (Medico-)Botanical Knowledge in 16th Century Europe: Mapping Paratextual Strategies“ Hamilton-College (NY, USA); Natural Things Inaugural Conference „Collection & the History of Science in the Age of Global Empires“ (04/07–09/04/19), Hamilton College
  • 07/06/2018: „Conrad Gesners Historia animalium: Großes Werk und kleine Formen im fächerübergreifenden Unterricht“, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin; Workshop „Kleine Formen für den Unterricht – Unterricht in kleinen Formen“ (Small Forms for School Education—Education through Small Forms) (07/04–07/06/2018) organized together with Sandra Dobritz
  • 04/19/2018: „Botany Almost Lost – An Italian Paratextual Discourse On the Rescue and Meaning of Botanical Knowledge“, University of Kentucky, Lexington (KY, USA); The Languages, Literatures and Culteres Conference (04/18–04/21/2018)
  • 04/04/2018: „Der Humanist Conrad Gesner und seine Historia animalium im Latein- und Biologieunterricht“, Saarbrücken; together with Kristina Tyborski, Svenja Holper, Christin Hartwig und Sandra Berges, National Congress of Classics (Deutscher Altphilologenverband) „Polis Europa“ (04/02–04/07/2018)


Workshops, Conferences, varia

  • 08/17/2018: „Conrad Gesner und seine Historia animalium“ – Another Project Day at the Natural History Museum, Berlin

Second implementation and trial run for the delevoped learning materials in 08/2018 in the context of a Summer School of the Humboldt-Schülergesellschaft under the overarching theme of “Antiquity and the Sciences” with a smaller number of pupils (

  • 07/04—06/2018: together with Sandra Dobritz: interdisciplinary workshop „Small Forms for School Education—Education through Small Forms“, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin
  • 02/22/2018: „Conrad Gesner und seine Historia animalium“ – A Project Day at the Natural History Museum, Berlin

Project day 8.30 a.m. to 03.30 p.m. implementing an interdisciplinary learning material involving the exhibitions of the Berlin Natural History Museum, in collaboration with Stefan Kipf, Kristina Tyborski, Svenja Holper, Christin Hartwig und Sandra Berges and Astrid Faber. After refining and optimizing the learning materials through discussions with teachers from three quite heterogenous schools in Berlin, we conducted two project days, in 02/2018 with a mixed group of those schools (all in all 41 pupils). This allowed us a first positive evaluation of the learning materials developed for school teaching.