Racha Kirakosian

German Medieval Studies, University of Freiburg

Racha Kirakosian holds the chair of Medieval German with the focus on late-medieval religious text culture at the Albert-Ludwigs-University Freiburg. Before, she was Associate Professor at Harvard University (Germanic Languages and Literatures/Study of Religion). At the University of Oxford she served as Faculty Lecturer (Medieval and Modern Languages), College Lecturer (Somerville), and Director of Studies for German (Oriel).

As a scholar of Medieval German history and language, Racha Kirakosian‘s research looks at cultural manifestations (for example devotional objects) and texts which tell stories that aim to represent, challenge, or subvert the world they are set in. Under this broad umbrella, she focusses on the history of women in society and religion, on textual performativity, and on religious practices from 800 to 1500, exploring the ways in which narratives function in their historical contexts.

During her fellowship year she will work on several projects, one of which concerns the collaboration with neuroscientists and psychologists to develop an interdisciplinary study on mental imagery and medieval ideas about the mind’s eye. Another project deals with the fifteenth-century countess and canoness Katharina von Württemberg, whose life story Kirakosian is researching.

Her collaboration partner is Peter Schmidt, professor in the Department of Art History at Universität Hamburg.

Racha Kirakosian‘s HIAS Fellowship 2021/2022 was funded by the Academy of Sciences and Humanities in Hamburg.


Racha Kirakosian


Akademie der Wissenschaften in Hamburg


Univ-Prof. Dr. Peter Schmidt
Professor in the Department of Art History at Universität Hamburg

Image Information

Lion relief on Freiburg Cathedral