BIAAS and Institute for Advanced Study Support Fellowships in Transatlantic Austrian and Central European Relations.


Botstiber-Central European University Fellowships

The Dietrich W. Botstiber Foundation and the Central European University (CEU) have established a three-year Botstiber Fellowship in Transatlantic Austrian and Central European Relationships program to be housed at the Institute for Advanced Study at Central European University (IAS CEU).

Fellowships are for scholarly work related to the transnational and transatlantic relationship between the United States and present-day Austria or the countries that historically make up the Austro-Hungarian or Austrian Empires and Central Europe, coming from all disciplines, including history, politics, economics, social sciences and cultural studies broadly understood. This joint fellowship seeks to strengthen, further and make visible scholarship on modern and contemporary as well as on imperial and post-imperial Austria and Habsburg Studies, and on issues of transfer, migration and exchange, as testified in Austria’s and Central Europe’s special relationship to the United States, direct and indirect.

The Institute is committed to the pursuit of cutting-edge interdisciplinary scholarship and will seek innovative research proposals. This program invites emerging scholars with demonstrable promise of excellence. A primary criterion for selection is the expectation that each fellow’s stay at the Institute will yield original and significant research results.

At IAS CEU, Botstiber Fellows will join outstanding junior and senior scholars from around the world, each conducting research related to their diverse disciplinary interests, and are invited for a minimum of 5 months and a maximum of one academic year (9 months, October-June). Fellows are chosen by a rigorous selection process, which includes stages of pre-selection and peer reviews as well as a final decision made jointly by an independent, interdisciplinary and international Academic Advisory Board of the Institute and the BIAAS.

For more information on the Botstiber Fellowship and to apply please visit the Institute for Advanced Study at Central European University’s website. 

Botstiber-CEU Fellows

October 2021 – December 2021


Linda Erker

University of Vienna

Project: “Austrian Scholars in Latin American Exile: Transatlantic Migration, Transfer of Knowledge and Transnational Relations between 1930 and 1970”

My second book examines the scientific work and relationships of Austrian scholars living in Latin American exile from 1930 to 1970. Exile in this context is understood primarily from the perspective of self-perception, a long-term stay outside the homeland which these academics had to leave due to banishment, expatriation, persecution by the state or the (anti-)democratic criminal justice system. In my research, I analyze who was able to regain an academic foothold after (forced) migration, and under what conditions. The main focus of my study is Argentina and Chile between 1930 and 1970. During this time period, at least three different cohorts of scholars interacted with one another in their destination countries: (1) politically displaced persons from 1933-38 onwards, (2) persecuted Jews who could manage to escape Europe and the Holocaust, (3) National Socialist scientists who fled after the end of World War II. After 1945, they were all simultaneously part of scientific communities far from their homeland. Integral to the book is an analysis of their work, the transfer of knowledge, their transnational networks, and transatlantic relations between Austria and Germany.

January 2020 – June 2020

Christiane Tewinkel

Barenboim-Said Akademie Berlin and Universität der Künste Berlin

Project: “You play exactly as if you came from America.” Transatlantic Relations in the Musical Life of Imperial Germany and the Austro-Hungarian Empire around 1900.

In Imperial Germany and the Austro-Hungarian Empire around 1900, comments on the “Americanization”, i.e. the commercialization of musical life are as frequent as remarks about specifically “American” ways of playing the piano. Apparently, “Americanness” was used as a code word that allowed to address issues that challenged the newly globalized music world, among them the questions of how inwardness relates to virtuosity, how marketing strategies compete with the idea of music as an autonomous art, and how different cultural backgrounds must be negotiated when it comes to experiencing music. Documents testifying to the work of Theodor Leschetizky (1830-1915) who taught almost 400 American piano students are the main focus of this first portion of a three-part project. The methodological grid for the analysis of letters, concert reviews, and biographies, many of them available in digitized form, is derived from linguist Felix Knappertsbusch’s research on German Anti-Americanism in the 20th century.

