CAS Book & Dissertation Prizes

The Center for Austrian Studies awards a Book Prize and a Dissertation Prize, thanks to a generous donation from David and Rosemary Good.

CAS facilitates the biennial competitions to encourage North American doctoral candidates and scholars in the full range of academic disciplines to do research in the field of Austrian and Habsburg studies.

To be eligible for the CAS prize competitions, a book must have been published (or a dissertation defended) within the previous two years. Authors must be citizens or legal residents (holders of “green cards”) of the United States or Canada. Eligible works may be from any discipline in the humanities, social sciences, or fine arts. The subject matter may deal with contemporary Austria, contemporary Austria’s relationship with Central Europe and the European Union, or the history, society, and culture of Austria and the lands of Central and Eastern Europe with a common Habsburg heritage. The language must be English.

Each prize carries a cash award of $1,500.

The deadline for upcoming submissions is May 2, 2016. The winners
will be announced at the GSA meeting in September, 2016.

Multi-authored studies or multi-author collections of essays are not eligible for this competition.

Send 5 copies of each book (or 3 copies of each dissertation) to:

Center for Austrian Studies
University of Minnesota
Attention: CAS Book (or Dissertation) Prize Committee
314 Social Sciences Building

267 19th Avenue S.
Minneapolis MN 55455

Congratulations to the 2014 Dissertation and Book Prize Winners!



WINNER: Anita Kurimay, “Sex in the ‘Pearl of the Danube’: The History of Queer Life, Love, and Its Regulation in Budapest, 1873-1941.” History, Rutgers University, 2012.

Anita Kurimay's theoretically informed study of queer life and its regulation in Budapest from the late-nineteenth century through the interwar period provides a fascinating lens for analyzing class, gender, sexuality, and political change in modern Hungary. Kurimay skillfully weaves a wide range of carefully read sources into complex, engaging narratives that brilliantly illuminate the diversity of queer experience.  By examining how class, gender, and sex intersect, Kurimay paints a portrait of Budapest which, despite its embrace of progress, modern culture, and psychiatry, still remained steeped in traditional notions of status and gender. Moreover, by shedding light on how queer individuals lived, and how they were defined and regulated in Budapest,Kurimayenhances our understanding of the role cities played in the production of discourses about, and spaces for, queer sexuality. Finally, Kurimaychallenges the conventional view positing American and Western European cities as central, paradigmatic disseminators of knowledge by locating Budapest within the broader framework of modern European history and, more generally, the history of sexuality.

Honorable Mention: Svetlana Frunchak, “The Making of Soviet Chernivitsi: National Re-unification, Historical Memory, and the Fate of Jewish Chernowitz in Post-War Ukraine.” History, University of Toronto, 2013.

Drawing on a wide array of local and national archival sources, as well as memoirs, literature, and film,Svetlana Frunchak'sbeautifully written, highly detailed, and lively study of Czernowitz/Chernivitsi  from the Second World War through the mid-1950s illuminates how this confessionally, culturally, economically, and linguistically diverse city became “Soviet.” In analyzing this process, Frunchak considers how different forces--the Romanians, the Ukrainians, and the Soviet government--shaped the politics and character of the city, and the fateful implications of this process for the Jewish population. Frunchak has carefully situated her study within several historiographic approaches: borderlands studies, urban studies, mythmaking, and remaking myths.  Her dissertationalso speaks to several subfields in modern history, including Holocaust studies, urban history, and the social history of war.  Frunchak’s work also fruitfully engages in the debates surrounding collaboration and retribution on the local level during the Second World War and the Holocaust. It is a very welcome addition to the local studies of wartime and postwar Europe.

