Austria Intellectual History: Description

FALL 2002: GER 382N (34435) = REE 385 (42495)

Intellectual History: Made in Austria

Instructor: Katie Arens
Office: EPS 3.128; or 232-6363
Office Hours: TTH 8-9:30 and by appointment

This course has a twofold aim: first, to introduce the unique intellectual climate that made Austrian thought key in the late nineteenth and twentieth centuries, even as its nation-state went into decline; and second, to focus on what constitutes "intellectual history" in a scholarly climate which prefers cultural history (ours).

The case studies are drawn from the "royal road" of Austrian thought; background texts will fill in Austrian history, including Johnston's Austrian Mind.

Class discussions and assignments will focus on how an intellectual historian asks questions about such materials, using as case studies materials growing out of and around Vienna from the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, topics and names familiar in many contexts throughout Central Europe and beyond. They are selected to challenge boundaries between high and popular culture, nation-states, and disciplines.

Semester projects will be oriented around the kinds of research characterizing intellectual history. As preparation for final papers, students will be asked, in the last weeks of class, to work systematically from initial oral presentations, through research and final papers. The submissions will happen in stages so that projects can be given direction on research and peer feedback. Students will be encouraged to work at the boundaries between "Austrian" and other national literatures, particularly in arguments framed as intellectual history (that is, starting from patterns of intellectual work, themes, institutions, and intellectual frameworks borrowed across national lines, rather than from social and political history).

This course should be useful to those interested in Germany and in the rest of Austro-Hungary and Central Europe (including Italy, especially in the case of the theater), and students will be encouraged to follow their interests out from the examples used in the class into other parallel projects -- to open out intellectual projects "made in Vienna" to other places where they took root (which could include Hollywood, as well).


Carl E. Schorske. Fin-De-Siecle Vienna : Politics and Culture. Random House, 1981; ISBN: 0394744780 (pbk) DB 851 S42 1979

Allan Janik and Stephen Toulmin. Wittgenstein's Vienna. Ivan R Dee, Inc. 1996. ISBN: 1566631327 (pbk) B 3376 W564 J32

Alan Sked. The Decline and Fall of the Habsburg Empire, 1815-1918. 2nd ed. Longman, 2001; ISBN: 0582356660 (pbk) DB 80 S58 1989

Robert A. Kann, History of the Habsburg Empire : 1526-1918. U of California Press. 1980; ISBN: 0520042069 (pbk) DB 65 K36

Alan John Percivale Taylor. Struggle for Mastery in Europe 1848-1918. Oxford University Press, 1980; ISBN: 0198812701 (pbk reissue) 940.9 T2125 PCL


5 Précis @ 2% of grade each = 10 % of grade
Written Assignment 1 = 5% of grade
Oral Assignment 1 = 5 % of grade
Abstract and posting critiques = 15 % of grade
Research plan and critiques = 15 % of grade
Final Project or paper = 50% of grade

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