History of the University of Vienna in the Twentieth Century

Die sog. Juristenstiege im Hauptgebäude der Universität Wien führte bis 1975/84 zu den Räumen der Rechts- und Staats- wissenschaftlichen Fakultät. ©Universität Wien

The period between the two world wars was a heyday for many academic disciplines. Amoung the most prominent intellectual movements in Austria were the Viennese school of legal theory founded by Hans Kelsen and the Viennese school of economics, represented at that time primarily by Ludwig von Mises.

In the years 2009-2013 I was head of the Austrian Science Fund project “The Vienna Faculty of Law and Political Science 1918-1938” (grant no. P 21280).  The project aims to investigate both the academic and social history of that faculty, with the understanding that both of these perspective are, of course, inseparably interwoven. More information about this project can be found on its homepage.

In 2011-2015, I was a member of the Scientific Advisory Board of the University Commission for the Academic Reappraisal of University History. This commission was specially commissioned to lay the academic groundwork for the 650th anniversary of the University of Vienna in 2015. This work resulted in the five-volume series “650 Years of the University of Vienna”, for which I wrote several essays and co-edited the fourth volume.

I was also commissioned by the University's Rectorate to curate an exhibition together with Prof. Franz Stefan Meissel on the expulsion and extermination of University of Vienna academics during the Nazi era. The exhibition, entitled “Intelligentsia under Threat,” was formally opened on 17 March 2015. It was initially displayed in the auditorium in the University’s main building, then travelled to several other locations.