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 is holding its competition for the 2020 Center for Austrian Studies Book Prize. 

Submissions for the CAS Book Prize will be collected
until May 16, 2020. 

Submissions for the CAS Dissertation Prize will be 
collected in Spring 2021.

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

To be eligible for the 2020 Prize competition, a book must have been published between January 1, 2018 and December 31, 2019. It must be the work of a single author. Authors must be citizens or legal residents of the United States or Canada. Eligible works may be from any discipline in the humanities, social sciences, or the 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 the Habsburg Empire or Austria and the twentieth century states with a Habsburg heritage. The language of the work must be English.

The award comes with a $1,500 cash prize.

Questions should be addressed to

Send 4 copies of each book to:

Center for Austrian Studies, University of Minnesota
Attention: CAS Book Prize Committee 
314 Social Sciences Building 
267 19th Avenue S.
Minneapolis MN 55455

Deadline for submission is May 16, 2020.

Congratulations to the current Prize Winners!


WINNER: Katherine Younger, "Contested Confession: The Greek Catholic/Uniate Church in 19th-Century Politics" (Yale University, 2018).

Katherine Younger’s dissertation, “Contested Confession: The Greek Catholic/Uniate Church in 19th-Century Politics” stood out in a strong field of dissertations on Austrian and Habsburg topics. Younger uses the Uniate Church to explore Habsburg and Russian politics, comparing the international diplomacy and internal systems of rules through that lens. Her dissertation impressively complicates this minority religion divided by borders--seeing it as a religious and political entity but also as a cultural and nationalist force.  Her work relies on exhaustive archival research in five countries, deep familiarity with scholarship across several fields and regions, and use of source material in English, German, Italian, French, Latin, Polish, Ukrainian, and Russian.  But the research does more than simply cross linguistic borders in scholarship.  Younger effectively makes broader arguments about religion and power as well as elucidating the history of the church and its contestation in Habsburg and Russian politics.  She articulates an intriguing conception of nineteenth-century politics as a middle station from great power and coercion to mass politics, a model of governance that used “tools of attraction” such as the church to enlist public support. She moves effortlessly between politics on the grand stage to smaller fields of political experience, from capitals and rulers to villagers, and, of course, the bureaucrats that moved between them. This political history traces the ways in which the opinions of the public mattered in concrete ways while also illustrating states’ coercive demands for loyalty, even in the realm of faith. The research, methods, and arguments deserve praise, as does her clear and lucid prose.

Committee:  Caleb Karges, Heather Morrison, and Scott Berg


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.

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

Dissertation Prizes

  • 2016: Timothy Olin, "Expanding Europe: German Borderland Colonization in the Banat of Temesvár, 1716-1847." History, Purdue University, 2015.
  • 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.)