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Susann Liebich, Dr


Susann Liebich, Dr


  • Postdoctoral Fellow


Karl Jaspers Centre for Advanced Transcultural Studies
Voßstraße 2, Building 4400
69115 Heidelberg

+49 (0) 6221 54 4309
+49 (0) 6221 54 4012

Über Susann Liebich

Susann Liebich joined the Cluster's project MC 12 "Floating Spaces" in December 2014. Before coming to Heidelberg, she held postdoctoral research fellowships at James Cook University, Townsville, and Victoria University of Wellington. Her research interests include book history and the history of reading, British imperial history, especially New Zealand and Australian history, and maritime history. At the Cluster, Susann is working on a project exploring reading and writing practices at sea, from nineteenth-century immigrants, to soldiers on troopships during WW1, to leisure travellers on cruise liners in the twentieth century. She has also just completed a collaborative project (with Dr Victoria Kuttainen and Dr Sarah Galletly, James Cook University) on geographical imaginaries and representations of sea travel across the Pacific in Australian popular magazines between 1920 and 1940.



2012 PhD in History, Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand. Thesis title: 'Connected Readers: Reading Practices and Communities across the British Empire'

2006 BA (Hons) in History (First Class), Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand.

2003 M.A. (Magistra Artium) in Communication and Media Studies (major), History (minor) and Psychology (minor), University of Leipzig, Germany. M.A. thesis in Book History (part of Communication and Media Studies): 'The Paperback Revolution? The Beginnings of a Paperback Market in West Germany, 1945-1960'

Professional Experience: 

Sept 2017 - Feb 2018   Contract Lecturer, Extra-European History, Christian-Albrechts-University Kiel

Nov 2014 - October 2017  Adjunct Research Fellow, James Cook University, Townsville, Australia

May 2013 - Nov 2014  Colin and Margaret Postdoctoral Research Fellow in Comparative Literature, James Cook University, Townsville, Australia

July - Nov 2012  Teaching Fellow, History, Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand

Jan - June 2012  Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Wai-te-ata Press, Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand

2007-2011  Tutor, Teaching Assistant and Research Assistant, History, Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand

Fellowships, Research Grants and Awards (selected):

2018    Weber World Cafe on "Transoceanic Cultures: The Sea in Past and Present", Max Weber Foundation and Forum Transregionale Studien 


2017   Start-Up Grant, Cluster of Excellence "Asia and Europe in a Global Context", Heidelberg University

2017   Resident Fellow, Stout Centre for New Zealand Studies, Victoria University of Wellington (March-May 2017)

2016   Bristol University International Strategic Fund (partner applicant with Dr Laurence Publicover, Bristol University)

2016   Resident Fellow, Stout Centre for New Zealand Studies, Victoria University of Wellington (April/May 2016)

2016   Heidelberg University Mobility Grant, Project "Reading and Writing at Sea" (EUR 10,800)

2014  Australian Govt. ANZAC Centenary Local Grant, Project "Between Battles: Commemorating the Cultural Life of Soldiers", with Dr Claire Brennan, JCU (AU$ 9,738)

2014  James Cook University Faculty Research Grant, Project "Print Culture & Pacific, 1920-1940" (AU$ 5,000)

2013-2016  Margaret and Colin Roderick Postdoctoral Research Fellowship in Comparative Literature for three years, Roderick Foundation, James Cook University, Townsville (AUS$ c. 270,000) (declined from Dec. 2014)

2012  New Zealand Ministry for Culture and Heritage History Award, Project "Reading Culture and Community in Timaru, NZ, 1890-1939" (NZ$ 10,000)

2009  Victoria University of Wellington Postgraduate Research Excellence Award (NZ$ 3,000)

2009  McCorison Fellowship for the History and Bibliography of Printing in Canada and the United States, awarded by the Bibliographical Society of America, Project "The Connected Reader" (US$ 2,000)

