Short CV/Education and training

  • 1978 – 1983
    Studied cultural studies and theatre studies at the Humboldt University of Berlin, Germany

  • 1983 – 1986
    Doctoral research, concluding with doctorate

  • 1986 – 1993
    Research assistant in the Institute of Cultural Studies at Humboldt University of Berlin

  • 1992 – 1993
    Visiting researcher in the USA

  • 1993 – 1999
    Research associate at the Institute of European Ethnology at Humboldt University of Berlin

  • 1999 – 2000
    Visiting professor at the Weissensee Kunsthochschule Berlin (school of art)

  • Since 2000
    Professor in the Institute of European Ethnology/Cultural Studies at Marburg University, Germany

Selected publications

  • Merkel, I.: Spielfilme als kulturhistorische Quelle. In: Michael Simon et al. (eds.): Bilder, Bücher, Bytes. Zur Medialität des Alltags, Münster 2009, pp. 39-48.

  • Merkel, I.: The GDR – A Normal Country in the Centre of Europe. In: Mary Fulbrook (ed.): Power and Society in the DR, 1961-1979, NY/Oxford 2009, pp. 194-203.

  • Merkel, I.: Im Widerspruch zum Ideal: Konsumpolitik in der DDR. In: Heinz-Gerhard Haupt, Claudius Torp (eds.): Die Konsumgesellschaft in Deutschland 1890-1990. Ein Handbuch, FaM/NY 2009, pp. 289-304.

  • Merkel, I.: From Stigma to Cult: Changing Meanings in East German Consumer Culture. In: The Making of the Consumer. Knowledge, Power and Identity in the Modern World, ed. by Frank Trentmann, Oxford/New York 2006, pp. 249-270.

  • Merkel, I.: Außerhalb von Mittendrin. Individuum und Kultur in der zweiten Moderne. In: Zeitschrift für Volkskunde, 2002/II, pp. 229-256.

  • Merkel, I.: Hiergeblieben! Jugend in Pensionopolis? Berliner Debatte/Initial 15 (4), 2004. pp. 56-63.

  • Merkel, I.: Sex and Gender in the Divided Germany: Approaches to History from a Cultural Point of View, in: The Divided Past: Rewriting Post-War German History, ed. by Christoph Klessmann, Oxford/New York 2001, pp. 91-104.

  • Merkel, I.: Das Kollektiv bin ich. Utopie und Alltag in der DDR, Böhlau-Verlag: Vienna, Weimar, Cologne 2000, together with Franziska Becker and Simone Tippach-Schneider as editors.

  • Merkel, I.: Utopie und Bedürfnis. Die Geschichte der Konsumkultur in der DDR, Cologne, Weimar, Vienna 1999.

  • Merkel, I.: "... in Hoyerswerda leben jedenfalls keine so kleinen viereckigen Menschen ...". Briefe an das Fernsehen der DDR, in: Alf Lüdtke, Peter Becker (eds.): Akten. Eingaben. Schaufenster. Die DDR und ihre Texte. Erkundungen zu Herrschaft und Alltag, Akademie-Verlag Berlin 1997.

  • Merkel, I.: Wunderwirtschaft. DDR-Konsumkultur in den 60er Jahren, Böhlau-Verlag Vienna, Weimar, Cologne 1996. (2 editions), as editor on behalf of NGBK.

  • Merkel, I.: Die Nackten und die Roten. Zum Verhältnis von Nacktheit und Öffentlichkeit in der DDR. In: Mitteilungen aus der kulturwissenschaftlichen Forschung, Nr. 36, 1995.


Selected projects

  • German Research Foundation (DFG) project "Transnational familiarity", 2008 – 2011

  • Research Training Group with the Hans Böckler Foundation on the topic "Gender relations in the interplay between work, politics and culture", 2004 – 2007

  • New Society for Visual Arts (NGBK) creation of the exhibition/head of the project: "Miracle economy. The consumer culture of the GDR in the '60s", exhibition in rooms of the Collection of Industrial Design, Kulturbrauerei, 1996 – 1997

Membership in scientific bodies/juries

  • Vice dean

  • Member of the departmental council

  • Director of the Institute in different years

  • Chairperson of the examination committee, since 2001

Soft Skills/Other activities and achievements

Soft Skills

  • Supervising and advising, conflict mediation, time management, argumentation and rhetoric


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