univie: winter school for Cultural Historical Studies 2017

by Lucija Furač

It was a great pleasure participating in the univie: winter school for Cultural Historical Studies 2017 of the University of Vienna during February 2017. It gave me an opportunity to take classes given by well-known lecturers and meet people from all over the world.

Back in November, I noticed the announcement that my university in Zagreb, Croatia shared with students and the Winter School in Vienna immediately got my attention. Since I study Comparative Literature and History of Art, I was naturally interested in the Psychoanalysis course and the Arts and Culture course. Modernity in Vienna around 1900 has been intriguing me for some time during my studies and I was keen to find out more, especially by exploring the city first-hand. I was thrilled to get accepted.

All the participants gathered for a welcoming dinner with the organisers and it was easy to get additional information about our two weeks in the city. We were an interestingly composed group, we pretty much all came with different academic backgrounds and from various places around the world. It was so pleasant to initiate a contact with others though, since the atmosphere was really nice from the very beginning and we shared the same enthusiasm.

During the classes that started the next day, I learned truly a lot. Excursions to museums and galleries and our city walks helped in getting a  thorough picture on the subjects. We also worked with different useful materials, we had presentations in classes and even watched a movie. Lecturers insisted on intelligibility of their teachings and they paid attention to the dynamics of our group. It was easy to ask questions if needed or hold on to details that interested us. We were encouraged to make observations, express our opinion and link the content with our previous knowledge and the wider context.

I would recommend using spare time for many Viannese museums and galleries, since there are some really rich and important collections to see, from the „Kunsthistorisches Museum“ to the little „Photon Gallery“ for mainly Southeastern European photography. During winter season, there is also a big, well-visited ice rink in front of „Rathaus“ and skating there is really fun. Also, there are so many areas of the city that are nice for a walk, like „Stadtpark“, but residential districts are good to see as well. For instance, I found „Alterlaa“ architecturally really interesting. Using subway, so much of the city's content is truly easy to reach.

What I will remember the most about Winter School is definitely the feeling of affiliation that the programme induced in me. I had plenty of time to spend on my own, but our schedule allowed us to bond and end up doing things together even more than planned. I would highly recommend the courses to anyone willing to experience contact with interesting, ambitious people, even to those who are not academically involved in the subjects. The programme gives a great knowledge that could be useful to anyone, and it will be an enjoyable adventure for sure.


Lucija Furač, Croatia, 2017