April 1, 2024

West Chester University Hosting Austrian Studies Conference in Collaboration with the University of Pennsylvania April 11-14

For the first time in its history, West Chester University (WCU) is hosting the annual Austrian Studies Association Conference (ASA) April 11-14, 2024.

ASA Conference Flyer

In collaboration with the University of Pennsylvania (Penn), the conference will bring together scholars, writers, and students from around the world to explore the theme “Austria Within Europe: In Cultural History and Today/From the Habsburg Empire to the European Union.”

The ASA 2024 conference is set to welcome approximately 90 attendees from six countries over its four days of programming. Highlights include scholarly panels covering a wide range of disciplines such as history, politics, literature, and film studies, focusing on Austria's role within Europe from the Renaissance to the present day.

WCU students are assisting with logistics and guiding attendees. In addition to practicing their skills, they’ll also have opportunities to engage with international scholars and writers. WCU Professor of German Joseph Moser, one of the conference’s organizers, is looking forward to those interactions. 

"This conference presents a unique opportunity for our students to immerse themselves in the German language and Austrian culture,” he said. “Much of the conference will be conducted in German, which will give our German majors and minors an invaluable linguistic and cultural experience."

One of those students is senior secondary history education major Alexis Stein. Stein, who is pursuing a minor in German, is part of an undergraduate panel during the conference where she’ll present a project from her capstone history course about the legacy and memorialization of Empress Elisabeth of the Austro-Hungarian empire. 

“I am most looking forward to presenting my research to experts in the field of Austrian studies,” Stein said. “And to learn about the work that these historians, authors, and experts have produced.” 

Instead of a keynote presentation, the conference is hosting three renowned Austrian writers — Teresa Präauer, Marie Gamillscheg, and Ana Marwan — who will perform readings of their work in German. This unique format was made possible through the generous support of the Austrian Cultural Forum New York and the University of Pennsylvania, Moser said.

Most of the conference will take place at West Chester University, with a special session scheduled at Penn to view a collection of Austrian artifacts. The collaboration has set a precedent for future ASA conferences to seek out similar partnerships, Moser said.

Moser said he and his co-organizers WCU Associate Professor of French Roxane Petit-Rasselle and Penn Presidential Associate Professor of Germanic Languages and Literatures Vance Byrd, have received substantial support from both universities and external sponsors, including WCU’s College of Arts and Humanities, Penn’s College of Arts and Sciences, the Austrian Cultural Forum New York, and the Botstiber Institute of Austrian-American Studies.

For more information about the conference and to view the full schedule, please visit West Chester University's ASA 2024 Conference page. 


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