Susan Zimmermann

University Professor
egyetemi tanár
Nador u. 11
Phone number: 
+36 1 327-3000 x 2577
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See Courses, Projects, Theses, Publications, associated with this profile.
“Habilitation” Johannes Kepler Universität Linz (Austria) 2000.
“Habilitáció” Eötvös Loránd University Budapest (Hungary) 1999.
Ph.D., Universität Wien 1993 (history of social policy, urban history, comparative social change).
Academic/Professional Experience and Achievements: 

I am a historian and interdisciplinary scholar who has taught classes on international history, the gender history of Central Europe, welfare and social protection, and courses aimed rethinking history and gender studies from a decentralizing global perspective. CEU doctoral graduates whom I supervised have won prestigious post-doctoral positions for example in Germany, others hold faculty positions in various European countries.

In terms of my research and teaching interests, I am concerned with bringing to bear a critical perspective on the past and present of global inequalities and the unequal international division of labour on key themes in modern history and interdisciplinary studies. I am also interested in developing research perspectives which simultaneously inquire into and integrate the study of class, gender, and other categories of difference and unequal social relations.  

I am currently working on a book entitled International Politics, Women’s Work, and Unequal Development. The ILO, International Women’s Organizations, and the Dispute on International Gender Policy in the 1920s and 1930s. The manuscript addresses a number of puzzles enshrined in international argument and conflict over special labour protection for women, as well as legal restrictions on women in the world of work. This conflict concerned industrial labour policy with an implicit focus on the Northern hemisphere, the construction of labour standards for bonded labour with a focus on the Southern hemisphere, and the connection between international politics pursued in both of these contexts. In discussing these themes, I argue that the clash between legal equality and differential (labour) legislation is best understood not as tension between equality and difference; rather it can be conceptualized as an uneasy negotiation between politics prioritizing the reduction of gender disadvantage versus politics aimed at curbing class and race disadvantage, or aimed at overall social transformation. Divergent political visions regarding the global integration of ever broader strata into commodified labour relations, together with related ideas about social reproduction, formed a crucial point of reference in how diverse actors positioned themselves in relation to these questions. The struggle amongst and between labor reformers and organized women in the interwar period formed an important point of departure for, and foreshadowed core dilemmas of, international gender policy in the post-1945 period.


Co-editor (together with Eileen Boris and Dorothea Hoehtker) of “Women's ILO: transnational networks, working conditions and gender equality.” Publication project in the framework of the “ILO Century Series” (Palgrave Macmillan/ILO), book proposal under preparation, since 2012

Invited contributor, Research Project “Europe 1815-1914. Between Restoration and Revolution, National Constitutions and Global Law: an Alternative View on the European Century 1815–1914” (sponsored by the European Research Council. Working group Paradoxes of Peace in 19th Century Europe), since 2010

Research grant of the Austrian Academy of Science for the contributions on Sozial für sorge und Sozialpolitik [Poor relief and social policy], forth¬coming in: Peter Urbanitsch (ed.), Die Habsburgermonarchie 1818 – 1918, 2007

Guestprofessor for Gender Studies, University of Vienna, October 2006 – January 2007

Guestprofessor for Austrian History, University of Vienna, October 2005 – January 2006

Hungarian Ministry for Culture: Pro Cultura Hungarica Memorial Award for non-Hungarian citizens for promoting and popularizing Hungarian culture abroad, and enriching the cultural relations between Hungary and other nations, 2005

Fellowship at the Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin for the research project “Historicizing the global and globalizing local histories”, Academic Year 2002/2003

Käthe Leichter Award 2001 for the study Die bessere Halfte?

Research grant of the Austrian Academy of Science: Austrian Program for Advanced Research and Technology (APART). 3-year “Habilitation” fellowship 1996-2000 (including a period of maternal leave)

Eduard Marz Award 1996 for Ph.D. thesis

Special Award 1992 of the Osterreichische Gesellschaft fur Stadtgeschichtsforschung for Research on Central European Urban History (together with G. Melinz)

CV attachment: 
Academic/research topics: 
International labor policy
internationalism and global inequality
history of women’s movements
histories and concepts of social change in a local-global perspective
comparative history of welfare and social policy
Academic/Research Areas: 


