Database of Funded Projects

The Botstiber Institute for Austrian-American Studies has generously funded academic research and public history projects that promote an understanding of the historic relationship between the United States and Austria. The following search tools make it possible to explore these projects and to learn more about the scholars and organizations who have received BIAAS grants and fellowships.


Rudolf Svoboda

Topics: History, Research
Products: Article

In the 1830s and 1840s, departures on missions from historic Austria to the United States were one of the most important ways of having contact between the Old and New Worlds. In Austria, they were supported by higher social circles and had a broadly positive response in the society of that time. This project will show the concrete ties and cultural exchanges between the American and Austrian environments in the 1830s and 1840s connected with the person of the missionary John Nepomucene Neumann. Neumann maintained a vast network of relations, which were retrospectively reflected in the Austrian environment, preparing for his missionary vocation and its actual implementation in the USA.


Jonathan Singerton

Topics: History, Research
Products: Article, Book, Monograph

This project focuses on the Leopoldine Society, an Austrian state-sponsored missionary foundation which supported provided financial relief to Catholic dioceses across the United States. From 1829 until 1914, the Leopoldine Society amassed over 4.5 million Austrian gulden (roughly $30 million dollars in today’s currency) through parish alms across Austria-Hungary. Using these donations, the Society founded over 400 Catholic churches and supported at least 300 Austro-Hungarian missionaries who travelled to the United States. The project’s goal is to advance our understanding of the Leopoldine Society through the collection and evaluation of new archival sources leading to a book-length monograph.


Andreas Praher

Topics: Culture, History, Migration, Research
Products: Article, Book, Exhibit

The research project will analyze the transatlantic migration of skiers and ski instructors who migrated from Austria to the United States for different reasons in the first half of the 20th century. The focus will be on sociopolitical, economic, cultural, institutional and structural circumstances in which migration in skiing took place from the 1930s to the 1960s. In studying the historical patterns of migration, factors that have influenced and stimulated the movement of sport labor should be identified. The research work asks about the socio-cultural background of men and women. It will take into account the female ski migration and the impact of the Jewish exodus in skiing on the American sport system.


Nina Kaiser

Topics: History, Science
Products: Article, Digital Project

Forensic science as a holistic discipline was developed in Austria in the late 19th century by Hans Gross. As an internationally well-connected researcher, he shaped the development of forensics worldwide. However, it appears that Gross appreciated one American colleague particularly: John H. Wigmore, Professor at the Northwestern University Chicago, who was also a highly influential character and laid the foundation of the modern American law of evidence. The appreciation was mutual but their relationship and influence on the development of criminal sciences on both sides of the Atlantic were never studied. Therefore, the presented archival research investigates this transatlantic relationship and its potential impact on the field.


Tomás Irish

Topics: History, Political Science
Products: Article

This project explores the work of Walter Kotschnig (1901-1985), an Austrian student leader, humanitarian, and internationalist. Kotschnig was a crucial but relatively unknown figure in the creation of the United Nations and its institutions during the Second World War. This project will explore Kotschnig’s experiences as a student in early 1920s Austria, his involvement with international student welfare in the 1920s and 1930s to trace the development of his thinking and his networks, all of which were crucial to his work with the US State Department in the 1940s. The life of one man will be used to explore how Austria’s experience of post-First World War devastation informed American planning for the aftermath of the Second World War.


Dóra Fedeles-Czeferner

Topics: Culture, Gender, History, Migration
Products: Article, Biography, Book

Rosika Schwimmer (Budapest, 1877-New York, 1948), one of the best-known women’s rights leaders in the Austro-Hungarian Empire became a celebrated peace activist in the U.S. She was awarded the World Peace Prize and was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize. Schwimmer formed a crucial link between the Hungarian, Austrian and transnational women’s and peace movements and made a marked contribution in the U.S. where she lived in exile from 1921 until her death. The project seeks to explore these transatlantic connections by drawing on the widest possible range of archival sources from Hungary, Austria, the U.S., England and the Netherlands. The ultimate aim is to provide a comprehensive monograph on Schwimmer’s life and career.


James Boyd

Topics: History, Migration, Political Science, Research
Products: Article, Book, Monograph

Selling Emigration examines how the commerce of migration influenced departures from Europe in the nineteenth century. It explores migration as a sellable commodity, interrogating the role of migration commerce in migration decisions, and demonstrating the ways in which transport and shipping were connected to ethnic economies of mobility. The project is a monograph study on the role of migration commerce across Europe. The chapter funded by this grant will examine economies of mobility in Central Europe, and the role of Atlantic migration commerce as it affected the territories of the Habsburg/Austro-Hungarian Empire.


Duncan Bare

Topics: History, Political Science, Research
Products: Article

Gaps remain in the story of the growth and evolution of pre-centralized US intelligence services operating in Austria. The envisioned project will enable further exploration of both ‘the field’ and ‘headquarters’ components of the Strategic Services Unit (SSU) and Central Intelligence Group (CIG) in the Austrian context. Pursuant to this, the previously unassessed role of the counterintelligence and positive intelligence regional chiefs for Austria in Washington DC (Evelyn M. Williams and David F. Strong, respectively) must be examined in greater detail.


Max Ehrenfreund

Topics: History
Products: Article, Book, Dissertation

Ehrenfreund's dissertation is a study of the socialist calculation debate, an intellectual exchange among interwar economists, journalists, and politicians who sought an economic theory for a socialist society. Using archival sources, Ehrenfreund presents a new interpretation of this debate in the context of contemporary shifts in the cultural meanings of calculation and the political valences of mathematics in Austria and the United States. With the Botstiber Institute's support, Ehrenfreund will travel to archives in Michigan [...]


Allison Schmidt

Topics: History, Migration
Products: Article, Book

Dr. Allison Schmidt has received a $15,000 research grant for her project "Emigration Routes from Austria-Hungary," a focus on emigrant journeys to the United States in the late-nineteenth, early-twentieth century. Archival research in Austrian and Czech Archives will contribute to an article on the subject and a book on state surveillance of the transmigrants in Germany. Allison Schmidt received her PhD from the University of Kansas and currently serves as a Lecturer in International Relations at the University of Pennsylvania.