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Prof. Dr. Katharina Stornig

Affiliated scholar, Member of the academic staff, project "The 'Distant Child'"
Room: Justus-Liebig-Universität Gießen
Phone: +49 641 / 99-30 023
Fax: +49 641 / 99-30 049


Personal Details:

Born in 1980 in Innsbruck; 1998–2004: studied History and Philosophy at the universities of Innsbruck and Vienna; 2010: PhD at the European University Institute (Florence) with a dissertation on Catholic missionary nuns in colonial Togo and New Guinea; 2006–2009: postgraduate fellowship from the Austrian Ministry of Science; 2013/14: research fellowship at the Austrian Historical Institute in Rome. 2011-2014: associate lecturer at the University of Innsbruck; 2011–2013: member of the academic staff at the Leibniz Institute of European History in the context of the BMBF Junior Research Group "Transfer and Transformation of Missionaries' Images of Europe"; since 2014: researcher on the German Research Foundation-funded project "The 'Distant Child': Religious Engagement and the Globalization of Family, 1840–1930".


German Research Foundation Network "Dynamiken interkultureller Begegnungen" (Dynamics of Intercultural Encounters)

Research interests:

History of aid and philanthropy
Childhood and family in the 19th and 20th centuries
Catholicism, missionary movement and associations
(Religious) internationalism/international organizations
Women’s and gender history/i.e., gender and religion
Photography, photographic practices and visual sources

Selected publications:

Figli della Chiesa. Riscatti e la globalizzazione del welfare cattolico, 1840–1914, in: Genesis. Rivista della Società Italiana delle Storiche XIV/1 [forthcoming 07/2015]
“…denn die ganze Sorge der Schwestern war darauf gerichtet, die Lage des weiblichen Geschlechts zu verbessern.” Geschlecht, Religion und Differenz in der Missionspraxis deutscher Ordensfrauen im kolonialen Togo (1896–1918), in: Rebekka Habermas and Richard Hölzl (eds), Mission Global. Eine Verflechtungssgeschichte seit dem 19. Jahrhundert, Wien/Köln/Weimar: Böhlau 2014, pp. 111–134.
Sisters crossing Boundaries. German Missionary Nuns in colonial Togo and New Guinea, 1897–1960 (=VIEG 232), Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht 2013.
Vielfache Bedeutungen. Missionsfotografie zwischen Neuguinea und Europa, 1899–ca. 1930, in: Österreichische Zeitschrift für Geschichtswissenschaften 24/2 (2013), pp. 114–139.
“Sister Agnes was to go to Ghana in Africa!” Catholic Nuns and Migration, in: Glenda Tibe Bonifacio (ed.), Feminism and Migration. Cross-Cultural Engagements, Dordrecht/Heidelberg/London/New York: Springer 2012, pp. 265–282.


People – Images – One World. Images of People in German-speaking Missionary Journals from Imperial Germany

This project from Judith Becker was dedicated to investigating visual constructions and representations of one’s “own” and of “foreign” in religious publications in Imperial Germany.

The »Distant Child« – Religious Engagement and the Globalization of Family, 1840–1930

Organized aid and the willingness to make sacrifices for the wellbeing of others was usually focused on defined groups of people. The research project by Katharina Stornig is based on the observation that, from the mid-nineteenth century, Christian associations in Germany increasingly tried to engender solidarity among their supporters towards geographically distant people in Asia and Africa.