Institutum Herderianum Rigense:

Herder Institute in Riga as a science network in the European Science Network (HeInRi)

The educational center and scientific institution “Herder Institute in Riga” (HI) was a university whose history (1921-1939) and contribution to the genesis of modern science have an important place in the context of Latvia, Europe and the world. HeInRi is a project focusing on HI in the European Science Network.

Spengler’s correspondence in the context of Riga II

The Baltic region was not unknown to Oswald Spengler long before his trip in 1924 through the Baltic States: while studying in Halle there were two students from Tallinn in his fried cycle; at the beginning of the First world war his sister’s husband Fritz Konhard, shortly after conscription in the army, serves in Riga (later, at the end of the war, he dies in the Western Front).

At the end of October, 1924 Spengler leaves for a six-week-long trip in the Baltics. The fate of the cultures is the central theme of his lectures. On the 30th of October Spengler gives a speech in Lunda about “The Beginning of the Great Cultures” and the day after at the same place – about “The History of Language and the History of the Development of the Thought”. It is followed by speeches in Stockholm, Turku and Helsinki (Anton M. Koktanek, Oswald Spengler in seiner Zeit. München: Verlag C. H. Beck, 1968, 369-370). In Scandinavia, his lectures and personality receive a lot of recognition, but there are some critical voices as well. In the conversations and interviews, Spengler emphasizes his vocation as a historian and politician. He plans to return to this region, though the planned trip to the Northern Countries didn’t happen.

Spengler concludes his lecture cycle through the Baltic Sea countries in Estonia and Latvia. Lectures in the Houses of Blackheads in Tallinn and Riga gain attention especially among the German Baltics, whose political and social situation generates questions about the future perspectives of Europe in the context of German politics. In the correspondence that has been published (Briefe. 1913-1936. In Zusammenarbeit mit Manfred Schröter hrsg. von Anton Mirko Koktanek. München: Verlag C. H. Beck, 1963), Spengler has very briefly commented his visit. In the letter of the 9th of January, 1925 Spengler writes to businessman and politician Roderich Slubach: “Unfortunately, it seems that your letter in October is lost. If it would not be like that, maybe we would have agreed on a date when, after returning from Riga and Tallinn, I could visit you, because there are a lot of topics that I would like to discuss with you”, but in the letter to Friedrich Nietzsche’s sister Elisabeth Förster-Nietzsche in the 13th of December, 1924, Spengler writes: “Dear friend, now I have again returned from the trip to the Baltic Sea countries (…) During the Christmas time I will be in Blankenburg and, when going back, I can make a short stop in Weimar, if you like. I wanted to say that during the trip I have read all of Nietzsche’s texts and again they greatly moved me.  Something like that in the field of knowing oneself in the German literature has not occurred!”. Materials in the HI archive allows us to paint a more accurate picture of Spengler’s visit to Riga. They reveal the context of the time and allow to draw the portraits and aspirations of the intellectuals at that time.

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University of Latvia, Faculty of History and Philosophy, Department of Philosophy and Ethics, Master’s student. Graduated from Liepāja State 1st Gymnasium, Architecture Department of Liepāja Secondary School of Design and Art. Studied at the Latvian Academy of Arts, Department of Art History. She has a bachelor’s degree in philosophy from the University of Latvia, Faculty of History and Philosophy, and a bachelor’s degree in philosophy. Spent a semester at the University of Helsinki within the ERASMUS + exchange program (2017). Has been in practice at the Latvian State Archives (2018), in the editorial office of the Internet magazine “Satori” (2019). Research interests are related to the history of philosophy, 20th century. French philosophy, phenomenology.

