Austrian-American Organizations

Ellis Island Ferry, circa 1915 - 1920

Austrian-American Organizations

As a result of the 2018 BIAAS-sponsored Summit on Austrian-American Organizations, BIAAS created a resource to help facilitate the exchange of information. Click + to connect with the organizations.

Austrian-American Educational Commission/Fulbright Austria

Museumsplatz 1
A-1070 Wien, Austria

Mission and History

The Austrian-American Educational Commission (AAEC) is a special binational commission based on the Fulbright Act of 1946 and established by a bilateral agreement between the US government and the Republic of Austria in 1950. It currently operates under the authority of the Fulbright-Hays Educational and Cultural Exchange Act of 1961 (1963-present), which provides for binational financing and governance of the Austrian-American Fulbright Program.

Fulbright Austria promotes mutual understanding, cooperation, and knowledge transfer between Austria and the United States by sponsoring educational and cultural exchange programs serving individuals and institutions. It fulfills this mission by managing the prestigious Fulbright scholarship program; coordinating a nationwide teaching assistantship program unilaterally funded by the Austrian Ministry of Education, Science and Research (BMBWF) that places US college graduates in Austrian secondary schools; and counseling students and institutions of higher education on opportunities to study in the US or Austria as an EducationUSA advising center.

With over 380,000 alumni, the Fulbright Program was the largest exchange program in the world until the inception of the European Union Erasmus Program in the 1980s, and the Austrian-American Program is the largest bilateral exchange program between the two countries. More than 2,500 US citizens and 3,500 Austrian citizens have participated in exchanges under the auspices of the Fulbright Program since 1950. Furthermore, over 3,000 US college and university graduates have taught at Austrian secondary school in communities large and small in all nine Austrian provinces since the inception of the US Teaching Assistant Program in 1962.

For a brief history of the Fulbright Program, consult “Fulbright at Fifty” or view the documentary video “Fulbright at Sixty” on the Fulbright website.

Programs and Activities

Grant Category 2017-18 2018-19
Austrian Fulbright Foreign-Language Teaching Assistants at US colleges and universities 14 12
Austrian Fulbright Students enrolled in graduate programs at US institutions 10 14
Austrian Fulbright Scholars 4 6
US Fulbright Students enrolled at Austrian universities 18 21
US Fulbright Scholars (representing the fifth-largest US Fulbright Scholar cohort in the world) 22 22
Fulbright Specialists (two- to six-week stays) 5 5
Total Fulbright grantees 75 75
US teaching assistants at Austrian secondary schools (record highs) 133 144

Fulbright Austria also serves as an educational advising center for Austrians interested in studying in the United States and Americans interested in studying in Austria.

Austrian Association for American Studies

Department of English and American Studies
University of Salzburg
Erzabt-Klotz-Strasse 1 (Unipark)
A-5020 Salzburg, Austria
ZVR-Number: 371718632

Current president contact info:
Dr. Christian Quendler
Universität Innsbruck
Institut für Amerikastudien
Innrain 52d
A-6020 Innsbruck, Austria

Mission and History

When the Austrian Association for American Studies was founded in 1975, its articles declared a four-fold purpose:

a) to stimulate the establishment, extension, and intensification of American Studies at Austrian universities and other academic institutions;
b) to promote the research activities and plans of Austrian scholars in the field of American Studies;
c) to allow for the exchange of ideas and information in the field of American Studies;
d) to establish contacts with organizations of the same kind in Europe, America, and elsewhere.

The Austrian Association for American Studies (AAAS) is an academic non-profit organization that currently has more than 100 active members. They represent the Association at practically all Austrian universities and academic institutions with departments focusing on American Studies. The AAAS also has a sizable number of international members. The AAAS is a member association of the European Association for American Studies (EAAS).

Programs and Activities

The AAAS organizes an annual international conference with a thematic focus at an Austrian university. In addition, and in collaboration with other organizations and institutions such as Fulbright Austria, the AAAS supports promising projects and young researchers through grants and scholarly awards. The AAAS has supported a book series (monographs and edited collections) for the last two decades (American Studies in Austria at LIT Verlag) and is currently in the process of inaugurating a peer-reviewed open access online journal JAAAS (Journal of the Austrian Association of American Studies).

