Department of Contemporary History

The department of Contemporary History is the largest contemporary history department in Austria. It mainly focuses on the following research and educational priorities: Contemporary history of Austria as a republic in international comparison up to the present day; dictatorships, oppression and genocide with a focus on the history of National Socialism and the Holocaust; history of knowledge and science; contemporary women's and gender studies; as well as, visual history of time and culture with special emphasis on film and other media.

Department fellows are exceptionally committed to research-led teaching of contemporary history of the 20th and 21st centuries. This has led to Contemporary History degree tracks having high student enrolments in both the BA History and Teacher Education and the MA History and Teacher Education programs.
The department is also home to a number of contemporary history research projects well-funded by outside donors.

The department benefits from its close ties to research fields at the Faculty of Historical and Cultural Studies, specifically: Dictatorships, oppression, genocide; women's and gender history; Austria in its environment; visual cultural history; study of visual and cultural media; science history; cultures of knowledge; knowledge societies; history of democracy and human rights. Tight cooperative relationships also exist with contemporary historical research on Eastern Europe, for example within the framework of the interdisciplinary research platform "Transformations and Eastern Europe.”

The department's staff has a dense mutually-beneficial network beyond Austria, which is reflected in numerous international publications and conference participation as well as in hosting internationally renowned guest researchers.