The Botstiber Institute for Austrian-American Studies (BIAAS) promotes an understanding of the historic relationship between the United States and Austria, including the lands of the former Habsburg empire, by awarding grants and fellowships, organizing lectures and conferences, and publishing the Journal of Austrian-American History.  We engage with a broader public audience through digital programming, including videos, podcasts and blog posts.


Transatlantic Migration & Ethnic Identity

Steel City Haydnsaal: The Austrian Nationality Room in Pitt’s Cathedral of Learning

By Kristina E. Poznan

Jutting skyward on the University of Pittsburgh campus is one of the tallest educational buildings in the world, the Cathedral of Learning. The 2,000-room Cathedral was commissioned in 1921 and began hosting classes in 1931. In addition to the academic and administrative departments housed in this building, it contains over two dozen instructional spaces each designed to celebrate a different culture that had an influence on Pittsburgh’s growth, reflecting the significance of the city’s immigrant population. European states, through local organizing committees, were granted the opportunity to decorate “nationality rooms” in the post-war era. The Cathedral as a whole was a unifying project, but the distribution of classrooms based on new political borders in Europe formally divided Pittsburgh’s immigrants. “Each group had to form a Room Committee, which would be responsible for all fundraising, designing, and acquisition.” Pittsburgh residents hailing from Austria-Hungary could be represented by the Czechoslovak Nationality Room (1939), German Nationality Room (1938), Hungarian Nationality Room (1939), Polish Nationality Room (1940), Romanian Nationality Room (1943), and Yugoslav Nationality Room (1939). (An Israel Heritage Room was added in 1987 and a Ukrainian Room in 1990). This method of division stands in contrast to that employed by the Cleveland Cultural Gardens, which apportioned spaces by ethno-linguistic cultures, rather than by country. 


The Botstiber Compact Seminar in Austrian Studies at the UC Berkeley Institute of European Studies

The Botstiber Institute for Austrian-American Studies (BIAAS) is pleased to announce The Botstiber Compact Seminar in Austrian Studies at the UC Berkeley Institute of European Studies.

Applications for the position of Visiting Professor to teach the newly created Botstiber Compact Seminar in Austrian Studies are now open. Interested applicants should propose a topic for the compact seminar, which will take place over five weeks, related to Austrian literature, history, or culture, in the broadest sense. Interdisciplinary approaches and themes are encouraged.

Click the link below for detailed application information and instructions.