The Austrian Studies Program at the University of California, Berkeley was founded in 2017 with the support of the Austrian Marshall Foundation and the Austrian Bundesministerium für Bildung, Wissenschaft, und Forschung. It is an integral part of the Institute of European Studies (IES), home to the leading concentration of researchers and scholars on European affairs and the European Union in the Western United States. The frequent lectures and colloquia sponsored by IES are all open to the general public, adding a vital component to the university’s outreach mission to the Bay Area community. The Austrian Studies Program also cooperates with Berkeley's Institute of Slavic, Eastern European, and Eurasian Studies.
Since the second half of the 20th century, UC Berkeley has been a recognized leader in Austrian Studies, especially in the areas of language and literature, art history, and political and cultural history. In literary studies, for example, Heinz Politzer was America's leading expert in Kafka scholarship; Peter Selz, who founded the Berkeley Art Museum, was a much-celebrated authority on Central European Art of the 20th century; while historical scholars from Charles Gulick through Carl Schorske and William Slottman to John Connelly have made Berkeley the place in the United States to study the history of the Habsburg Monarchy and the Austrian republics.
In the realm of historical scholarship and teaching, Berkeley’s Austrian Studies Program emphasizes today the significant role that the multi-national Habsburg Monarchy played in Europe, along with the meaning that this legacy of transnational governance carried – and might continue to carry – for the wider world. The current Austrian Second Republic is studied within the broader framework of regional politics (Alpine and Danubian), as well as within the European Union. Our program explores how Austria works to influence E.U. policy and how, in turn, the Republic is influenced by, and profits from, Union membership, especially in the economic sphere.
The Austrian Studies Program also fosters ties between the University of California and Austrian universities. In partnership with the Austrian Marshall Foundation, we support research exchanges for doctoral students. Starting in 2022, the Program will invite a Visiting Professor from an Austrian university to teach the newly created Botstiber Compact Seminar in Austrian Studies, established with the generous support of The Botstiber Institute for Austrian-American Studies (BIAAS). Additionally, this initiative supports innovative scholarship across disciplinary lines in the humanities, social sciences, and economics.
In accordance with its overarching mission to encourage cooperation between Berkeley and Austria, the Austrian Studies Program has the following objectives:
Strengthen Berkeley’s academic, intellectual and institutional ties to Austrian universities and research centers by promoting the exchange of scholars and joint research projects
Support, in cooperation with the UC Berkeley Institute of Slavic, East European, and Eurasian Studies, graduate and undergraduate teaching and research on the Berkeley campus about topics relating to Austria, both from a contemporary and a historical perspective
Support study abroad and internship programs for Berkeley students in Austria
Cooperate with the network of Austria Centers around the world to foster a global network of Austria scholars
Provide a platform for conferences, colloquia and public lectures on Austria in order to disseminate knowledge of and interest in Austria in California
Enrich IES’s research and teaching mission at the Berkeley campus and within the nine sister-campuses of the University of California
Jeroen Dewulf (Director) and David Clay Large (Associate Director)