CFA: Special Edition of the Journal of Austrian Studies – “New Directions in Austrian Studies”

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Editors: Anita McChesney & Peter Meilaender

Guest Editor: Tim Corbett


            Austrian studies has emerged as an exceptionally vibrant field over the past years, its scope extending far beyond the borders of the present-day Republic of Austria and developing in marked contrast to German studies as a field in its own right. A resurgence of interest in the Habsburg Empire and its legacy after 1918 has fostered a spate of new work focusing on the empire’s formative influence on its diverse territories and the numerous successor states in Central, East-Central, and Southeastern Europe. Particular interest has been paid to the multilingualism, multiculturalism, and multireligiosity of the region and the impact this had on the development of pluralistic urban societies and modernist arts and architecture, among other areas. Drawing on the growing influence of transnational and postcolonial theory, scholars from various countries and numerous disciplines have moreover begun to reassess the complex dynamics of heterogeneity, difference, and similarity that have been a defining feature of the former empire and its successor states through modernity, as well as the dynamics of interior colonization, processes of nationalization and ethnicization, and the manifold conflicts, often violent, in which these culminated during the twentieth century, most devastatingly during World War Two.

            Following more recent developments in the wake of the so-called “refugee crisis” and the Black Lives Matter movement, scholarly focus has also shifted to contemporary iterations of migration, diversity, and alterity and the manner in which these are enriching, transforming, and challenging the small nation states of Central Europe and understandings of Europe generally. This has expanded the scholarly gaze from a predominantly inner-Austrian or inner-European to a transregional or even global story, involving complex (post-)colonial relationships and various forms of migration (for example economic and labor migration as well as refugee movements). This has led most recently to a charged discussion of the entanglements between inner-European instances of violence, war, and genocide and the broader global effects of imperial and colonial rule. As the Second Austrian Republic finds itself integrating once more with former imperial territories, now in the form of a European Union, it constitutes at the same time one of Europe’s fastest growing migration societies, with a population broadly divided, as elsewhere in Europe, between progressive multiculturalism and nativist isolationism. These complex dynamics, both historical and contemporary, are what makes Austrian studies such a vibrant – and relevant – field today.

            This volume is dedicated to showcasing both the diversity and interdisciplinarity of the field of Austrian studies in light of these seismic changes. We welcome contributions from a diverse range of scholars working in a range of disciplines and dealing with innovative concepts, approaches, methodologies, and/or content relating to Austria, the Habsburg Empire, and (East-)Central Europe, past or present. Proposals might address, but are certainly not limited to, the following issues:

  • Micro and macro historical perspectives on Central Europe and the relevance of Central European history to the present day
  • Statehood, nationalism, ethnicization, and the body politic, as well as processes and products of trans- and internationalization
  • Local, urban, and regional studies; studies of center versus periphery; and Austria/Central Europe in global or postcolonial perspective
  • Borders, boundaries, and boundary transgressions, both literal and metaphorical, physical and figurative
  • Migration, refugee movements, and diversification, as well as the problems of “majority” versus “minority” discourses
  • Mobility (social, economic, and geographic), infrastructure (technological, environmental, social, and educational), and structural forms of inequality
  • Economies and economics, development, and notions of progress versus ostensible “backwardness”
  • Language, multilingualism, and (cultural) translation
  • Literary, musical, and artistic engagements with diversity and (un-)belonging
  • Racism, antisemitism, antiziganism, misogyny, homophobia, transphobia, and other forms of group- or identity-based bigotry
  • Prejudice, persecution, and genocide, especially in comparative perspective
  • Queer, feminist, and LGBT issues, as well as intersectional experiences

In order to offer as broad a picture of new directions in Austrian studies as possible, we are aiming to solicit a larger number of short articles, not to exceed 3,000–3,500 words each. Instead of constituting expansive research articles, these pieces should offer precise snapshots of current research projects, highlighting especially their application and relevance to scholarship and contemporary issues and the manner in which these inform – or can be informed by – the field of Austrian studies.

            If you are interested in contributing to this special volume of the Journal of Austrian Studies, please submit a proposal not exceeding 400 words as well as a brief CV not exceeding 150 words to the editors, Anita McChesney and Peter Meilaender, at as well as the guest editor, Tim Corbett, at by 31 December 2021. Candidates will be notified in the course of January 2022. Successful candidates will be expected to submit a final draft by 31 July 2022. All submissions will be subject to blind peer review. The volume is planned for publication in mid-2023.

            Successful applicants are strongly encouraged to participate in the annual conference of the Austrian Studies Association in New Orleans from 12-15 April 2022, where a special plenary session is being planned to showcase the volume-in-progress. Graduate students attending the conference have the possibility to apply for a travel stipend to offset their costs. Potential candidates for a travel stipend should indicate their interest and eligibility when submitting their proposals. For more information on the conference, please visit:

Categories: CFP