Introduction to Fin-de-Siècle Vienna

Karl VocelkaFebruary 3 - 4


The main goal of this introduction will be to make students, coming from very different cultures, familiar with the background knowledge necessary to follow the specific courses (arts, music, literature etc.). A stress will be laid on the explanation of phenomena and terms indispensable for the understanding of European and especially Austrian culture and values.

The introduction is intended to convey general historical and cultural principles that apply to all courses.

The following topics will be covered:

  • Social structure
  • Religions: Christianity and Judaism
  • Art styles basics
  • Political development of the Habsburg monarchy: economy, industrialization, foreign and domestic policy, parties, and multi-ethnic state
  • Vienna around 1900: population development, minorities, anti-Semitism, and female emancipation


Requirements: The course is a prerequisite for participation in the overall program, the hours count for the contact hours and the ECTS credits. At the end of the introduction participants are required to submit a written summary of one of the topics covered.

The course will not be graded, but submission of the written summary is a requirement to attend the following courses.