Austrian Studies Program

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. 

Since the second half of the 20th century, UC Berkeley has been a recognized leader in Austrian Studies, especially in the areas of literature, art history, and political and cultural history. In literary studies, for example, Heinz Politzer was America’s leading expert in Kafka scholarship, while the physicist/author Fritjof Capra popularized systems theory and was the founding director of Berkeley's Center for Ecoliteracy; the great legal theorist Hans Kelsen,author of the 1920 Austrian Constitution, worked in Berkeley; civil law scholar Albert Armin Ehrenzweig was a professor at the law school between 1948 and 1974; Peter Selz, who founded the Berkeley Art Museum, was a much-celebrated authority on Central European Art, while historical scholars from Charles Gulick through Carl Schorske, William Slottman and John Connelly made Berkeley the place in the United States to study the history of the Habsburg Monarchy and the Austrian republics.

Berkeley’s Austrian Studies Program emphasizes 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 Program explores the current Austrian Second Republic within the broader framework of regional politics (Alpine and Danubian), as well as within the European Union and transatlantic relations.


  • 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

Contact Us

Jeroen Dewulf, Director