Committee: Nancy Wingfield (chair), Jill Massino, and Naomi Hume



WINNER: Dominique Kirchner Reill, "Nationalists Who Feared the Nation" (Stanford University Press, 2012)

Dominique Kirchner Reill’s "Nationalists Who Feared the Nation" manages the exceedingly difficult feat of challenging existing paradigms of the most studied theme in Habsburg history: nationalism. It does so by recovering an early nineteenth-century Northern Adriatic regional identity that was pluralistic rather than exclusionary—a world where unity and variety were accepted as mutually necessary conditions, rather than as irresolvable contradictions. This Adriatic multi-nationalism, rendered invisible by the Italian and South Slavic national narratives that superseded it, represents an alternative path to the modern nation state that was not, in the end, taken, but that, as she argues, has vital relevance for our understanding of Habsburg and Italian history and also for present concerns. This hidden world is revealed through the lives and contributions of six crucial and misunderstood men whose differences from one another are as salient as the commonality of their visions, and the radical rupture of these visions and their destinies after 1848 completes the story. The book is striking for the originality of its sources, the clarity of its argument, and its elegant and lucid prose.

Honorable Mention: Thomas Ort, "Art and Life in Modernist Prague" (Palgrave MacMillan, 2013)

Thomas Ort’s "Art and Life in Modernist Pragueis a study of the artists and writers of Karel Čapek’s generation that illuminates particularities of the Czechoslovak context brushing against the grain of our previous understanding of interwar avant-gardes, even as they form an important and insufficiently understood strand of them. Ort’s focus on the art-life relation connects both to key discussions in art history and cultural criticism on the social engagement of art as well as to histories of Central European culture and politics. The book also addresses the relative gap in our understanding of the cultural politics during the interwar period in the East-Central European arena. It is an admirably interdisciplinary work; literature, Cubist art, and architecture play central roles along with artist's manifestos, arts criticism, and literary texts. The result is complex, significant, and convincing.

Committee: Scott Spector (Chair), Deborah Coen, Marguerite Ragnow

Previous Prize Winners (awarded by Austrian Cultural Forum up to 2010)

Dissertation Prizes

  • 2012: Erin Regina Hoffman, "Staging the Nation, Staging Democracy: The Politics of Commemoration in Germany and Austria, 1918-1933/34" (History, University of Toronto, Canada, 2010)
  • 2010: Nicole Phelps, "Sovereignty, Citizenship, and the New Liberal Order: US—Habsburg Relations and the Transformation of International Politics, 1880-2000" (History, University of MInnesota, 2008)
  • 2008: David W. Gerlach, “For Nation and Gain: Economy, Ethnicity, and Politics in the Czech Borderlands, 1945-1948” (History, University of Pittsburgh, 2007).
  • 2006: Tara Zahra, “Your Child Belongs to the Nation: Nationalism, Germanization, and Democracy in the Bohemian Lands” (History, University of Michigan, 2005).
  • 2004: Philip J. Howe, "Well-Tempered Discontent: Nationalism, Ethnic Group Politics, Electoral Institutions and Parliamentary Behavior in the Western Half of the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy, 1867-1914" (Political Science, U.C. San Diego).
  • 2002: Alison Fleig Frank, "Austrian El Dorado: A History of the Oil Industry in Galicia, 1853-1923," (History, Harvard University, 2001).
  • 2001: Christa Gaug, "Situating the City: The Textual and Spatial Construction of Late 19th-century Berlin and Vienna in City Texts by Theodor Fontane and Daniel Spitzer," University of Texas at Austin.
  • 2000: Jeremy King, “Loyalty and Polity, Nation and State: A Town in Habsburg Central Europe, 1848–1948, Columbia University.
  • 1999: Julie Johnson, "The Art of Women: Women's Art Exhibitions in Fin-De-Siècle Vienna, University of Chicago.
  • 1998: Cathleen Giustino, "Architecture and the Nation: Modern Urban Design and Possibilities for Political Participation in Czech Prague 1900," Northwestern University.
  • 1996-97: Julie Dorn Morrison, "Gustav Mahler at the Wiener Hofoper: A Study of Critical Reception in the Viennese Press (1897-1907)," Northwestern University.
  • 1995-96: William D. Godsey, "Aristocratic Redoubt: The Austro-Hungarian Foreign Office on the Eve of the First World War," University of Virginia.
  • 1994-95: Doris M. Klostermaier, "Marie von Ebner Eschenbach.The Victory of a Tenacious Will," University of Manitoba.
  • 1993-94: Geoffrey D. W. Wawro, "The Austro-Prussian War: Politics, Strategy, and War in the Habsburg Monarchy 1859-1866," Yale University.
  • 1992-93: Christopher Gibbs, "The Presence of Erlönig: Reception and Reworkings of Schubert Lied," Columbia University.
  • 1991-92: Joseph Francis Patrouch III, "Methods of Cultural Manipulation: The Counter-Reformation in the Habsburg Province of Upper Austria, 1570-1650," University of California, Berkeley.
  • 1990-91: William Bowman, "Priest, Parish, and Religious Practice: A Social History of Catholicism in the Archdiocese of Vienna, 1800-1879," Johns Hopkins University.