Learn more about her work: Click Here

October 2019 – March 2020

Joseph Malherek

University of Vienna

Project: “The Frankfurt School’s Other: Socialist Émigrés Who Made Capitalist Culture in America, 1918–1956”

What is the essential ideological form of socialism, and can that form be carried, translated, and incorporated into different cultures through the work of intellectuals, individually and collectively? My study considers the intersecting careers of a cohort of socialists—Austrian sociologist Paul Lazarsfeld, Viennese architect Victor Gruen, and Hungarian artist-designer László Moholy-Nagy—who formed their beliefs and practiced their professions in the new republics of post-Habsburg Central Europe, and, as refugees from Nazism in the United States, translated an ethos of socialism within the foreign cultural context of American capitalism. While the critical theorists of Max Horkheimer’s Institut für Sozialforschung— associates of Lazarsfeld who were also exiled at Columbia University in the 1930s and 1940s—have become known as the chief intellectual antagonists of twentieth-century consumer capitalism, the émigrés I consider in this project became the unlikely avatars of European social democracy in the “free enterprise” culture of American business.

Learn more about his work: Click Here

February – June 2019

Friederike Kind-Kovacs
Hannah-Arendt-Institute for Research on Totalitarianism, Dresden, Germany

Project: Budapest’s Children: Destitution, Humanitarian Relief and Revisionism in the Aftermath of the Great War
This project examines one of Central Europe’s major urban spaces, the capital city of Budapest, to reconstruct how, in the aftermath of WWI, this social hotspot turned into a core “laboratory” of transnational and transatlantic humanitarian intervention. Focusing simultaneously on the humanitarian donor nations and the Hungarian “receiving end,” the analysis sheds light on the ambivalent repercussions of relief on local societies and transatlantic power relations. In tracing these transnational encounters that revolved around practices of feeding, clothing, and rehabilitating, Budapest’s child relief reveals that, while a truly transnational endeavor, it was at its core a deeply national undertaking. While the US could manifest its global power presenting itself not only as a winner of the war but also of this humanitarian “war against hunger,” Hungary could rewrite its international reputation from an ‘enemy’ to a ‘victim’ nation, thereby codifying its revisionist claims that still reverberate in today’s society.

October 2018 – February 2019

Matthias Duller
University of Graz, Austria

Project: The Ford Foundation’s East European Fellowship Program: A Historical Sociology of Intellectuals under Real Socialism
This project examines one of the largest efforts by American agents of cultural diplomacy to instigate a transatlantic intellectual exchange across the Cold War divide: the Ford Foundation’s East European Fellowship Program. From 1957 onwards, several hundred intellectuals from real socialist countries of East-Central Europe, most of them from Poland and Yugoslavia, were awarded fellowships by the US-American Ford Foundation to spend research and study visits at Western universities and other learning institutions. Duller’s work will be the first to give a comprehensive overview of the Ford Foundation’s activities in several East-Central European countries between 1956 and 1968. Against the backdrop of diplomatic history, Duller will assess the Ford Foundation’s East European Program’s effects on the social science and humanities scholars who benefited from a Ford fellowship and on the academic intelligentsia in East-Central Europe more broadly.

March – July 2018

Ilse Josepha Lazaroms
Goethe University, Frankfurt am Main

Project: Across the Rupture: Central European Landscapes of War, 1941–1968
This project charts the intellectual representations of destruction in Central Europe. It aims to rescue the literary and political visions and realities that emerged from the remnants of the destroyed European life-worlds after the Holocaust. Narratives of survival and loss are placed side by side with more optimistic accounts of the future of the reimagined and restored European landscapes of war. It nuances debates about early Holocaust documentation and the role of literature in these processes, and argues that the Holocaust experience, seen in a larger timeframe, should be placed in the context of European responses to catastrophe, the immediate postwar years in Europe, and debates about what it means to give shape to the past. Despite our vast knowledge about the Holocaust, we know preciously little about the immediate postwar period, when the future of Europe lay in the scale and the bitter division between East and West, despite certain early stirrings, was yet to be cemented.

October 2017 – February 2018

Bálint Varga
Hungarian Academy of Sciences, Budapest

Project: Hungary in the Age of Global Mobility, 1880–1914
During the late 19th and early 20th centuries, globalization arrived to Central Europe at a scale unknown to former generations. Central Europe became connected to other parts of the world via railways and modern channels of communication, which brought material and immaterial goods produced in global centers or in some remote places of the world. Millions of Central European sought a better life overseas, mainly in the United States. Exotic commodities, fashionable cultural products and “exotic” people arrived to Central Europe, reshaping local cultures. By analyzing these phenomena in fin-de-siècle Hungary, this project seeks to investigate Central Europe’s entry into the global world in the age what historians call first globalization or First Global Economy (ca. 1880–1914).