- Written midterm - 20%
- Written final - 20%
- Excursion journal with reflection and analysis - 10%
- Class participation - 10%
- Paper - 20%
- Presentation of the special assignment - 20%
The midterm will consist of several short general questions. You will have to combine the information you read, heard in class and saw on the excursions. The questions need to be answered in the form of short, essay-like paragraphs. Time: 60 minutes.
The final will consist of three statements about the course content, of which you can choose one. You will have to write an essay (introduction, three arguments, conclusion) about one of these statements agreeing, partly agreeing or disagreeing with it. Time: 60 minutes.
Furthermore, you are to take notes during the excursions, analyze them at the end of the course and create a fluent story that contains the main points of the excursions as they relate to the reading assignments and the course content. This excursion journal should be five to six pages in length.
At the beginning of each class session, there will be a short discussion of primary sources (e.g. photographs or texts) handed out the previous week. You are required to examine the sources according to guidelines discussed during the first lesson and share your thoughts and findings with your colleagues. Remember that participation in class discussions and short quizzes or homework are part of the grade. Please read and prepare the required readings for every session as indicated below in the section about content. In addition, only justified absence from a course unit (actual illness, emergencies) is tolerated; unjustified absences may affect the grade negatively.
Students will choose between two research projects:
a) Habsburg Debated: Many aspects of the Habsburg Empire are still subject to debate. Issues such as the personal life of some family members, nationalism in the late 19th century or Austria-Hungary's role before and in World War One can produce heated discussions among scholars on both sides of the ocean. Together with the professor the students will identify a topic and relevant readings (in addition to one article all 400-level students are required to read: Lhotsky, Alphons. Geschichtsforschung und Geschichtsschreibung in Österreich. In: Historische Zeitschrift 189,1959 pp. 379-449 and the relevant Volume of Rumpler, Helmut, Urbanitsch, Peter(Eds.)
Die Habsburgermonarchie 1848 bis 1918) of about 300-500 pages, e.g. from the prestigious “Austrian History Yearbook” or the numerous publications about the Habsburg Empire in English (see below). Then, the students will have to identify the main contrasting opinions of the debate as well as weak points in the arguments of both sides that would need more research. The findings are to be presented in class (presentation length: 15-20 minutes) and to be laid down in a paper of about 8000-10000 words.
b) Deep inside the Archives: Students with an advanced level of German or French will have the opportunity to do short, punctual guided research about one topic of interest. This can include, for example, the personal life of the Habsburgs as it is reflected in the many letters preserved in the Austrian State Archives or the reconstruction of single key events in history as they are reflected in a set of official documents. The students will get to know the archival landscape of Vienna, one of the most important research sites for Central European history. After identifying a topic and assigning additional reading (200-400 pages per student), the professor will guide the student during their archival research. The additional reading will consist of one article all 400-level students are required to read (Lhotsky, Alphons. Geschichtsforschung und Geschichtsschreibung in Österreich. In: Historische Zeitschrift 189,1959 pp. 379-449) and further readings tailored to the chosen topic, for example one monograph and two peer-reviewed articles. Since the readings are different for each topic and the topic is determined together with the student, they are to be determined by the end of the second week of class. After finishing the work, the student will have to present their findings in class and write a paper about it (presentation: 15-20 minutes, paper length: 8000-10000 words).
Possible primary sources include (but are not limited to) the personal letters of the Habsburg rulers (French, German, Italian), documents from the Austrian War Archive (reports, diaries), interrogation records of trials (e.g. witch trials), files of various offices suitable for researching social history (Austrian Court Finance Archives), Diplomatic Reports of Habsburg Diplomats (French, German) and others.
Both assignments include 90 minutes extra in class and/or two hours in the archives each week. The extra readings in this syllabus will be discussed separately with the students.