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Projects

The Center for Austrian Studies works in conjunction with several other departments and institutions around the world to conduct research and inspire discussion on issues within the scope of Austrian studies. 

"Understanding the Migration Experience: The Austrian-American Connection, 1870-1914" (2008)

A team research project supported by major gifts from the Dietrich W. Botstiber Foundation

This project is sponsored by the Center for Austrian Studies in cooperation with the Immigration History Research Center and the Minnesota Population Center at the University of Minnesota; the Institute of Economic and Social History at the University of Vienna; and the Wirth Institute for Austrian and Central European Studies, University of Alberta.

A team of three researchers, two from Vienna and one from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, will conduct the research and produce the resulting book. They will examine the social patterns of mass migration both within Austria and Central Europe, and between Central Europe and North America in the period between 1870 and World War I.

With its multiethnic population, the Habsburg Monarchy provides a rich field for the intended analyses, and migration from the Habsburg Monarchy across the Atlantic between the 1870s and the outbreak of World War I had enormous significance. It is estimated that 3.5 million people emigrated out of the monarchy between 1876 and 1910, with nearly 3 million going to the United States, 158,000 to Canada, 358,000 to Argentina, and 64,000 to Brazil.

Much is known about Czech, Slovak, Polish, Magyar, Slovene, Ruthenian, Croatian, and German-speaking immigrants—as well as Jewish immigrants—as individual groups in the United States and Canada. However, we understand little about how much of their migration experience they may have shared with each other or with various groups who moved within Central European rural areas or districts and small towns to the major Habsburg cities or with those who migrated during the same years from Central and East-Central Europe to Berlin, Hamburg, the Ruhr basin, London, Romania, or the Scandinavian countries.

This project will break new ground. It will analyze the demographic and cultural consequences of migration both within Central Europe and between Central Europe and North America in broad comparative terms, transcending the study of individual ethnic, national, or religious groups that has long dominated the field.

The research team will be led by Dr. Annemarie Steidl, a research fellow in the Department of Economic and Social History at the University of Vienna, and will also include Dr. Wladimir Fischer (PhD in History, Vienna University; Researcher, Ludwig Boltzmann Institute for Urban History, Vienna) and Dr. James Oberly (professor of History, University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire). The team will be advised by Professors Donna Gabaccia (Immigration History Research Center) and Gary Cohen (Center for Austrian Studies) at the University of Minnesota and by Professor Josef Ehmer (Institute for Economic and Social History, University of Vienna).

"FoodShed: Developing a Platform for Curating Shared Stories of Food and Land in Minnesota and Austria" (2014)

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 Minnesota and Austria.

"Shifting perspectives in Europe and Beyond: Individual and Collective Identities from an Interdisciplinary and Interregional Perspective" (2014)

Patrick McNamara, professor of history, and Roberta Maierhofer, professor of American studies at the University of Graz, are the project's principal investigators. It aims to 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. Check out th 2015 film trailer, and lectures by Helen Kivnick and Patrick McNamara