The research of most AAAS members comes from literary and cultural studies, but the association also has members coming from disciplines such as history, political science, or film studies. AAAS members study a wide variety of subjects, and rely on a broad range of (inter)disciplinary approaches and methodologies, which the association does not circumscribe in any way. The conference topics of the last years give a rough idea of recent thematic interests of AAAS members: “American Im/Mobilities” (2018), “The Changing Nature of American Studies” (2017) “America Through the Small Screen” (2016), “Soundscapes as Sonic Cultures” (2015), “American Identity, Urbanity, and Cultural Exchange” (2014), or “American Utopias” (2013).

Austrian Cultural Forum New York (ACFNY)

11 East 52nd Street
New York, NY 10022
(212) 319-5300

Mission and History

The Austrian Cultural Forum New York is the main cultural embassy of the Republic of Austria in New York and the United States. We are dedicated to showcasing Austrian art, music, film, theater, and literature, presenting “as much from our cultural past as necessary and as much contemporary art as possible”.

The ACFNY’s predecessor institution, the Austrian Institute, was established by Austrian emigres and exiles in 1942 in order to maintain an active cultural life and bond with a home that no longer existed. In 1955, Austria’s Ministry of Education tasked Wilhelm Schlag to set up an official Austrian cultural institute in the USA which moved to its present-day location in Midtown Manhattan in 1963. In the 1990s, the institute had outgrown its small townhouse on 52nd Street, which was replaced by a modern skyscraper designed by Raimund Abraham and which was opened in 2002.

Our main mission is to present contemporary Austrian culture and artists to an American audience, but the Austrian Cultural Forum New York also serves as a meeting place for Austrians and friends of Austria alike and for everyone who is interested in Austrian culture.
We want to foster Austrian-American relations and present a platform for artists & intellectuals to network and perform in front of an international audience.

An important task is to look into Austria’s complex history and past, and to address global issues of interest and concern with artistic means.

Programs and Activities

With its architectural landmark building the Austrian Cultural Forum New York is dedicated to innovative and cutting-edge programming, showcasing the best of Austrian contemporary art, music, literature, performance, and academic thought in New York and throughout the United States. In addition to presenting three group exhibitions per year in its multi-level gallery space, the ACFNY hosts around 10,000 volumes of Austriaca in its Frederic Morton Library, and presents around 100 free events per year in its own auditorium. The ACFNY also supports around 100 external projects with partners across the nation.

Our exhibitions are typically externally curated and address social, political, and cultural issues of interest. Our current transmedial show Women.Now, for example, offers a powerful commentary on women’s role in society and the arts today, showcasing seventeen contemporary female artists based in Austria and the United States.

Our concerts tend to focus on contemporary and new music, but we also feature other genres. All of our events are free and not-for-profit, with the overall objective to introduce emerging Austrian artists to an U.S. audience.

Austrian Cultural Forum Washington

3524 International Court, NW
Washington, DC, 20008
(202) 895-6700

Mission and History

The ACFDC serves as a focal point to promote Austrian culture and art in the Washington DC metro area. By organizing a variety of cultural events (concerts, film screenings, exhibitions, theatre performances, lectures and panel discussions) throughout the year, we aim at encouraging cultural exchange between Austrian and American artists and its audiences.

Austria’s international network of representations active in the field of culture currently comprises:

  • 29 Cultural Institutes (“Cultural Fora”)
  • 2 Development Cooperation Offices
  • 80 Embassies
  • 8 General Consulates
  • 300 Honorary Consulates

The 29 Austrian Cultural Fora are located in the following cities: Beijing, Belgrade, Berlin, Bern, Bratislava, Brussels, Bucharest, Budapest, Cairo, Istanbul, Kiev, Ljubljana, London, Madrid, Milan, Mexico City, Moscow, New Delhi, New York, Ottawa, Paris, Prague, Rome, Teheran, Tel Aviv, Tokyo, Warsaw, Washington and Zagreb.

Programs and Activities

The ACF Washington is at the same time the Cultural Section of the Austrian Embassy in Washington, DC and offers free admission to all of its events open to the public. It organizes, supports, initiates and facilitates about 40 events per year, many of which take place in the atrium hall of the Embassy of Austria.

In particular, the ACF Washington works on three pillars:

  • Promotion of women in art and culture
  • Correlation between culture and human rights
  • Presentation of young emerging Austrian artists

We do this through: