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Felix Lüttge

Feodor Lynen Fellow


Felix Lüttge is a historian of science and information at the Department of Media Studies at the University of Basel and currently a Feodor Lynen Fellow at the GHI London (2023–24). He studies the history of the marine, earth, and life sciences, the media history of archaeology, and the history of environmental thought and practice in the sciences and humanities. His first book, Auf den Spuren des Wals: Geographien des Lebens im 19. Jahrhundert was published with Wallstein in 2020. Currently, he is working on a book about the media history of British archaeology in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.

Felix Lüttge holds a PhD in Cultural History and Theory from Humboldt University Berlin. He was a Visiting Fellow at the Department of the History of Science, Harvard University and has taught at the Department of Cultural History and Theory at Humboldt University Berlin.


Research Project

Excavation and Notation:
A Media History of Archaeology, 1890–1980

Metaphors of readability have been central to scientific descriptions of the world: the book of nature, the archives of earth history, the genetic code – the archaeological record. But there is no book of nature without writing tools, no archaeological record without recording devices. Looking at excavation and notation in British archaeology between 1890 and 1980, this project investigates the sites, objects and subjects of archaeological knowledge produced by notation systems and paper technologies. The project highlights the media technologies that establish relationships between archaeological finds: lists and tables, aerial photographs, section drawings, and flowcharts. The project reveals the media history of changing conceptions of archaeological “contexts”: How have different notation systems helped forge archaeology’s big picture(s) of material and cultural evolution, prehistoric modes of production or ancient ecologies?

Research Interests

  • History of science
  • Media history and theory 
  • History of archaeology
  • History of environmental thought and practice
  • Paper technolgies

Recent Publications

‘Seas of Data; or, The Oceanographer in the Archive’, Configurations 31:3 (2023), 197–227 (Read here)

with Felix Vogel (eds.), Was ist Universität? Zwölf Antworten aus Basel (Æther 05), (Zürich, 2021) (Read here)

‘Sezieren’, in Antonia von Schöning, Mario Wimmer, and Markus Krajewski (eds.), Enzyklopädie der Genauigkeit, (Konstanz, 2021), 440–9

Auf den Spuren des Wals: Geographien des Lebens im 19. Jahrhundert (2nd ed., Göttingen, 2020)

‘Jagende Forschung: Walfang und Fotografie’, Fotogeschichte 40:156 (2020), 33–42.

‘Whaling Intelligence: News, Facts and US-American Exploration in the Pacific’, The British Journal for the History of Science 52:3 (2019), 425–45 (Read here)


More information on Felix Lüttge

Humboldt Stiftung/Feodor Lynen Fellowship Listing for Felix Lüttge

Feodor Lynen Fellowship