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Dr. Gabrielle Robilliard-Witt

Postdoctoral Researcher, Prize Papers Project

About

I studied history and modern German literature in Melbourne, Berlin, Cambridge and Göttingen before completing a PhD in history at the University of Warwick in 2011. Following that I worked – in between phases of parental leave – as lecturer in history, instructor for English for Academic Purposes, academic editor and translator as well as in higher education communication. From 2019 to 2022 I was postdoctoral researcher and coordinator on the EU HERA Intoxicating Spaces research and public engagement project at the Carl von Ossietzky University Oldenburg. This was followed by a research residence on the Dr. Liselotte Kirchner Scholarship Programme of the Franckesche Stiftungen in Halle an der Saale. In September 2022 I joined the Prize Papers Project in Oldenburg as research associate.

Zur Person

Gabrielle studierte Geschichtswissenschaft und Germanistik in Melbourne, Berlin, Cambridge und Göttingen und promovierte 2011 im Fach Geschichte an der University of Warwick, Großbritannien. Danach folgten Stellen in der Hochschulkommunikation, Elternzeit, diverse Lehraufträge, und eine freiberufliche Tätigkeit als wissenschaftliche Lektorin und Übersetzerin sowie Dozentin für English for Academic Purposes. Von 2019 bis 2022 war sie Postdoc und Koordinatorin im HERA „Intoxicating Spaces“ Projekt (PI Prof. Dr. Dagmar Freist, Prof. Phil Withington), einem EU Forschungs- und Public Engagement-Verbundprojekt an der Universität Oldenburg, wo sie weiterhin auch in der Lehre tätig ist. Danach erfolgte ein Forschungsaufenthalt als Dr. Liselotte-Kirchner Stipendiatin an den Franckeschen Stiftungen in Halle an der Saale. Seit September 2022 arbeitet sie als wissenschaftliche Mitarbeiterin im Prize Papers Projekt (PI Prof. Dr. Dagmar Freist).

Curriculum vitae

Since September 2022

Postdoctoral Research Associate, Prize Papers Project, Carl von Ossietzky University Oldenburg (PI Prof. Dr. Dagmar Freist)

April–July 2022

Dr. Liselotte Kirchner Scholarship, Franckesche Stiftungen, Halle an der Saale

2019–2022

Postdoctoral Research Fellow, HERA Intoxicating Spaces Project, University of Oldenburg (PIs Prof. Dr. Dagmar Freist, Prof. Phil Withington)

2011–present

HE communication, Universität Hamburg (2011–2019)

Adjunct Lecturer, Carl von Ossietzky University Oldenburg, University of Bremen, Leuphana Lüneburg

English for Academic Purposes (workshop instructor), GRK Interkonfessionalität, Universität Hamburg (2017–2021)

Academic editing and translations (freelance)

2005–2011

Doctor of Philosophy in History, University of Warwick

2005–2008

Member of the International Max Planck Research School for the History and Transformation of Cultural and Political Values in Medieval and Modern Europe, Göttingen

2003–2004

Master of Philosophy in Economic and Social History, Wolfson College, University of Cambridge

1997–2001

Honours Degree of Bachelor of Arts (history/German studies), Monash University, Melbourne

1999–2001

Study Abroad at the Freie Universität und Humboldt Universität, Berlin

Research

I am broadly interested in the social, economic and cultural aspects of early modernity, with a particular focus on medical cultures, intoxicants and food/drink, urban history, global history, Pietism and material culture. My doctoral dissertation on the on the culture and practices of midwifery work and interrelations with male obstetricians in early modern Germany was published in 2017 under the title Tending Mothers and the Fruits of the Womb: The Work of the Midwife in the Early Modern German City.

I have researched and published on coffeehouses, tea and coffee selling in seventeenth- and eighteenth-century Hamburg, and intoxicants and plague medicine in northern European comparison. My current research focuses on cultures and practices around intoxicants and food (consumption, trade, transport, production) in the context of Pietism in late seventeenth- and eighteenth-century Germany as well as the material culture of life at sea in the eighteenth century.

