Dr. Laura Dierksmeier


SFB 1070 ResourceCultures
Gartenstr. 29
Room 306
72074 Tübingen
Tel.: +49-(0)7071-29-73595
Email: laura.dierksmeierspam prevention@uni-tuebingen.de

Position and Role

Research Associate (Postdoc)

Further Information

Academic Career

since 2017 Postdoc in the DFG-collaborative research centre 1070 ResourceCultures, subproject C05: Island Economies. A Comparative Study of Island Communities during the Late Middle Ages and Early Modern Period, University of Tübingen
2016 - 2017

Postdoc in the DFG-Graduiertenkolleg 1662: “Religious Knowledge in Pre-modern Europe, Transfers and Transformations, 800-1800. ” at the University Tübingen

2016 PhD: Early Modern History at the University of Tübingen
'Charity for and by the Poor: Franciscan-Indigenous Confraternities in Mexico, 1526–1700'

2012 – 2016

Research associate at the Institute of Early Modern History at the University of Tübingen
2010 – 2012 MA: Spanish at Simmons College (Boston, USA)
2010 – 2011 Programme coordinator, Staff Writer and Archival Researcher at the Center for Community Service Simmons College (Boston, MA, USA)

2002 – 2007

BA: Spanish (BA) and Business Management (BS), Stonehill College (USA), incl. one semester at Universidad Pablo de Olavide (Seville, Spain) in Spring 2005

Conferences Organised

Nov. 2019 European Islands: Between Isolated and Interconnected Life Worlds (together with F. Schön, A. Condit, V. Palmowski, and A. Kouremenos)
Sept. 2018 Indigenous Knowledge as a Resource? Transmission, Reception, and Interaction of Global and Local Knowledge between Europe and the Americas, 1492 1800 (together with F. Fechner and K. Takeda) 

Work groups

since 2018 Member: Trento en el Mundo hispánico: Renovación individual, social y cultural, Universidad de Navarra, Spain
since 2017 Co-founder: Insularities, Comparative Case Studies in Resource Use Between Isolated and Interconnected Life Worlds, Universität Tübingen

Courses Taught (University of Tübingen)

WS 2019/20 Introduction to the History of Cartography and Sea Navigation
  Introduction to Archive Research
SoSe 2019 Missionary Science in Latin America, 1500 –1800
  Mediterranean Island History and Archaeology: Interdisciplinary Long-term Perspectives
SoSe 2018 Confraternities in the Early Modern Iberian World
SoSe 2016 Mentorship for the lecture  “Mikroskop und Fernglas - Wissenschaftsrevolutionen und Forschungsalltag in der Frühen Neuzeit” by Prof. Dr. Renate Dürr
WS 2015/16 Mentorshipfor the lecturee “Geschichte Spanischamerikas in der Frühen Neuzeit” by Prof. Dr. Renate Dürr
WS 2014/15 Together with Prof. Dr. Renate Dürr: Main seminar“Geschichte der spanischen Inquisition in Spanien und Spanischamerika”

Contributions to Museums

2020 More Than Just a Fountain: Water Stress on a Spanish Island, Virtual Museum of the University of Tübingen

Additional professional experience and community service work (selection)

2010 - 2012 Regional Student Coordinator, Amnesty International, Boston, USA
  Volunteer/ Translator for Kids in Need of Defense, Boston, USA
2009 Internship as Legal Assistant at Villar Arregui, Abogados, Madrid, Spain
2008 - 2011 Resettlement Volunteer at Refugee Immigration Ministry, Boston, USA
2007 - 2009 Paralegal at the department of Immigration at the law office „Pappas and Lenzo,“ Bos., USA
2004 Marine Police Officer, State of New Hampshire (USA)

Research Focus

  • Comparative Island Studies
  • History of Water Scarcity in Spain
  • Missionary Science and Indigenous Medicine in Latin America
  • Early Modern Mexican Confraternities
  • History of Banned Books and Newspapers in the Atlantic World



  • Charity for and by the Poor. Franciscan and Indigenous Confraternities in Mexico, 1527–1700 (Oklahoma 2020).

Edited Books

  • Indigenous Knowledge as a Resource? Transmission, Reception, and Interaction of Global and Local Knowledge between Europe and the Americas, 1492 –1800 (with F. Fechner and K.Takeda), (SFB 1070, Universität Tübingen Press), 2021.

Articles (Double Blind Peer Reviewed)

  • Teaching Insularity. Archaeological and Historical Perspectives (mit A. Kouremenos), SHIMA. The International Journal into Research of Island Cultures, 2020, 284–297.
  • Forbidden Herbs? Alzate’s Defense of Pipilzitzintles. Colonial Latin American Review 29.2, 2020, 263–286.


