Universiteit Leiden

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Foundation for Austrian Studies


In 1990 Prof. Dr. Nicolette Mout was the first chairholder. This Chair was embedded in the Department of History (part of the Faculty of Humanities) where Professor Mout also held the chair for Modern History ('Algemene Geschiedenis').

For two decades, Professor Mout’s lectures and seminars formed the heart of the Leiden Central European and Austrian history curriculum, which was further strengthened by the presence of a visiting professor in every spring semester.

New professor

In 2010, after Professor Mout’s retirement from her combined chairs, Jeroen Duindam took over the Modern History Chair, and with Dr. Patrick Dassen formed the liaison between the Foundation for Austrian Studies and the History Department.

In June 2017 the Foundation for Austrian Studies and Leiden University appointed dr. Monika Baár to the Special Chair for Central European Studies. After four years of dedicated service to the Foundation and the Chair, Dr Baár decided to step back due to a combination of shifting research priorities and her health situation. As of June 2021, Jeroen Duindam again acts as interim director and chair. The Foundation board aims for the appointment of a new incumbent of the Special Chair in the summer of 2022.

Visiting professors

The special chair will continue working with visiting professors. In the second semester of each academic year, these guests from Austria visit Leiden to teach about their specialisms (alternating between history, music, art, literature, often dealing with 19th and 20th century themes). They teach a lecture course and a seminar, usually at the bachelor level. A list of the guest professors from 1991 till 2014 can be found below.
In 2000, the Foundation published a booklet celebrating and describing the first ten successful years of its activities: Österreich-Niederlande: zehn Jahre wissenschaftliche Zusammenarbeit. Eine Bilanz.

Annual Convention of all Austrian Centres

From 1988 to 2010 the Foundation for Austrian Studies, under the presidency of Mr. Hugo Weiland, organized and financed the visiting professorship as well as various other related activities. Since 2011 the foundation has been generously supported by the Austrian Bundesministerium für Wissenschaft, Forschung und Wirtschaft. Every year, the Ministry and the Österreichische Austauschdienst (OeAd) organise an Annual Convention of all Austria Centers. The Annual Convention of 2013 was held in Leiden and co-organised by the Leiden Foundation. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the Convention planned in Leiden in October 2020 was postponed to October 2021. Recently it has been decided to hold the meeting in its habitual face-to-face form in June 2022.

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