Botstiber Institute
Botstiber Institute for
Austrian-American Studies




The Botstiber Institute for Austrian-American Studies

BIAAS hosted a lecture entitled “Ars Gratia Austriae: The Remarkable 1936 Vienna-Hollywood Deal to Save Independent Austrian Film and its Threat to Nazi German "Anschluss”’ by Robert Dassanowsky. It was held on May 29, 2015 at the Austrian embassy in Washington, DC.


Dietrich Botstiber witnessed the most unsettling times in modern Austrian history. In his memoirs, he describes the difficult social and economic conditions in Austria from the time of the breakup of the Dual Hapsburg Empire to the 1938 Anschluss. He left Austria for the United States in 1938. He was grateful to become an American but at the same time Botstiber believed that Americans did not fully appreciate the Austrian predicament leading up to World War II. One of Botstiber’s objectives in establishing his Foundation was to “promote an understanding of the historic relationship between the United States and Austria.”

To that end, the Botstiber Institute for Austrian-American Studies (BIAAS) supports projects that implement Botstiber’s mission. BIAAS and the Austrian-American Educational Commission jointly sponsor two Fulbright-Botstiber visiting professorships, one in Austria and the other in the United States. BIAAS offers an annual fellowship in Austrian-American Studies, and it provides grants for work, and sponsors programs, in the fields of history, politics, economics, law and cultural studies.

Fulbright-Botstiber Visiting Professors

The Dietrich W. Botstiber Foundation and the Austrian-American Educational Commission jointly established two Fulbright-Botstiber Visiting Professors of Austrian-American Studies. During the 2015-2016 program year, Professor Dean Jeffrey Kotlowski (Department of History, Salisbury University) will be hosted by Salzburg University’s American Studies program. He will demonstrate and build connections between American and Austrian studies by: (1) expanding scholarly understanding of Franklin D. Roosevelt and Paul V. McNutt, U.S. High Commissioner to the Philippines, by comparing their conceptions of security with those of the Austrian writer Stefan Zweig, in an article to be published in Austria; (2) revising for publication in Austria a paper on McNutt’s role in bringing 1,300 Austrian and German Jews to Manila in the late 1930s; (3) giving lectures on McNutt’s assistance to Jews, including screening the critically-praised documentary “Rescue in the Philippines: Refuge from the Holocaust” (2013); and (4) teaching courses that will allow Austrian students to see ties between the USA and Austria, especially during the 1930s and 1940s.

Professor Max Preglau (Department of Sociology, School of Political Science and Sociology at the University of Innsbruck) will be hosted at the Department of Government, College of Liberal Arts at the University of Texas at Austin. He will conduct a research project that is part of his longer term research program titled “Welfare States in Transition - Austria, Europe and the USA in Comparative Perspective”. The special focus of his studies at Austin will lie on the regional state level of the U.S. social policy. Furthermore, he will teach a course titled “Rise, Current Challenges and Transformations of the Welfare State: Austria, Europe and the USA”.

Fulbright-Botstiber Visiting Professors Page

Learn more about:

For information on the Fulbright-Botstiber award for U.S. scholars to Austria, consult the website of the Council for International Exchange of Scholars:

For information on the Fulbright-Botstiber award for Austrian scholars to the U.S., consult the website of the AAEC at



group shot

–Photo by Karl Schrammel

Upcoming Events

Announcing the 2016 Botstiber Lecture on Austrian-American Affairs

Migration is one of the most divisive issues in American and Austrian politics.

The issue dominates the 2016 campaign for the American presidency. A Republican candidate
would deport all illegal immigrants, refuse entry to all Muslims, and build a wall between
Mexico and the US to prevent Latin Americans from entering.

Austrians are polarized by the surge of Middle Eastern (mostly Syrian) immigrants coming
across their border, first from Hungary and later from Slovenia. Nearly 100,000 people have
applied for asylum in Austria over the past year, raising fears of joblessness, terrorism and
cultural collapse.

On Friday, May 20, 2016, the Botstiber Foundation is pleased to present a panel discussion on
migration issues (including related issues of racism, nationalism and terrorism) confronting both Austria and the United States from the perspective of three leading academics (listed belowalphabetically) who will compare and contrast the issues that afflict both countries.

Farid Hafez is a researcher at the Department of Political Science at the University of Salzburg.
He is the editor of the German-English Islamophobia Studies Yearbook and was awarded the
Bruno Kreisky Award for the political book of the year for his German anthology Islamophobia
in Austria which he edited together with John Bunzl.

James Hollifield is Professor of Political Science, Ora Nixon Arnold Chair in International
Political Economy, and Director of the Tower Center at Southern Methodist University. A
member of the Council on Foreign Relations and Public Policy Scholar at the Wilson Center, he
has published widely on international political and economic issues, including Immigrants,
Markets and States (Harvard UP), Migration Theory (Routledge), and Controlling Immigration
(Stanford UP). His current projects include The Emerging Migration State – a study of how
states manage international migration for strategic gains.

Tara Zahra is Professor of East European history at the University of Chicago where she
specializes, in part, on transnational and comparative history, nationalism, migration and
displacement. She is the author of a new book on a history of emigration from East Central
Europe to Western Europe and the United States between 1889 and the present.

Information about the program:

Friday, May 20, 2016 at 6:30 p.m.
Embassy of Austria, 3542 International Court NW, Washington, DC 20008.
Admission is free, but registration is required.
Register Here

The Dietrich W. Botstiber Foundation • 200 E. State Street • Suite 306-A • Media, Pennsylvania 19063 •