About Valerie Arapis

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So far Valerie Arapis has created 16 blog entries.

All in His Hands

All in His Hands: The Emperor's Artist Who Sculpted America's Founding Fathers

By Jonathan Singerton

In November 1783, readers of the Wienerisches Diarium learned about the craze of monument building across the Atlantic. “Sculpted marble,” “bas-reliefs,” and “statues of bronze” were springing up across the American states to commemorate their independence and to honour their leader, Washington. The editors closed the latest report in the ‘Amerika’ section with a copy of the Continental Congress’s commission for equestrian statue of Washington. “How flattering must such an honour be for him,” they commented.

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All in His Hands2019-03-29T14:19:49+00:00

“Lessons for Republicans”: John Adams’s Son-in-law Visits Vienna

“Lessons for Republicans”: John Adams’s Son-in-law Visits Vienna

By Jonathan Singerton

When Colonel William Stephens Smith (1755-1816) rode along the “most remarkably bad road” between Pirna and Litoměřice along the Elbe River, he joined an exclusive cadre of Americans who reached the Habsburg lands in Central Europe. In all likelihood, Smith became the fifth American to visit the Habsburg capital, Vienna.

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“Lessons for Republicans”: John Adams’s Son-in-law Visits Vienna2019-03-29T14:19:54+00:00

Fur Pelts and Fascination: Native Americans and the Habsburg Monarchy

Fur Pelts and Fascination: Native Americans and the Habsburg Monarchy

By Jonathan Singerton

During the summer of 1785, a middle-aged man and his seventeen-year-old son entered a house in New York City. Inside were three men but only one rose to greet them. An impressively tall figure, standing at 6’6”, he warmly invited them to share some of the finest Madeira wine. Such an encounter might sound like the beginning of a meeting between George Washington and some friends, but it wasn’t.

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Fur Pelts and Fascination: Native Americans and the Habsburg Monarchy2019-03-29T14:19:58+00:00

Not Just The Hessians

Not Just The Hessians

By Jonathan Singerton

Who are the most famous foreigners to have fought in the War of American Independence? Fighting for the side of American liberty, we may think of familiar French officers like the Marquis de Lafayette or the Comte de Rochambeau. Prussians like Baron von Steuben or martyrs like Johann de Kalb and Casimir Pulaski might also cross our minds. And of course the most vilified campaigners against American independence were the enlisted Hessians soldiers.

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Not Just The Hessians2019-03-29T14:20:06+00:00

“What Animal is the Emperor?”: An Entrepreneur from Bohemia Goes Rogue

“What Animal is the Emperor?”: An Entrepreneur from Bohemia Goes Rogue

By Jonathan Singerton

The name Joseph Donath might not be familiar to you, but perhaps it ought to be. Donath became the second Habsburg representative in the United States after Baron de Beelen-Bertholff. His commercial mission came about through the machinations of several Viennese industrialists, spearheaded by Joseph Paul Reichsfreiherr von Weinbrenner.

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“What Animal is the Emperor?”: An Entrepreneur from Bohemia Goes Rogue2019-03-29T14:20:11+00:00

The Habsburg Monarchy’s Man on the Ground: Baron de Beelen-Bertholff

The Habsburg Monarchy’s Man on the Ground: Baron de Beelen-Bertholff

By Jonathan Singerton

August should have been a relatively safe time for transatlantic travel, but calm seas and prosperous winds could still give way to fierce storms and howling gales. “At around two in the morning,” recorded one poor soul on the George Washington in 1783, “we awoke for the second time to one of the most monstrous storms, we were not even finished pulling up the sails before the waves dashed abroad from all sides; most of the sailors had to finish their work half-swimming.”[1] Forty days later as the ship finally drifted up the Delaware River to reach the American capital, Philadelphia, only to learn that in the weeks prior the city’s inhabitants fell victim to a severe “Fall Fever,” claiming thirty lives a day at its height.

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The Habsburg Monarchy’s Man on the Ground: Baron de Beelen-Bertholff2019-03-29T14:20:21+00:00

2018 Summit of Austrian – American Organizations

2018 Summit of Austrian - American Organizations

November 12-13, 2018

A summit of diplomatic, scholarly and advocacy organizations focused on cultural and academic exchanges between the U.S. and Austria convened in New Orleans Nov. 12-13 to explore opportunities for joining forces in areas of mutual interest and benefit.

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2018 Summit of Austrian – American Organizations2019-06-21T10:41:10+00:00

2018 German Studies Association Conference

2018 German Studies Association Conference

September 27-30, 2018

Join us at the 2018 GSA to celebrate the 10th Anniversary of the Botstiber Institute for Austrian-American Studies! Check back to find out more details about our BIAAS anniversary reception on Saturday, September 29th. The 10th Anniversary Reception will be open to all conference attendees.

BIAAS will also sponsor a panel focusing on "Americans in Europe: Exploring Moments in Transatlantic Culture Exchange." The session will feature talks by Nadine Zimmerli, Alison Orton, Emily Gioelli, and Andrew Behrendt.

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2018 German Studies Association Conference2019-06-21T10:41:34+00:00

The United States as ‘An Abode of Misery’: Maria von Born’s Life in the Early American Republic

The United States as ‘An Abode of Misery’: Maria von Born’s Life in the Early American Republic

By Jonathan Singerton

There was nothing ordinary about Maria von Born; from the very beginning she seemed destined to lead an extraordinary life. Her father was the most celebrated scientist and mineralogist in the Habsburg Monarchy, Ignaz von Born. Born in Prague, in the gilded Saxon House overlooking the gateway to gothic Charles Bridge, she grew up primarily in Vienna, near to Mozart. A gifted linguist, she mastered French, English, Latin, and Italian alongside her native German tongue. Her family’s home on Vienna’s Kärtnerstrasse—today No. 19—became a Viennese nerve center for scholarly debate and enlightened thought. Aristocrats, courtiers, and the who’s who of Vienna mixed with reformers, scientists, and visitors from Mexico, Spain, Britain, France, Sweden, Germany, Russia, and elsewhere. Cosmopolitan is an understatement.

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The United States as ‘An Abode of Misery’: Maria von Born’s Life in the Early American Republic2019-03-29T14:20:26+00:00

American Revolutionary and Revolutionary Emperor: Benjamin Franklin and Joseph II

American Revolutionary and Revolutionary Emperor: Benjamin Franklin and Joseph II

By Jonathan Singerton

Back when the United States of America struggled to become an independent nation, one name stood out for Europeans as the quintessential American: Benjamin Franklin. Before the revolution his name became synonymous with modernity through his prolific writing, scientific endeavours, and his numerous inventions, most famously the lightning rod, the Franklin stove, and the musical glass harmonica. Franklin, a shrewd businessman now statesman, knew his European audiences well and donned his notorious beaver hat and fur-skinned coat for the couriers at Versailles during his mission to Europe as one of the United States’s representatives to France. For people located in the Habsburg Monarchy, far away from the bloody battlefields in Nort