  • 1980-1991. – Ērgļi primary school and high school
  • 1992-1997. – Bachelor of Philosophy at the University of Latvia, Faculty of History and Philosophy (LU VFF)
  • 1997-1999 – Master’s studies in philosophy at LU VFF
  • 1999/2000 – Philosophy and recent history studies at the University of Mainz (Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz) within the framework of the ERASMUS program; study mentor: Head of Kant Research Center, Member of the Board of Kant Society, t. s. Förder- und Forschungsgemeinschaft Friedrich Nietzsche e.V. (later Nietzsche Society) co-founder prof. Dr. Hans-Martin Gerlach (1940-2011)
  • 1999-2003 – Doctor of Philosophy studies at LU VFF
  • 2001/2002 – Philosophy studies at the University of Münster (Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität Münster, WWU) with a Rotary Club Münster-Rüschhaus scholarship, mentor Prof. Dr. Ruth-Elisabeth Mohrmann (1945-2015)
  • 2003-2004 – LU Faculty of History and Philosophy, Department of History of Philosophy, Assistant (Prof. Dr. Rihards Kūlis)
  • 2005 – LU VFF Department of Philosophy History lecturer
  • 2005 – Dr. phil. (Doctoral Thesis “Truth and Factuality. Martin Heidegger’s Early Philosophical Search 1909-1923.”)
  • From 2005 – Researcher at the Institute of Philosophy and Sociology (FSI)
  • From 2005 – Member of the Philosophy Terminology Subcommittee of the LAS Terminology Commission
  • 2006 – LU VFF Department of Philosophy History, Assistant Professor
  • From 2006 – Member of the Martin-Heidegger-Gesellschaft (Messkirch)
  • 2007-2011 – LU VFF Bachelor of Philosophy academic study program director
  • 2007-2011 – Member of LU VFF Council
  • September 2008 – internship at the University of Regensburg (UR) with the leader of the long-standing international Haman colloquium (since 1975) in the latest German literature Prof. Dr. Bernhard Gajek (* 1929)
  • From October 2008 – Latvian Science Council (LZP) expert in the Philosophy of Humanities and Social Sciences sub-branch
    From May 2009 – FSI Leading Researcher
  • February 2010 – exchange of experience of study program directors at the University of Tübingen (cooperation partner Prof. Dr. Michael Heidelberger)
  • 2010/2011 – Acting Head of the Department of History of Philosophy, LU VFF
  • 2011 – repeated internship at RU with Prof. Dr. Bernhard Gajek at the University of Regensburg
  • From June 2010 – Member of the LU VFF Philosophy Promotion Council
  • From June 2010 – Scientific Secretary of the LU VFF Philosophy Promotion Council
  • From 2012 – LU VFF Philosophy study program council member
  • From October 2014 – freelance methodologist of the State Education Content Center of the Ministry of Education and Science of the Republic of Latvia
  • From March 2015 – LU VFF Associate Professor of the History of Philosophy
  • 2015 – repeated internship at RU with Prof. Dr. Bernhard Gajek at the University of Regensburg
  • From 2017 – LU Deputy Vice-Rector for Humanities and Education in the Council of Humanities and Education
  • 2017 – Member of the Publications Policy Commission of the University of Latvia
  • From 2017 – repeatedly a member of the LU VFF Council
  • From 2017 – Member of the Scientific Council of the University of Latvia FSI
  • From 2017 – LU VFF Philosophy and Ethics Department (FĒN) head
  • November 2017 – Conducting lectures and seminars organized by the Training Unit of the European Parliament’s Directorate-General for Translation “Philosophers Europes: political development of Europe and related terminology from a philosophical perspective” (European Parliament, Luxembourg)
  • April 2018 – Visiting Professor at the University of Potsdam (PU): Block seminar “Heidegger in Riga and Seine Herder-Auslegung” / Blockseminar an Universität Potsdam, Professur Kulturen der Aufklärung / DAAD-Zentraleinrichtung Bonn finanziertes ERASMUS+ Projekt “Medienpraktiken der Aufklärung”
  • 2018. november – Visiting Proffesor Université Bordeaux Montaigne / Hamann und Aufklärung / Blockseminar Universität Bordeaux / DAAD-Zentraleinrichtung Bonn finanziertes ERASMUS+ Projekt “Medienpraktiken der Aufklärung”, Prof. Dr. Tristan Coignard
  • From 2018 – Member of the Doctoral Council of History of the University of Latvia
  • From January 1, 2019 – co-founder and president of Martin Heidegger Society in Latvia (MHBL)
  • November 2019 – Visiting Professor Universität Innsbruck (UI), Institute of Philosophy / Sinnlichkeit – Kreis – Verweigerung: Hamann – Herder – Heidegger (cooperation partner: Prof. Dr. Paola-Ludovika Coriando)
  • From 2019 – Member of the Klages-Gesellschaft Marbach e.V.
  • From 2019 – Deputy Chairman of the LZP Humanities and Arts Sciences Experts Commission
  • From 2019 – Member of the Board of the Central and East European Society for Phenomenology (CEESP)
  • From 2019 – Member of the FORTHEM University Network Committee
  • From 2019 – Chairman of the LU Philosophy Promotion Council
  • From 2020 – Member of the History Promotion Council of the University of Latvia
  • From 2020 – Member of the LZP Advisory Council
  • From 2020 – Member of the Scientific Council of the International Society of Heidegger (Martin-Heidegger-Gesellschaft Messkirch)
  • From 2020 – Corresponding member of the Latvian Academy of Sciences (LAS)
  • From 2020 – Member of the Humanities and Social Sciences Council of the University of Latvia
  • From 2020 – Member of the Ethics Commission of Humanities and Social Sciences of the University of Latvia


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