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05/10/2022 | Campus-Meldung

Mourning for Roland Höhne

Prof. Dr. Roland Höhne (4.9.1936-14.4.2022) has died. He was a border crosser between languages and cultures in his life, his scientific research and his teaching.

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Prof. Dr. Roland Höhne.

At a young age, he moved across the inner-German border, lived for a year in the U.S. and studied political science in Paris. In 1968, he received his doctorate from the FU Berlin with a historical-political thesis on the relationship between the social system and foreign policy in France in the 1930s.

He subsequently remained true to his focus on France, with an increasing focus on politically explosive contemporary issues such as the resurgence of right-wing extremism, the tension between multicultural society and an indivisible republic, the political reform backlog and the distance between citizens and the state. Over the years, special attention has been paid to the Elysée Treaty, which laid the foundation for Franco-German friendship in 1963 and has since promoted exchange and dialogue in many ways. When Höhne was appointed to the professorship of Romance Studies at the (then) Gesamthochschule Kassel in 1981, the ability to engage in dialogue in intercultural exchange was a top priority for him in teaching as well. On the student side, this commitment was always excellently received and motivated quite a few to work in science or teaching after graduation.

The debate on regional studies as a sub-discipline of Romance studies(Von der Landeskunde zur Landeswissenschaft, 1982), which he initiated together with Prof. Ingo Kolboom(TU Dresden), was groundbreaking for the dialogue between different subjects and disciplines nationwide. This debate owed valuable impulses to the interdisciplinary Kassel diploma program in business Romance studies, which in turn further distinguished it. And when, in the late 1990s, the German Romance Studies Association began to differentiate and subdivide itself according to language and cultural regions, Höhne and his Kassel colleague Prof. Konrad Schoell founded the French Romance Studies Association (FRV), which immediately attracted a large number of members and continues to provide an important platform for scholarly exchange and debate on the status and significance of French in politics, culture, and society.

After the turn of the millennium, Höhne once again became a border crosser due to the already proverbial restlessness into which professors often fall after their retirement. As part of the short-term lectureships for retired university teachers sponsored by the DAAD, he was a guest at Russian universities on several occasions to teach French regional studies in English.

His distinctive collegiality and commitment, and the tireless energy with which he was able to communicate his enthusiasm for all things intercultural, will be remembered by all who have had closer contact with Roland Höhne.

Prof. Dr. Franziska Sick