Birgit Tremml-Werner earned her Mag. phil. and Dr. phil. degrees in History (with a minor in Japanese Studies) from the University of Vienna. From 2013-2015 she spent two years at the University of Tokyo, among other things revising her dissertation for publication (Spain, China, and Japan in Manila, 1571-1644, Amsterdam University Press, 2015).

Before joining Linnaeus University she worked and taught as postdoctoral research associate in the HERA collective project ‘East Asian Uses of the European Past’ at the Chair for Global History at the University of Zurich (2016-2019). She was visiting professor (Professurvertretung) at the University of Vienna.

Her teaching mainly deals with the diplomatic, social and cultural history of East and Southeast Asia before 1900. Her extensive research experience in Japan, China, Spain, Italy, Switzerland, Austria and the US enables her to grasp a more complete picture of concurrent topics within the context of distinct research traditions.

Since 2019, Birgit Tremml-Werner co-hosts a global history podcast called 15past15:


At Linnaeus University I teach in the Master Programme Colonial and Postcolonial Studies. I have been teaching numerous courses on theories, methods and research problems in global history at both the undergraduate and graduate levels for more than ten years. I like to encourage my students to search for patterns and connections whilst both challenging and remaining true to the established methods of historical research.

During the winter term 2019/20 I was appointed a full-time teaching lectureship (Vertretungsprofessur) for pre-modern economic history from a global perspective at the University of Vienna. In addition, I have supervised bachelor and master theses in the field of either Japanese and global history in Vienna and Zurich.

I supervise and examine BA/MA theses and dissertation projects on subjects related to global history and postcolonial studies. I particularly welcome proposals in the fields of Japanese history, Southeast Asian maritime relations, colonial encounters, diplomatic history and global intellectual history.


H2020 MSCA EcoDip SEA Grant #101023758 ends on 30 April 2023. Below I will share the main results of the action below.

Project summary

Being a study in global history at the interface of international relations and Asian studies, EcoDip SEA has explored how diplomatic practices and foreign relations were shaped in the pluralistic, multi-centric, open geography of maritime Southeast Asia during the seventeenth and eighteenth century. The study has fundamentally changed the understanding of the relationship between colonial powers and local polities and nuanced the way we think about historical negotiation practices.

Hosted at the interdisciplinary Centre for Concurrences in Colonial and Postcolonial Studies, EcoDip SEA created essential novel insights and prepared material for the dissemination of this new knowledge by re-addressing early modern diplomatic encounters in Southeast Asia in multiple sources written in various languages. Through archival research, a deep reading of various fields of literature, and in-depth discussions with scholars across disciplines, EcoDip SEA has highlighted the scope of Southeast Asian agency in political and economic developments. This way older narratives of passive Southeast Asian stakeholders and the dominance of European practices such as gunboat diplomacy, embassies, or treaty-making could be challenged and put in perspective.

The project integrated the rich history of negotiations and cross-cultural communication between indigenous Southeast Asian stakeholders and various actors from Europe, the Americas, and other parts of Asia into a global history of diplomacy beyond binaries and ethnocentric master narratives. As bargaining processes and political changes could be studied from a Southeast Asian vantage point, EcoDip SEA introduced the concept of the diplomatic encounter for the study of relevant processes and practices in their own time and under consideration of their specific political culture. It compared different acts of negotiation including the foreign relations of insular Muslim chiefdoms including Ternate and Banten, European colonial powers and their agents, city-states such as Makassar, and of indigenous polities and intermediaries such as the Pampangans.

Project Output

The project resulted in four peer-reviewed open-access publications (two journal articles, and two handbook articles), a book chapter, an edited volume, and several public outreach deliverables including a conference on Communicating Diplomacy and 18 conference papers.

All publications will be available in Diva once they have been released by the respective presses.

An important achievement linked to the project is the co-founded Global Diplomacy Network: GDN is an international network seeks to advance the fields of global and diplomatic history by fostering a comparative, transregional, and connected understanding of the development and practice of inter-polity relations across the globe in the period between 1400 and 1900. 

A further important output concerns benefit sharing through global seminars with students at the Asian Center of the University of the Philippines, Diliman and with students of the East Asian Studies master program at the Universidad Autónoma de Madrid.


Article in journal (Refereed)

Chapter in book (Refereed)

Chapter in book (Other academic)

Article, book review (Other academic)

Other (Other (popular science, discussion, etc.))