Press Releases

Press release, 07/24/2013

Coffee and Globalised Economy
Dorothee Wierling, Deputy Director of the Forschungsstelle für Zeitgeschichte in Hamburg, becomes Gerda Henkel Visiting Professor 2013/14 and talks about the global networks of Hamburg coffee merchants and the consequences of globalisation in the 20th century.

Prof. Dr. Dorothee Wierling Photo: Bertold Fabricius

The German Historical Institute London, the International History Department of the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) and the Gerda Henkel Foundation in Düsseldorf have extended their collaboration for a further two years. From 1 October 2013 Prof. Dr. Dorothee Wierling, Deputy Director of the Forschungsstelle für Zeitgeschichte in Hamburg, will spend a year as Gerda Henkel Visiting Professor researching at the German Historical Institute London and teaching at the London School of Economics. Her Inaugural Lecture, to be given on 22 October 2013, is entitled “Local Agents – Global Players. Hamburg Coffee Merchants in the 20th Century”.

Dorothee Wierling studied History and English Studies at the Ruhr University, Bochum. She gained her doctorate at the University of Essen in 1986 with a dissertation on the everyday experience of housemaids: “Girl for Everything. Biography and Working Day of Urban Housemaids around the Turn of the Century” (“Lebensgeschichte und Arbeitsalltag städtischer Dienstmädchen um die Jahrhundertwende”). In 2000 she completed her Habilitation at the University of Potsdam with the study “Born in Year One. 1949 as a Birth Year in the GDR. An Attempt at a Collective Biography” (“Geboren im Jahr Eins. Der Geburtsjahrgang 1949 in der DDR. Versuch einer Kollektivbiographie”). From 1990 to 1993 she built up an external branch of the Essener Kulturwissenschaftlichen Instituts NRW in Leipzig. After a DAAD Professorship at the University of Washington, Seattle, and numerous other Fellowships and Visiting Professorships, for instance at the University of Tel-Aviv, the Zentrum für Zeithistorische Forschung in Potsdam and at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, since 2003 she has been Deputy Director of the Forschungsstelle für Zeitgeschichte in Hamburg (FZH) and Professor at Hamburg University. Her research interests are in the sphere of social history and the history of mentalities in the late 19th and 20th centuries, with special reference to the links between gender, generation and class, and the relationship between biography and history. As an “oral historian” she has looked in great detail at the methodological and theoretical problems of personal recollections and narratives as a historical source.

The Gerda Henkel Visiting Professorship for the research sphere “Germany in Europe” has been awarded annually since 2009. Previous Visiting Professors are Prof. Dr. Andreas Rödder (Mainz), Prof. Dr. Ute Daniel (Braunschweig), Prof. Dr. Christoph Cornelißen (Frankfurt am Main) and Prof. Dr. Johannes Paulmann (Mainz).

Gerda Henkel Stiftung: Dr. Sybille Wüstemann, Tel.: +49 (0)211/936524 0,

German Historical Institute London: Dr. Angela Schattner,
Tel.: +44 (0)20/7309 2029, E-Mail:,

Image Request | Prof. Dr. Dorothee Wierling