Book Chapter
Zimmermann, S.. "The International Labour Organization, transnational women’s networks, and the question of unpaid work in the interwar world." In Women in Transnational History: Gendering the Local and the Global, edited by C. Midgley, J. Carlier and A. Twells, 33-53. Milton Park, New York: Routledge, 2016.
Boris, E., and S. Zimmermann. "The International Labour Organization and the Gender of Work." In A Handbook of Gender in World Politics , edited by J. Steans and D. Tepe-Belfrage, 438-445. Cheltenham: Edward Elgar, 2016.
Zimmermann, S.. "Liaison Committees of International Women’s Organizations and the Changing Landscape of Women’s Internationalism, 1920s to 1945." In Kathryn Kish Sklar and Thomas Dublin (eds), Women and Social Movements, International. 1840 to Present, 75. Alexander Street Press, 2012.
Zimmermann, S.. "The Long-term Trajectory of Antislavery in International Politics. From the expansion of the European international system to unequal international development." In Humanitarian Intervention and Changing Labour Relations. The Long-term Consequences of the Abolition of the Slave Trade (= Studies in Global Social History, vol. 7) , edited by Marcel van der Linden, 431-496. Studies in Global Social History. Leiden: Brill, 2011.
Zimmermann, S.. "Geschlechterhierarchien und Geschlechterverhältnisse." In Wirtschaft und Gesellschaft in Europa 1000 - 2000. Ein Lehr- und Handbuch für das Bachelor-Studium Geschichte , edited by Markus Cerman, Franz Eder and Peter Eigner, 365-391. Innsbruck: Studienverlag, 2011.
Zimmermann, S.. "Special Circumstances in Geneva. The ILO and the World of Non-Metropolitan Labour in the Interwar Period." In ILO Histories. Essays on the International Labour Organization and its Impact on the World During the Twentieth Century, edited by Jasmien van Daele, Rodríguez García Magaly and Geert van Goethem, 221-250. International and comparative social history. New York: Peter Lang, 2010.
Zimmermann, S.. "Armen- und Sozialpolitik in Ungarn im Vergleich mit Österreich." In Die Habsburgermonarchie 1848–1918, edited by Helmut Rumpler and Peter Urbanitsch, 1465-1535. Vol. 9/1. Wien: Österreichischen Akademie der Wissenschaften , 2010.
Zimmermann, S.. "Auf dem Weg zu einer Geschichte der vielen Geschichten des Frauen-Aktivismus weltweit." In Wie Frauenbewegung geschrieben wird: Historiographie, Dokumentation, Stellungnahmen, Bibliographien, edited by J. Gehmacher and N. Vittorelli. Wien: Loecker Erhard Verlag, 2009.
Zimmermann, S.. "Geschlechterregime und Geschlechterauseinandersetzung im ungarischen „Staatssozialismus“." In Sozialismen : Entwicklungsmodelle von Lenin bis Nyerere, edited by J. Becker and R. Weißenbacher, 117-140. Wien: Promedia, 2009.
Zimmermann, S.. "International – transnational. Forschungsfelder und Forschungsperspektiven." In Transnational Networks in the 20th Century. Ideas, Practices and Organizations, edited by B. Unfried, 27-46. Leipzig: Akademische Verlagsanstalt, 2008.
Zimmermann, S.. "Hungary." In Encyclopedia of Women in World History, edited by Bonnie Smith. Oxford: OUP, 2008.
Zimmermann, S.. "Die Frauenbewegung im Königreich Ungarn." In Die Habsburgermonarchie 1848 – 1918 / 8, edited by P. U. Helmut Rumpler, 1359-1491. Wien: Verl. der Österr. Akad. der Wiss., 2006.
Zimmermann, S.. "Reich, Nation, und Internationalismus. Konflikte und Kooperationen der Frauenbewegungen der Habsburgermonarchie." In Frauenbilder, feministische Praxis und nationales Bewusstsein in Österreich-Ungarn 1867–1918, edited by E. K. Waltraud Heindl, 119-167. Basel, 2006.
