CAS Book & Dissertation Prizes

The Center for Austrian Studies awards a Book Prize and a Dissertation Prize, which in the past has been made possible by generous donations from David and Rosemary Good.

The Center for Austrian Studies will hold a competition for the 2019 Center for Austrian Studies Dissertation Prize.

The purpose of this competition is to encourage North American scholars in the full range of academic disciplines to do research in the field of Austrian, Habsburg, and post-Habsburg studies.

Submissions for the CAS Dissertation Prize are now open!
The deadline is May 31, 2019.
Winners will be announced September 2019.

Submissions for the CAS Book Prize will be collected in
Spring 2020. Check back for details.

To be eligible for the 2019 dissertation prize competition, a dissertation must have been published between January 1, 2016 and December 31, 2018. 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 the arts and deal with Central Europe, including the successor states of the Habsburg Empire.  The language of the dissertation must be English.

Each prize carries a cash award.

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

Send 3 copies or PDF versions of each dissertation to:

Austrian History Yearbook

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 current Prize Winners!


WINNER: Nancy M. Wingfield, The World of Prostitution in Late Imperial Austria  (Oxford University Press, 2017).

The Selection Committee for the Center for Austrian Studies Book Award awards this year’s prize to Nancy M. Wingfield for her groundbreaking and innovative study, The World of Prostitution in Late Imperial Austria. The committee members felt that Wingfield’s study deepens our understanding of the sex industry in the Habsburg Monarchy during its final decades without falling prey to the urge to over-generalize or moralize. Based on broad archival research in different centers of the former Austro-Hungarian Empire, as well as a wide range of secondary sources, the book lends a human face to the world of prostitution and courageously explores issues of female agency and experience.  At the same time Wingfield brings an array of theoretical perspectives to bear in her analysis of relevant data on demographics, surveillance, enforcement, and legal and social coercion. Her work provides a new perspective on heretofore-neglected issues of authority and morality as they pertained to the sex trade from the metropoles of Vienna and Prague to the towns and villages at the periphery of the Empire.  Nor, she further demonstrates, did perceptions and regulations radically change after the dismemberment of the Monarchy as the successor states largely retained perceptions of female sexuality and forms of control in place before 1918. The World of Prostitution in Late Imperial Austria illuminates critical aspects of the world of Schnitzler, Freud and their contemporaries, and makes a substantial contribution to the historiography of the Habsburg Monarchy.


WINNER: Timothy Olin, "Expanding Europe: German Borderland Colonization in the Banat of Temesvár, 1716-1847" (Purdue, 2015).

Timothy Olin’s dissertation is a stellar example of breathtaking research and elegant presentation. Using archival materials from four countries (Austria, Romania, Serbia, and Hungary), Olin explores the history of one of the forgotten corners of the Habsburg monarchy. Olin follows the fates of settlers from the Holy Roman Empire who made their homes in the Banat in the eighteenth century. Despite numerous obstacles—the languages required for original research (German, Hungarian, Romanian, Serbian); the destruction of documents during the Second World War and other conflicts—Olin unearthed enough accessible sources to reconstruct a plausible “biography” of a settlement in southeastern Europe that became defined as “German,” despite origins that expose the meaninglessness of such a putatively national description. “German,” in Olin’s words little more than a “catchall for the European colonists recruited [by the Habsburg administration] to settle in the Banat,” became the defining feature of those settlers for two hundred years. Indeed, the concepts of “Germanization” and “Europeanization” were both used as disciplinary terms to describe a putative failure of the Banat to adhere to “Western” standards of the modern. Olin’s marshaling of sources shows how the history of southeastern Europe can be illuminated through a combination of diligence and creativity.

Committee: Alison Frank Johnson, Chair, Hillary Herzog, and Nicole Phelps.

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

Dissertation Prizes

  • 2014: 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.
  • 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

  • 2016: James Van Horn Melton, Religion, Community, and Slavery on the Colonial Southern Frontier  (Cambridge University Press, 2015)
  • 2014: Dominique Kirchner Reill, Nationalists Who Feared the Nation (Stanford University Press, 2012)
  • 2012: Paulina Bren, The Greengrocer and His TV: The Culture of Communism after the1968 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.)