Research interests:

  • History of coffee and tea in early modernity, in particular in medical contexts
  • Practices and material culture of intoxicants and food: social practices, trade/retail, distribution in social networks
  • Food and intoxicants in Pietism: materiality of religion, culinary encounters in Pietist mission
  • Material culture of mariners
  • Global history
  • Urban history, urban social spaces
  • Early modern Hamburg
  • Praexeology/social practices
  • Digital Humanitites / virtual exhibitions

Forschung

Gabrielle forscht und lehrt zu sozialen, wirtschaftlichen und kulturellen Aspekten der Frühen Neuzeit, mit besonderen Schwerpunkten in der Geschichte der Medizin, Rauschmittelgeschichte, Stadtgeschichte, Globalgeschichte, Pietismusforschung und der materiellen Kultur. Ihre Doktorarbeit über die Arbeitskultur und -praktiken unter Hebammen und männlichen Geburtshelfer im späten 17. und 18. Jahrhundert erschien 2017 unter dem Titel Tending Mothers and the Fruits of the Womb: The Work of the Midwife in the Early Modern German City als MedGG-Beiheft im Franz Steiner Verlag, Stuttgart. Seitdem hat sie im Rahmen des HERA „Intoxicating Spaces“ Projekts zu Kaffeehäusern und zum Verkauf von Tee und Kaffee in Hamburg sowie zu Rauschmittel in der Pestmedizin im nordeuropäischen Vergleich geforscht und publiziert. Gemeinsam mit Kolleg*innen in diesem Projekt hat sie, mit Schwerpunkt auf Hamburg, an der virtuellen Ausstellung „Intoxicating Spaces“ mitgewirkt. Ihr aktueller Fokus liegt auf (materiellen) Kulturen und Praktiken rund um Rauschmittel im pietistischen Kontext und in pietistischen Netzwerken im späten 17. und im 18. Jahrhundert sowie auf der materiellen Kultur von Seeleuten im 18. Jahrhundert.

Funding

Dr. Liselotte-Kirchner Scholarship, Franckesche Stiftungen, Halle an der Saale (April–July 2022)

Arts and Humanities Research Council Doctoral Award, University of Warwick (2005–2010)

Georg-Christoph-Lichtenberg-Stipendium (doctoral scholarship), Universität Göttingen (2004–2005)

Ellen MacArthur Fund Travel Bursary, University of Cambridge (2004)

DAAD Semester Scholarship (1999–2000)

Sir John Monash Scholarship / Dean’s Scholars Program, Monash University (1997–2001)

Teaching and supervision

Teaching 

Undergraduate courses in:

  • Early modern medicine and society
  • Early modern urban history
  • History of intoxicants and food in early modern Europe

English for academic purposes in the Humanties at graduate/postgraduate level.

Supervised theses

2022

Larisch, Isabel, “Weibliche Homosexualität um 1700 in Flugschriften der Frühen Neuzeit am Beispiel der Anna Ilsabe Buncke aus Hamburg”, BA-Arbeit Geschichte, Oldenburg University (first supervisor).

2021

Vienenkötter, Hagen, “Zwischen Freuden und Leiden. Opiumkonsum im frühen 19. Jahrhundert in England”, BA-Arbeit Geschichte, Oldenburg University (second supervisor).

Papers and presentations

‘Hooked on retail: How colonial production of intoxicants altered the urban retail landscape in eighteenth-century Hamburg’, workshop paper, Food Systems and Practices: Past, Present and Future, Institute of Sustainable Food / Department of History, University of Sheffield, 27–28/06/2023.

‘The Great Leap Outwards: Intoxicant Consumption Practices, Space, and the Expansion of Urbanness in Eighteenth-Century Hamburg’, conference paper, Zwischen Ancien Régime und Moderne. Transformationen der Stadt im langen 18. Jahrhundert, Czech Academy of Sciences/University of Jan Evangelista in Ústí nad Labem/Technical University Dresden, 24–6/05/2023.

‘Old foods, new places: How Europeans re-negotiated food and drink from the Old World in colonial contexts’, workshop paper, Food and Body in Colonial Contexts in Pre-Modern Times, 1600–1900, Historisches Seminar LMU / IOS Universität Regensburg, 4–6/05/2023.

With Dagmar Freist, ‘Imaginations de la mer comme espace redoutable : des monstres marins’, paper for the Nocturnes, Deutsches Historisches Institut Paris, 29/03/2023.

With James Brown, ‘History goes data. Perspectives on working with databases from the HERA Intoxicating Spaces Project’, paper, Love Data Week, Carl-von-Ossietzky Universität Oldenburg, 17/02/2023.

‘Drinking Alone: Coffee, Tea and Chocolate Consumption as a Solitary Pursuit in Eighteenth-Century Europe’, conference paper, Gefährlicher Genuss? Getränke und Trinkpraktiken seit der Frühen Neuzeit, FernUni Hagen, 29/09/2022.

‘Food Heritage and Memory-Making: Insights from the Intoxicating Spaces Project’, conference paper, HERA JRP Conference: Crisis in Humanities/Humanities in Crisis , Wrocław, Poland, 09/09/2022.

‘Material Culture by Mail: The Circulation of Coffee and Tea in Pietist Networks in the Early Eighteenth Century’, paper for the Research Colloquium of the Liselotte Kirchner Scholarship Programm, Franckesche Stiftungen, Halle an der Saale, 15/06/2022.

