Professor Dr. Christoph Heyl: “Put the Kettle on! Coffee, Tea and Other Hot Drinks in British Cultural History”

Einladung zu einem Vortrag in englischer Sprache
Tuesday, 11th June 2019 at 7 pm

RüKONTOR (5. Etage), Rüttenscheider Str. 144, 45131 Essen

Well into the mid-seventeenth century, everybody in England – men, women and children – drank beer. Beer was the standard drink because drinking water was not particularly safe, especially in cities. The transition from beer to hot drinks such as coffee, chocolate and, above all, tea in the British Isles is a remarkable phenomenon. We shall trace this development from its beginnings in the seventeenth century.

The rise of hot drinks was intimately connected with global trade, colonialism, slavery (no hot drinks without sugar, no sugar without slaves) and the opium trade (Chinese tea was exchanged for opium produced in British India). There is an interesting connection between coffee and journalism and the development of the public sphere as the earliest newspapers were both written and read in London’s coffee houses. In the eighteenth century, the tea table became a site of middle-class domestic sociability. The etiquette of preparing and taking various drinks was intimately tied to evolving gender roles. Tea still retains a huge significance in the culture of British everyday life. Other hot drinks such as hot chocolate, Bovril and Horlicks will also be discussed.

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Christoph Heyl is Chair of British Literature and Culture at the University of Duisburg Essen. Previous stages of his education and career include Goethe Universität (Frankfurt), University College (London), the German Historical Institute (London) and Humboldt Universität (Berlin). His research focuses on the interplay between literature and cultural history (including architecture, the visual arts and music), especially of the Early Modern period. He has worked on topics such as the rise of the private sphere in eighteenth century London and related phenomena in literature and the visual arts, collections and collectors in 17th century England (and the literature they inspired), Hogarth´ s paintings and engravings, crime and crime fiction, Scottish literature and identity and cultural encounters between Britain and India. He is currently working on a short history of English literature (Kleine Englische Literaturgeschichte , Verlag J.B. Metzler, forthcoming).

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Mit freundlicher Unterstützung der

Sparkasse Essen


Unser Vortragsraum befindet sich in der 5. Etage des RüKONTOR (Aufzug vorhanden), Rüttenscheider  Str. 144/Eingang Gregorstraße, gegenüber dem Girardet Haus. Parkmöglichkeiten auf den anliegenden Strassen, auf den Parkplätzen des Girardethauses und am Ende der Gregorstraße vorhanden. U-Bahn Verbindung von Essen-Hbf: Linien U11, U101 und U107, Station Martinstraße (3 Minuten Fußweg). Busse von der Haltestelle Girardet Haus (Linie 142) und von der Haltestelle Martinstraße (Linien 142, 160 und 161).