Ann-Cathérine Pielenhofer
ifk Junior Fellow

Duration of fellowship
01. October 2023 bis 30. June 2024

Squeezing Knowledge out of Rocks. Paper Squeezes between Scholarship and Political Activism


The project centers on »paper squeezes«: three-dimensional, paper copies of historic stone inscriptions, enabling their epigraphic study independent of place. Western European Semitic philology in the long 19th century relied on squeezes as evidentiary objects. They provided a geographically distanced basis for studying the histories of Semitic languages and of the populations that used them. A wide variety of actors were involved in the production of squeezes during research expeditions to the Near East. The project explores the scientific and sociopolitical alliances between them and asks about their constitutive role for the emergence of the paper replicas. It inquires into ever-shifting constellations of interests that Western travelers used and established to produce squeezes as resources of knowledge. Through these relationships, it shows how local and non-local hegemonic practices of domination and various non-hegemonic strategies are intertwined with the creation of knowledge.


Ann-Cathérine Pielenhofer studied history and Jewish studies in Munich and Vienna. She spent time as a guest student at Tel Aviv University, the University of Chicago, and Stanford University. While completing her Master’s degree in Vienna, she was a research assistant in the Department of Philosophy and in the Key Research Area History of Science. In her PhD research at the University of Vienna (and also in the Key Research Area History of Science), she focuses on the use of paper copies of stone inscriptions, so-called paper squeezes, in Semitic philology in the long 19th century. She is particularly interested in the relationships and sociopolitical alliances that formed around the production and use of such copies. Her main research interests are the histories of knowledge and science, especially the history of the humanities, sciences of Judaism, and historical-political epistemologies.


gem. mit Esther Heinrich-Ramharter, »Ludwig Wittgenstein und Josef Schächter – zwei jüdische Religionsphilosophen des Wiener Kreises?«, in: Esther Heinrich-Ramharter (Hg.): Religionsphilosophie nach Wittgenstein, Heidelberg/Berlin 2023 (in Vorbereitung); als Übersetzerin: »Josef Schächter: Ludwig Wittgenstein, Chapter of Jahaduth W’Hinukh B’Sman Hase«, in: Esther Heinrich-Ramharter und Friedrich Stadler (Hg.): Josef Schächter. Philosophical Writings and Documents in the Context of the Vienna Circle, Cham 2023 (in Vorbereitung).

22 January 2024
  • Lecture
ifk & ifk@Zoom
Ann-Cathérine Pielenhofer

Billige Abklatsche? Epigrafik als politische Beziehungsarbeit

Abklatsche semitischer Steinschriften wurden zu entscheidenden Evidenzobjekten für die Auseinandersetzung mit epigrafischen, philologischen und theologischen FragestellungenAnhand des jüdisch-österreichischen Semitisten Eduard Glaser zeigt der Vortrag, wie die Abklatschherstellung semitischer Steinschriften mit wissenschaftlichen und soziopolitischen Allianzen verflochten war.