Combining history of science and a history of universities with the new imperial history, Universities in Imperial Austria 1848–1918: A Social History of a Multilingual Space by Jan Surman analyzes the practice of scholarly migration and its lasting influence on the intellectual output in the Austrian part of the Habsburg Empire.
The Habsburg Empire and its successor states were home to developments that shaped Central Europe's scholarship well into the twentieth century. Universities became centers of both state- and nation-building, as well as of confessional resistance, placing scholars if not in conflict, then certainly at odds with the neutral international orientation of academe.
By going beyond national narratives, Surman
reveals the Empire as a state with institutions divided by language but united
by legislation, practices, and other influences. Such an approach allows
readers a better view to how scholars turned gradually away from
state-centric discourse to form distinct language communities after 1867; these
influences affected scholarship, and by examining the scholarly record, Surman
tracks the turn.
Drawing on archives in Austria, the Czech Republic, Poland, and Ukraine, Surman analyzes the careers of several thousand scholars from the faculties of philosophy and medicine of a number of Habsburg universities, thus covering various moments in the history of the Empire for the widest view. Universities in Imperial Austria 1848–1918 focuses on the tension between the political and linguistic spaces scholars occupied and shows that this tension did not lead to a gradual dissolution of the monarchy’s academia, but rather to an ongoing development of new strategies to cope with the cultural and linguistic multitude.
List of Tables
Note on Language Use, Terminology, and Geography
Introduction A Biography of the Academic Space
Chapter 1 Centralizing Science for the Empire
Chapter 2 The Neoabsolutist Search for a Unified Space
Chapter 3 Living Out Academic Autonomy
Chapter 4 German-Language Universities between Austrian and German Space
Chapter 5 Habsburg Slavs and Their Spaces
Chapter 6 Imperial Space and Its Identities
Chapter 7 Habsburg Legacies
Conclusion Paradoxes of the Central European Academic Space
Appendix 1 Disciplines of Habilitation at Austrian Universities
Appendix 2 Databases of Scholars at Cisleithanian Universities
"Jan Surman’s book is required reading for anyone interested in the ideal of multiculturalism in the history of education. It grapples with one of the core paradoxes of modern science: the expectation that science is an inherently universal enterprise, and yet also a fledgling nation’s best hope for development. His archival research is unprecedented in its scope and analytical nuance. Altogether a tour de force." —Deborah R. Coen, Yale University
"In a major contribution to the new literature on science and empire in the nineteenth century, Jan Surman demonstrates persuasively how Imperial Austria’s universities created critical common spaces of empire, and how intimately empire and nation became intertwined with each other in Austria's research institutions. From Innsbruck to Cernivtsi, Kiev to L’viv, Göttingen to Prague, Surman’s social analysis of the mobile careers of Austrian academics reveals the multilingual empire as an extraordinarily productive site for scientific research, even as those Habsburg universities he studies also became centers of nationalist scholarship and politics." —Pieter M. Judson, Professor for 19th and 20th Century History, European University Institute
"Jan Surman's erudite book is an impressive and important contribution to a new imperial history of Habsburg central Europe. Though originally a study in the history of science, Universities in Imperial Austria, 1848–1918, addresses a wider public, and even readers less familiar with the Habsburg Empire will benefit from it." —Isis: A Journal of the History of Science Society
"Universities in Imperial Austria is a brilliant piece of scholarship producing a fresh view on the history of the multilingual empire and its universities."—European Review of History
"Jan Surman's detailed institutional study of scholarly migration and scholarly interaction in Cisleithanian Austria is a welcome addition to the scholarship on education in the Habsburg monarchy."—Austrian History Yearbook
"Exquisitely documented." —Acta Poloniae Historica