University of Minnesota
Center for Austrian Studies

Welcome to the Center for Austrian Studies

An interdisciplinary center for the study of the Habsburg Empire, Austria and other successor states, and the new Europe.


Our first lecture of the 2014-15 academic year! Arnold Suppan on Hitler, Benes, & Tito.

September 16, 2014, 4:00 p.m. 1210 Heller Hall.Suppan

Suppan's work explores the development of the political, legal, economic, social, cultural and military “communities of conflict” within Austria-Hungary (especially in the Bohemian and South Slav lands); the convulsion of World War I and the Czech, Slovak and South Slav break with the Habsburg Monarchy; the difficult formation of successor states and the strong discussions at Paris 1919/20; the domestic and foreign policies of Czechoslovakia and Yugoslavia and the question of national minorities (Sudeten Germans, Magyars in Slovakia and the Vojvodina, Danube Swabians, Germans in Slovenia); Hitler’s destruction of the Versailles order; the Nazi policies of conquest and occupation in Bohemia, Moravia, Serbia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, and Slovenia; the genocide committed against the Jews in the Protectorate, Slovakia, the Ustaša-state and Serbia; the collaboration of the Tiso­- and Pavelić-regime with Nazi Germany; the retaliation against and expulsion of the Germans from Czechoslovakia and Yugoslavia; and finally the issue of history and memory east and west of the Iron Curtain as well as in the post-communist states at the end of the 20th century.

Dean appoints new CAS faculty director

College of Liberal Arts Interim Dean Raymond Duvall has appointed Howard Louthan, professor of history at the University of Florida, as the next permanent faculty director of the Center for Austrian Studies at the University of Minnesota. In addition to his appointment as CAS director, Louthan will be a full professor in the university’s Department of History. (more)

CAS awards $40,000 in faculty research grants

When sufficient funds are available, the Center for Austrian Studies awards grants to University of Minnesota faculty members for research projects. We ask that they partner with a faculty member from a university in Austria or Central Eeurope. CAS facilitates transatlantic cooperation and provides seed money, as European institutions often provide matching funding. This year, two of  the applications were judged to be so outstanding that we awarded half the available grant money to each project.

The first is “FoodShed: Developing a Platform for Curating Shared Stories of Food and Land in Minnesota and Austria.” Valentine Cadieux, an adjunct member of the Departments of Geography and Sociology, William P. Cunningham, professor emeritus with the College of Biological Sciences, and Bernhard Freyer, head of the Division of Organic Farming, University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna , will create an online forum for the sharing stories about food and agriculture focusing on efforts to improve agriculture in Minneaota and Austria.

The second is “Shifting perspectives in Europe and Beyond: Individual and Collective Indentities from an Interdisciplinary and Interregional Perspective.” Patrick McNamara, professor of history, and Roberta Maierhofer, professor of American Studies at the University of Graz, principal investigators. It will develop structures for joint research and teaching between the University of Graz and the University of Minnesota, by creating interdisciplinary workshops and producing a documentary film that is an artistic reflection of the academic work.

"Laughter in the Dark" video link

"Laughter in the Dark: Newly Discovered Songs and Sketches from the Terezín/Theresienstadt Ghetto, 1941-44" was a CAS event held April 4, 2014, at Lloyd Ultan Hall on the U of M campus. Theatre scholar Lisa Peschel gave a talk on cabaret and performance written and performed by prisoners in the Ghetto. This was interspersed with actual material performed by actors Ryan Lindberg and Emily Zimmer, with musical accompaniment by Peter Vitale. Vitale was also music director and Hayley Finn was director. TheEuropean Studies Consortium, the Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies, and the Center foir Jewish Studies were cosponsors. You can watch a video of the event by clicking on this link.

Broadcasts of "Food, Fuel, and Climate Change"

Upcoming public television broadcasts of the documentary based upon the Center's 2008 public forum (principal cosponsor: Horst M. Rechelbacher Foundation) will occur on the statewide MN Channel, with affiliates in the Twin Cities, Duluth/Superior, Appleton, Austin/Rochester, Bemidji/Brainerd, and Fargo/Moorhead. You can now find the dates of upcoming broadcasts online.

The program is also archived at the Minnesota Video Vault. You may watch the program on your computer at your convenience.