Zimmermann, S.. "Az utolérő fejlődés a társadalomkritikai gondolkodásban. Egy feltáratlan viszony történetéről és jelenéről." In Rendszerváltás és társadalomkritika. Tanulmányok a kelet-európai átalakulás történetébő, edited by Tamás Krausz. Budapest: Napvilág, 1998.
Zimmermann, S.. "Der informelle Sektor: Konzepte, Widersprüche und Debatten." In Ungeregelt und unterbezahlt : der informelle Sektor in der Weltwirtschaft, edited by Andrea Komlosy, Franz Delapina and et al, 9-28. Frankfurt am Main: Südwind, 1997.
Zimmermann, S.. "Mit den Waffen der Sozialpolitik? Wohnungspolitischer Interventionismus in Österreich und Ungarn von 1890 bis in die 1930er Jahre." In Europäische Wohnungspolitik in vergleichender Perspektive (1900 – 1939), edited by Clemens Zimmermann, 85-129. Stuttgart: Fraunhofer-IRB-Verl., 1997.
Zimmermann, S.. "Großstadtgeschichte und Modernisierung in der Habsburgermonarchie." In Wien, Prag, Budapest : Blütezeit der Habsburgmetropolen : Urbanisierung, Kommunalpolitik, gesellschaftliche Konflikte (1867-1918), edited by Gerhard Melinz and Susan Zimmermann, 15-33, 245. Wien: Promedia, 1996.
Zimmermann, S.. "Vom Götzen der Familie zum Götzen des Marktes. Über die Modernisierung der Geschlechterverhältnisse in der entwickelten Industriegesellschaft." In Auf in die Moderne. Österreich vom Faschismus bis zum EU-Beitritt, 210-230. Kritische Geographie. Reihe I,. Wien: Promedia, 1996.
Gyáni, G.. "Ethnicity and acculturation in Budapest at the turn of the century." In Urban Space and Identity in the European City 1890-1930s, edited by S. Zimmermann, 107-115. Ceu, 1995.
Zimmermann, S.. "Szegényügy, Toloncügy, Koldulás." In Budapest Lexikon. Budapest: Akadémiai Kiadó, 1994.
Zimmermann, S.. "Die „Suche nach freier Arbeitskraft”: Nachholende Entwicklung und Frauenarbeit in Ungarn." In Frauenarbeit, Frauenpolitik in Afrika, Asien, Lateinamerika und Osteuropa. Internationale Diskussionen, edited by S. P. Brigitte Hasenjürgen, 234-249. Münster, 1993.
Book review
Conference Paper
Zimmermann, S.. "Kräfte der Beharrung? Modernisierungskrisen und Politik in Zentraleuropa." In Österreich – 50 Jahre Zweite Republik, edited by C. G. Rudolf G. Ardelt, 314-319. nnsbruck: Studien-Verl., 1997.
Zimmermann, S.. "Die österreichische Frauenfriedensbewegung vor und im Ersten Weltkrieg." In Veröffentlichungen des Vereins Frauenforschung und weiblicher Lebenszusammenhang. Vol. 3. Vienna, 1982.
Journal Article
Zimmermann, S.. "In and Out of the Cage. Hungarian Historical Writing on Women and Gender, late 1940s to late 1980s." Aspasia. The International Yearbook of Central, Eastern and Southeastern European Women’s and Gender History 8 (2014): 125-149.
Zimmermann, S.. "Transparent Global History? The Contribution of Vienna Global Studies." Historical Reflections/Reflexions Historiques, special issue, edited by Antoinette Burton, Writing History for a Variety of Publics 38 (2012): 123-138.
Zimmermann, S.. "Editorial." L’Homme. Zeitschrift für feministische Geschichtswissenschaft 5, no. 2 (1994): 3-4.
Zimmermann, S.. "Das Geschlecht der Fürsorge. Wohlfahrtspolitik in Budapest und Wien 1873 – 1914." L’Homme. Zeitschrift für feministische Geschichtswissenschaft 5, no. 2 (1994): 19-40.
Zimmermann, S.. "Frauenerwerbsarbeit und Haushalt im Wien der Jahrhundertwende." Archiv. Jahrbuch für die Geschichte der Arbeiterbewegung, no. 6 (1990): 92-122.
Magazine Article
"Clara Zetkin Goes International. The Socialist Women’s International and Unequal European and Global Order, 1907 to 1917." Marilyn Boxer, John S. Partington (eds), Clara Zetkin. National and International Contexts = Socialist History Society Occasional Papers series no. 31 (2013).
Newspaper Article