Written midterm - 30%
Final exam - 20%
Term Paper- 20%
The midterm examination will consist of several short 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 examination 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 required to write a short paper and give a short presentation about one aspect of the course (e.g. Austrian Jews and the Shoa, Nationalities of Austria-Hungary, Austria in the European Union, ...). Length: 15-20 minutes/1500 words.
Students choose between two research projects:
a) “Austria Debated”: Many aspects of the contemporary history of Austria are still subject to heated debate. Issues such as World War One, “Austro-Fascism”, World War Two and the Holocaust as well as the Kreisky Era 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 the book all 400-level students are required to read: Johnson, Lonnie. Introducing Austria. A Guide of Sorts. 1987. and both volumes of Steininger, Rolf, Gehler, Michael (Eds.), Österreich im 20. Jahrhundert. Ein Studienbuch in zwei Bänden. 1997) of about 400-500 pages, e.g. from the prestigious “Austrian History Yearbook” or the numerous publications about Austria 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 will have the opportunity to do short, punctual guided research about one topic of interest. This can include, for example, the personal life of a victim of National Socialism, the history of one’s own family or the reconstruction of single key events in history as they are reflected in a set of documents of the many holdings preserved in Austrian archives such as the State Archives or the Archives of Austrian Resistance. 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 (100-200 pages per student), the professor will guide the student during their archival research. The additional reading will consist of one book all 400-level students are required to read (Johnson, Lonnie. Introducing Austria. A Guide of Sorts. 1987. and both volumes of Steininger, Rolf, Gehler, Michael (Eds.), Österreich im 20. Jahrhundert. Ein Studienbuch in zwei Bänden. 1997) 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 to be examined by the students include, but are not limited to, military documents from World War One ranging from diaries to official reports (Austrian War Archive), reports on the social situation during the interwar period (General Administrative Archives), documents relating to expropriation and extinction of the Austrian Jews such as Police reports, diaries (Documentation Archive of the Austrian Resistance) and also various sources regarding the Second Austrian Republic (Archive of the Republic).
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.
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.