2007, 2008, 2009  Faculty Research Grants, Victoria University of Wellington, to assist with research in Tasmania, Great Britain and Canada (total NZ $6,000)

2007-2010 Bright Future Top Achiever Doctoral Scholarship by the NZ Government (NZ$ 84,000 plus tuition fees)

2007  Kathleen Stewart Scholarship (NZ$ 3,000) 

Ausgewählte Publikationen

Books and edited collections:

The Transported Imagination: Australian Interwar Magazines and the Geographical Imaginaries of Colonial Modernity. Cambria Press, New York, 2018. (Co-authored with Victoria Kuttainen and Sarah Galletly) 

“Print Culture, Mobility and the Pacific, 1920-1950”, special section of Transfers: Interdisciplinary Journal of Mobility Studies 7, no.1 (2017). (Co-edited with Victoria Kuttainen)

“Connected Readers: Reading Practices and Communities across the British Empire, c. 1890-1930”, dissertation monograph, Victoria University of Wellington, 2012, available at

Journal Articles and Book Chapters (peer-reviewed):

"Popular imagination of the sea: magazines of the 1920s and 1930s." In New Zealand and the Sea: Historical Perspectives, ed. Frances Steel, Wellington: Bridget Williams Books, 2018, pp. 256-273, 350-354.

with Victoria Kuttainen, "Introduction: Print Culture, Mobility and the Pacific, 1920-1950." Transfers: Interdisciplinary Journal of Mobility Studies 7, no. 1 (2017): 26-33.

with Victoria Kuttainen, “Worldly Tastes: Mobility and the Geographical Imaginaries of Interwar Australian Magazines.” Transfers: Interdisciplinary Journal of Mobility Studies 7, no. 1 (2017): 52-69

"Reading as War Effort: The National Home Reading Union during the First World War." First World War Studies 6, no. 3 (2015): 219-238.

with Victoria Kuttainen and Sarah Galletly, "Place, Platform, and Value: Periodicals and the Pacific in Late Colonial Modernity." English Studies in Canada 41, no. 1 (March 2015): 155-177.

“Letters to a Daughter: an archive of middle-class reading in New Zealand, c. 1872-1932.” In The History of Reading: International Perspectives, c. 1500-1990, eds. W.R. Owen and Shafquat Towheed, Houndsmills, Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2011, 163-177.

“Connected Readers: Reading networks and community in early twentieth-century New Zealand.” Mémoires du Livre/ Studies in Book Culture 2, no. 1 (2010):

“‘The Books Are the Same as You See in London Shops’: Booksellers in Colonial Wellington and Their Imperial Ties, c. 1840-1890.” Script & Print 31, no. 4 (2007): 197-209.

Other Publications / Reviews:

Book Review of Ken Gelder and Rachael Weaver, The Colonial Journals and the Emergence of Australian Literary Culture. Crawley: UWA Press, 2014, Australian Historical Studies 46, no. 2 (2015): 320-322.

"Floating Spaces at Sea - Schiffszeitungen und Reiseerfahrungen im 19. und 20. Jahrhundert", Masala: Newsletter des SAI, Heidelberg University 10, no. 1 (2015): 26-33 (with Carolin Matjeka and Johanna de Schmidt)

 Book Review of David Hastings, Extra! Extra! How the People Made the News. Auckland: Auckland University Press, 2013, Australian Historical Studies 45, no. 1 (2014): 151-153.

Book Review of Paradise. New Worlds of Books & Readers, Special issue of Script & Print 29, no. 1-4 (2005, issued 2007), SHARP News 18, no.1 (Winter 2009): 19-20.

Conference Review, “Evidence of Reading, Reading the Evidence” Conference, London, 21-23 July 2008, published online at [September 2008].

Exhibition Review, “Good books make good citizens. Reed Publishing.” SHARP News 17, no. 1 (Winter 2008): 5.

Several short articles on the history of Fischer Taschenbuch Verlag (Fischer Publishing House), Frankfurt/M, published on the firm’s webpage, 2002.