  • The Narrower the Divide, the Deeper the Trench. Bartolomé de las Casas and Toribio de Motolinía. In: B. de las Casas, History, Philosophy, and Theology in the Age of European Expansion. (Boston 2018) 348 –391.
  • From Isolation to Inclusion. Confraternities in Urban Colonial Mexico. In: D. Bullen Presciutti (ed.), Space, Place & Motion. Locating Confraternities in the Early Modern City (Boston 2017) 68 – 87.
  • Cofradías en Nueva España antes y después de Trento. Reformas en las finanzas, arte sacro, y licencias. In: F. Labarga (ed.), Para la reforma del clero y pueblo cristiano… El concilio de Trento y la renovación católica en el mundo hispánico (Silex 2020).
  • Water Scarcity at Sea. Historical and Archaeological Perspectives on the Preservation of Freshwater on Volcanic Islands (with F. Schön). In: S. Teuber (ed.), RessourcenKulturen. Konzepte und Anwendungen (2021).
  • Historical Water Scarcity on the Canary Islands, 1500-1800 AD. In: S. Teuber/A. Scholz/T. Scholten/M. Bartelheim, Waters. Conference Proceedings for 'Waters as a Resource' of the SFB 1070 Resourcecultures and DEGUWA (Deutsche Gesellschaft zur Förderung der Unterwasserarchäologie e.V.). RessourcenKulturen 11 (Tübingen 2020).


  • Zeitschrift für Historische Forschung. 2019. Huber, Vitus, Beute und Conquista. Die politische Ökonomie der Eroberung Neuspaniens, (Frankfurt: Campus), 2018 (with A. Weininger).
  • Zeitschrift für Historische Forschung. 2018. Redden, Andrew, The Collapse of Time: The Martyrdom of Diego Ortiz (1571) Antonio de la Calancha [1638], (Berlin: De Gruyter), 2016.
  • Zeitschrift für Historische Forschung. 2017. Tene, Ran, Changes in Ethical Worldviews of Spanish Missionaries in Mexico: An Ethical Transition from Sight to Touch in the 16th and 17th Centuries. (European Expansion and Indigenous Response, Bd. 15), (Leiden/Boston: Brill), 2015.


  • European Islands Between Isolated and Interconnected Life Worlds (with F. Schön, A. Condit, V. Palmowski, und A. Kouremenos), submitted June 2020.

Books in Preparation

  • History of Latin America in 25 Images (with M. Kroiher and F. Fechner).


  • Forbidden herbs? The effects of cannabis were a controversial topic 250 years ago, University of Tuebingen, 07.07.2020
  • El tesoro escondido del pasado tinerfeño, La Prensa, Tenerife, 23.11.2019
  • Wassermangel in der Vergangenheit, Schwäbisches Tagblatt, 01.10.2018
  • Wissenschaftler der Universität Tübingen untersuchen Strategien zum Umgang mit wiederkehrenden Dürreperioden, Focus Online, 25.09.2018
  • Traditional methods of farming in a dry climate: University of Tübingen researchers investigate past techniques for living with water scarcity, Universität Tübingen, 24.09.2018

Awards and Scholarships

2021 Coordinator of DFG Network: Island Studies Network: Interdisciplinary Approaches to Island Exchanges, Environments, and Perceptions (together with Frerich Schön)
2019 Project funding for young scientists, “Small European Islands as Harbingers of Environmental Change”, University Tübingen
2018 Postdoc Grant “Climate Change and Small Islands in a Long-Term Perspective”, University Tübingen, SFB 1070
2017 Bartolomé de las Casas Dissertation Prize, Fribourg University, Schweiz
2011 Distinguished Graduate Student for Civic Engagement Award
2006 President, Spanish Honors Society
2006 Community Service Leadership Award


Feb. – March 2018 Visiting Fellow: Universidad de Navarra in Pamplona (Spain), under the direction of Prof. Dr. Pilar Latasa (History of Early Modern Latin America)
Oct. 2014 – Oct. 2016 Academy of American Franciscan History Fellowship (California, USA)
Professional Associations
2020 Deutsche Wasserhistorische Gesellschaft
2020 International Small Islands Studies Association
2019 European Society for Environmental History
2018 Verband der Historiker und Historikerinnen Deutschlands
2015 Förderverein Geschichte Universität Tübingen
2013 Confraternitas, University of Toronto
2012 Asociación de Historiadores Latinoamericanistas Europeos
2012 Hispanic American Historical Review
2011 Association for Spanish and Portuguese Historical Studies
2011 Latin American Studies Association
2011 American Historical Association