Book Prizes

  • 2012: Paulina Bren, The Greengrocer and His TV: The Culture of Communism after the 1968 Prague Spring (Cornell University Press, 2010)
  • 2010: Tara Zahra, Kidnapped Souls: National Indifference and the Battle for Children in the Bohemian Lands (Cornell University Press, 2008)
  • 2008: Deborah R. Coen, Vienna in the Age of Uncertainty: Science, Liberalism, and Private Life (University of Chicago Press, 2007)
  • 2006: Alison Flieg Frank, Oil Empire: Visions of Prosperity in Austrian Galicia (Harvard University Press, 2005)
  • 2004: Gitta Honegger, Thomas Bernhard: The Making of an Austrian (Yale University Press, 2001)
  • 2002: Paula Sutter Fichtner, Emperor Maximilian II (Yale University Press, 2001)
  • 2001: Dr. Evan Burr Bukey, Hitler's Austria: Popular Sentiment in the Nazi Era, 1938-45 (University of North Carolina Press, 2000)
  • 2000: Dr. Eve Blau, The Architecture of Red Vienna, 1919-1934 (MIT Press, 1999)
  • 1999: Louis Rose, The Freudian Calling: Early Viennese Psychoanalysis and the Pursuit of Cultural Science(Wayne State University Press, 1998)
  • 1998: Pieter Judson, Exclusive Revolutionaries: Liberal Politics, Social Experience, and National Identity in the Austrian Empire, 1848-1918 (University of Michigan Press, 1996)
  • 1996-97: Robert Rotenberg, Landscape and Power in Vienna (Johns Hopkins University Press, 1995)
  • 1995-96: Franz A. J. Szabo, Kaunitz and Enlightened Absolutism, 1758-1780 (Cambridge University Press, 1994)
  • 1994-95: Sander Gilman, Freud, Race, and Gender (Princeton University Press, 1993)
  • 1993-94: Bruce F. Pauley, From Prejudice to Persecution: A History of Austrian Anti-Semitism (University of North Carolina Press, 1992)
  • 1992-93: Carl Dolmetsch, "Our Famous Guest": Mark Twain in Vienna (University of Georgia Press, 1992)
  • 1991-92: Helmut Gruber, Red Vienna: Experiment in Working-Class Culture, 1919-1934 (Oxford University Press, 1991)
  • 1990-91: John Komlos, Nutrition and Economic Development in the Eighteenth Century Habsburg Monarchy: An Anthropometric History (Princeton University Press, 1989)

ACF Article Prize

  • 1989: Harry Ritter, "Progressive Historians and the Historical Imagination in Austria: Heinrich Friedjung and Richard Charmatz," Austrian History Yearbook 19-20, no. 1 (1983-1984): 45-90.

* (Note: this AHY volume was actually published in 1988.)