Main Focus

  • Economic and Social History
  • Transnational and Comparative History
  • Global Labour History
  • Global History


Curriculum Vitae

Johanna Wolf read cultural studies and musicology at the Universität Leipzig (Magistra Artium, 2007). She subsequently obtained her PhD in Global Studies in 2017 (summa cum laude) from the same institution. The resulting monograph deals with metal workers’ unions during the globalization processes of the long 1970s with a focus on the shipbuilding crisis in Western Europe. The work was awarded the Walter Markov Prize in 2017.

Johanna Wolf has taught graduate courses on labour history and European history at the Global and European Studies Institute in Leipzig. She was editor-in-chief of the journal Social History Online (2017) and worked for the Hans Böckler Foundation on a study of the German Trade Union Confederation in East Germany after 1990 (2018) before joining the Max Planck Institute for Legal History and Legal Theory (mpilhlt) in Frankfurt am Main as a researcher in November 2019. From 2020 to 2021, Johanna Wolf was a Research Fellow at the International Institute of Social History in Amsterdam, funded by a grant from the German Research Foundation.

Her research is situated at the intersection of labour history, global history and cultural history. At the mpilhlt, she is currently pursuing a research project on the normative order of the workplace and the development of German work regulations (Arbeitsordnungen) from the 1830s to the 1930s. In another project, she is analysing the mobility of communist trade union activists in the second half of the 20th century, focusing on two topics: firstly, the role of the World Federation of Trade Unions (WFTU) in the discussions on equal pay at the end of the 1940s; secondly, the positioning of the WFTU in the de-colonization debate.

Johanna Wolf has also launched an initiative on the history of labour law from a global perspective.

She is a member of academic associations and research cooperations, including the European Network in Universal and Global History (ENIUGH), German Labour History Association (GLHA) and the Association of German Historians (VHD).

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