Dorothea McEwan has published widely, on a range of topics in intellectual and art history, and theology, with an enduring focus on the relationships between Africa and Europe.
She has initiated and organised a number of international conferences on Ethiopian art and architecture. She headed the editorial board for the publication of Georg Wilhelm Schimper’s paper on the natural history of Ethiopia.
She is active in international networks and professional associations promoting intellectual and cultural debate. She has also served on international committees, for the publication of the papers of Aby Warburg, and for the recognition of women in theological debate.
She is Honorary Fellow of the University of London, and was awarded the Cross of Honour for Science and Art in 2008 and the Grand Decoration for Services to the Republic of Austria by the President of the Republic of Austria in 2021. She was elected an Associate Fellow of the Ethiopian Academy of Sciences in 2017.
Throughout her academic work she transcribed German manuscripts for books, articles and teaching. As part of her work in the Archive of the Warburg Institute she had to read, transcribe, translate and abstract the vast correspondence archive of Aby Warburg, the founder of the Kulturwissenschaftliche Bibliothek Warburg, in Hamburg, which came to London at the end of 1933 and was called The Warburg Institute. She started the series of classes on German Palaeography in the London International Palaeography Summer School, University of London in 1996 and the German Historical Institute London in 2010.