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New professors at the University of Freiburg

Reinforcements for the Faculty of Philology and the Faculty of Engineering

Freiburg, Oct 26, 2018

New professors at the University of Freiburg

Frank Bezner and Melanie Zeilinger. Photos: Stefanie Gomes Sousa, Giulia Marthaler/ETH Zürich

Frank Bezner is professor of Medieval Latin philology in the Faculty of Philology at the University of Freiburg. His research interests focus on Latin literature from the Middle Ages, a little-researched field that Bezner analyzes by combining philological, literary-scientific and theoretical approaches. One focus is on the so-called Renaissance of the 12th century, whose literary texts, written in a scholarly context, he regards as moments of an alternative “intellectual history” of medieval culture. Bezner is currently focusing on a reinterpretation of medieval Latin love poetry, which he sees as an aesthetically complex negotiation of clerical discourses on desire. As a second focus, Bezner is exploring late medieval and early modern historiography and its materiality: among other things, he first examined the Historia Excidii Sancti Maximini, written around 1531 and transmitted as part of a late religious codex in the monastery of Sankt Maximin in Trier.

Bezner studied Classical, Medieval Latin and German Philology at the University of Tübingen where he received his doctorate in 2000. Subsequently, he was a research fellow at the Warburg Institute in London, England, a member of the WIN College at the Heidelberg Academy of Sciences and Humanities and a lecturer in Middle and Neo-Latin Philology at the University of Tübingen. In 2009 he became Professor of Medieval Latin at the University of California in Berkeley in the US and held several visiting professorships at the University of Munich until his appointment to Freiburg.

Melanie Zeilinger has taken up the Eva-Mayr-Stihl professorship for Intelligent Networks at the Department of Sustainable Systems Engineering (INATECH) at the University of Freiburg. Zeilinger’s research focuses on safe algorithms for autonomous systems that learn and interact to improve their performance. Energy systems, for example, can save resources by learning the profile of their individual user, adapting to it and also coordinating consumption with other systems via the network in order to optimally balance fluctuations. Zeilinger will address both fundamental questions and their translation into practice at INATECH.

Zeilinger studied engineering cybernetics at the University of Stuttgart and received her doctorate in electrical engineering from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) Zurich, Switzerland in 2011. From 2011 to 2012 she was a postdoctoral fellow at the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, Switzerland. She then worked as a postdoctoral fellow through a Marie Curie Fellowship at the University of California in Berkeley in the US and at the Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems in Tübingen. Most recently, she was assistant professor at the Institute for Dynamic Systems and Control at ETH Zurich from 2015. Zeilinger was awarded the ETH Medal for her doctoral thesis. She was also awarded an SNF Professorship Grant from the Swiss National Science Foundation to promote scientific research.


Prof. Dr. Frank Bezner
Department of Greek and Latin Philology
University of Freiburg
Tel.: 0761/203-3131

Prof. Dr. Melanie Zeilinger
Department of Sustainable Systems Engineering
University of Freiburg