‘Mapping Tea and Coffee-Selling in late eighteenth-century Hamburg’, conference paper, The Spatial 18th Century. Rethinking Urban Networks and Maps, 1650–1850, Symposium, University of York, Online, 04/11/2021.

With James Brown, ‘Plague, Intoxicants, and Space in Early Modern Port Cities’, RSA Virtual 2021, Online, 15/04/2021.

‘Und jenseits des Kaffeehauses? Eine Suche nach der “anderen” Räumlichkeit von Kaffee und Tee in Hamburg, 1700–1850’, paper, Prize Papers Lunchtime Talk Series, Universität Oldenburg, Online, 15/05/2020.

‘Intoxicating Spaces: The Impact of New Intoxicants on Urban Spaces in Europe, 1600–1850’, poster, HERA JRP Uses of the Past & Public Spaces Conference, Danzig, 11/09/2019.

‘Beyond the “Office” of Midwife: Midwifery Practice and Occupational Identity in Early Modern Germany’, workshop paper, The Nineteenth Annual Workshop of the Women's Committee of the Economic History Society—Gender, Vocation, and Career, Institute of Historical Research, London, 11/2008.

‘Accoucheur—City Council—Midwives—Mothers: Choosing midwives in Early Modern Leipzig’, conference paper, Civil Society and Public Services in Early Modern Europe—International Conference, Universiteit Leiden, 12/2007.

Publications

Monographs

Tending Mothers and the Fruits of the Womb: The Work of the Midwife in the Early Modern German City, MedGG-Beiheft 64 (Franz Steiner Verlag, Stuttgart: 2017).

Journal articles

Article on coffee and tea in early modern Pietism.

‘Novel, Popular, Fashionable and Partisan: Making Coffeehouses “Burgherly” Spaces in Early Modern Hamburg’ Urban History, 2022, 1–25. doi:10.1017/S0963926822000311.

Chapters in edited volumes

With James Brown, ‘Let every man drinke in his own cup, and let none trust the breath of his brother’: Encountering Plague in Early Modern Port Cities’, in W. Soya & T. Whyton (eds), Encountering the Plague, forthcoming, Intellect.

Conference reports 

‘Tagungsbericht: HT 2023: Fragile Neutralities. Practices of Maritime Trading as Neutrals during the Early Modern Period’H-Soz-Kult, 25.11.2023, online edition <www.hsozkult.de/conferencereport/id/fdkn-140128>.

Research blogs

With Birk, J., ‘A Taste for Everyday Luxury: Mapping Tea and Coffee in Late Eighteenth-Century Hamburg’, Mapping Project on Intoxicating Spaces Website (2022).

'New Intoxicants and Epidemics: Sugar and Tobacco in Hamburg’s Plague Medicine', Intoxicating Spaces Blog, 19 May 2020.

'A Matter of Measure: Tobacco in Seventeenth-Century German Satire', Intoxicating Spaces Blog, 28 February 2020.

'Faking it? A Little History of Coffee Substitutes', Intoxicating Spaces Blog, 18 November 2019.

'Instruments of hands? "Nature" and the practice of obstetric surgeons in early eighteenth-century Germany', Perceptions of Pregnancy Researchers’ Network, 15 May 2018.

Exhibitions

Intoxicating Spaces Virtual Exhibition, 200+ exhibits on Hamburg, HERA Intoxicating Spaces Project (2022).

'Pipes in Public: Tobacco', Scrap Story for Intoxicating Spaces Virtual Exhibition (2022).

'The Multifunctional Coffeehouse', Scrap Story for Intoxicating Spaces Virtual Exhibition (2022).

Public history and press

Interview, ‘Der Konsum veränderte das soziale Leben. Eine digitale Ausstellung in Oldenburg widmet sich der Geschichte der Rauschmittel’, die taz (16.11.2022).

G. Robilliard, ‘Smoke, Public Space and Gender: Smoking women in eighteenth-century Hamburg’, presentation for the Intoxicating Spaces Virtual Exhibition Launch, online (16.11.2022).

Interview for radio segment by J. Schulz, ‘Trinkkulturen. Wie Kaffee, Wein und Bier die soziale Ordnung herstellen’, Deutschlandfunk (06.10.2022).

G. Robilliard, 'Zucker, Tabak, Kaffee, Tee und … Pest: Rauschmittel und der öffentliche Raum in Hamburg', Beitrag für kulturland oldenburg 188 (2.2021).

Interview, K. Frieling, ‘Von Zucker bis Opium’, Eppendorfer 2 (2021): 3 (22 April 2021).

(Stand: 19.01.2024)  | 
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