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Center for Austrian Studies

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Austrian Studies Newsmagazine

The Spring 2015 Austrian Studies Newsletter is here. It's great beach reading. Happy summer!
If you would like to receive the next issue of the ASN, free of charge, please email

Austrian Scholar talks close out the 2014-2015 CAS Lecture season

WetzsteinWednesday, April 22, 2015
4:00 pm
Irmgard Wetzstein, Journalism, University of Vienna
Debating Alternative Gender Identities in Austria: the Case of the Viennese Life Ball 2014"
710 Social Sciences, West Bank

The presentation deals with a vivid online discourse induced by two advertising posters which photographer David LaChapelle created for the well-established Vienna-based AIDS charity event Life Ball in 2014, depicting a nude transgender model. In total, 1,897 postings within relevant threads of highly frequented online forums of Austrian newspapers were consulted to explore the discourse organization, thematic and argumentative patterns, and contrary positions. In light of these aspects, a discourse analysis was conducted using the sociology of knowledge approach. The findings shed light on public perceptions of ‘alternative’ gender identities and respective collective knowledge repertoires in Austria, demonstrating for example predominant thematic and argumentative linkages of transgender and gay people to sex, sexual intercourse, and societal tolerance. One conclusion of this research is that transgender and gay people are framed physically rather than socially and, at least in Austria, indeed as alternative to the overall norm of gender-duality and heterosexuality.

WallnigFriday, April 24, 2015
12:15 pm
Thomas Wallnig, History, University of Vienna
"Critical Monks: The German Benedictines 1680-1740"

1210 Heller Hall

Around 1700, some Benedictine monks in abbeys across Austria and Southern Germany started investigating their past under the heading of "historical criticism". In doing so, they came to stand at the intersection of four conflicting trajectories: medieval traditions of monastic scholarship, Counter-Reformation Catholicism, early Enlightenment culture, and increasing need for state knowledge. "Critical Monks" will contextualize the "German Benedictines" learned culture within European intellectual, ecclesiastical and political history; the pre-circulated chapter will address the modes of scholarly communication within and without the Benedictine framework.

Thursday, April 30, 2015Neumayr
4:00 pm

Carl Neumayr, Sociology, University of Graz
"Professor as Profession: A review of faculty surveys, 1960-present"
710 Social Sciences, West Bank

Faculty surveys since the 1960's have attempted to explore the lives of professors. Neumayr tries to paint a picture of what differentiates the lives of faculty and people at the University at large from other distinct groups in the population by using quantitative analysis and general population statistics.

Bakken Trio and Michael Cherlin opened our Spring Schedule with enlightening talk and moving music enjoyed by all

Bakken Trio and Friends (left to right): Helen Chang, Stephanie Arado, Sabina Thatcher, Rebecca Albers, Pitnarry Shin, Katja LinfieldSchoenberg's Transfigured Night was performed by The Bakken Trio and Friends on Thursday, February 5th, 4pm at Northrop, with a discussion of the piece and the poem that inspired it by Schoenberg expert Michael Cherlin of the U of M School of Music. This lovely performance and talk were co-sponsored by the Institute for Advanced Studies.

Recording from the talk now available on the IAS blog.
Click here for a sample of performance of Verklärte Nacht.

CAS quartet of lectures illuminating Minneapolis Institute of Arts exhibition

The Minneapolis Institute of Arts, in partnership with the Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna, will present "The Habsburgs: Rarely Seen Masterpieces from Europe's Greatest Dynasty" from February 14-May 10. To celebrate and illuminate this event, the Center has organized a series of four lively on-campus presentations about Habsburg history and culture, and how the emperors acquired the exquisite artworks on display. More

Videos Available

Translating the Danube: A Collaborative Linguistic and Cultural Project

Featuring Slovak novelist Michal Hvorecký and his co-translators Eva Hudecová (Lecturer, Cultural Studies and Comparative Literature) and Mark Lencho (Associate Professor, University of Wisconsin, Whitewater).

Kann Lecture now available on You Tube

You can see the video of Jim Tracy's lecture on the Habsburg-Ottoman border here.

John Deak, Kimberly Zarecor lectures available on YouTube

For those of you who couldn't come to John Deak's provocative lecture on the end of the Habsburg Monarchy, you can see it here.

John is rethinking the "sick man" model of the late Habsburg state--we think you'll really enjoy this video.

Kimberly Zarecor is grappling with the meaning of the post-socialist city, specifically Ostrava, Czech Republic. Her lecture will take you through the architectural and industrial legacy of this mill town. See it here.

"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. The European 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.

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)

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.