Ida Pfeiffer Professor

Friends, I’m really excited to say that I will be joining the University of Vienna for 5 months from September 2022 to January 2023 as the Ida Pfeiffer Professor, a visiting professor position in the Faculty of Earth Sciences, Geography and Astronomy. I’ll be taking research leave from my university to allow me to take up this position.

This five month visiting professorship builds international partnerships and aims to foster exciting new research and teaching ideas. I’m really excited to live in Vienna for 5 months, working at the University of Vienna, meeting new people, learning new ideas, exploring new concepts, and building collaborations and partnerships. I hope to learn a lot, and meet many people across the department and faculty.

My family will be coming out to Vienna with me. We have all been learning German and it’s been a very busy period, getting all the accommodation, schooling and logistics sorted out. Our daughter will spend a term at a Vienna Bilingual School, and we are so excited for her to have this international opportunity. We’re looking forward to getting to know the city and the region a bit better while we’re there, and I’m excited to have the opportunity to improve my rather rusty German. Ich freue mich!

I was very excited to learn more about Ida Pfeiffer, an inspirational explorer who lived from 1797 to 1858. Ida Pfeiffer was born in Vienna, and apparently loved to explore and play sports and exercise from a young age. As an adult, she was one of the first female explorers, who wrote journals that sold hugely and were translated into multiple languages. She visited Southeast Asia, the Americas, the Middle East and Africa. However, because of her gender, she was denied membership of the Royal Geographical Society. The Ida Pfeiffer Professorship was established by the University of Vienna in 2018 in her honour.

Ida sounds like an inspirational lady, who challenged the expectations of her and her sex, and boldly travelled the world and making geographical notes. I hope to learn more about her and her life whilst I’m in Vienna.

Ida Pfeiffer (Wikimedia Commons:

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