Teaching Austria: Volume 1, 2005

Editorial Board for Volume 1, 2005

Publishing date:
30 March 2005
  • Katherine Arens
    U of Texas at Austin
  • Kirsten A. Krick-Aigner
    Wofford College
  • Joseph W. Moser
    U of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
[ISSN 1557-2854]


Volume 1, 2005: Table of Contents

  • Challenges of Cross-Cultural Dialog:
    The African Other in Peter Altenberg's Ashantee (1897)

    Katharina von Hammerstein, University of Connecticut

    Inspired by postcolonial theory, African Studies, and African-American Studies, scholars of European, including Austrian, history, culture and literature have begun to rediscover the neglected history of Black Europe and its relationship to European colonialism. Peter Altenberg's autobiographical collection Ashantee about West Africans exhibited in the Vienna Tiergarten in 1896/97 inspires a critical analysis of the contradictory nature of cross-racial encounters and colonial discourse around 1900. My three-week unit for third and forth-year German literature/culture courses can, in segments, also be used in German-across-the-curriculum courses or, in English, in comparative literature, arts, history, women's studies, or anthropology courses that touch upon African-European relations. My interdisciplinary and learner-centered unit integrates the study of literature, culture and language, contextualizes Altenberg's literary text, and provides photos and art work about the Vienna Ashanti exhibits in PowerPoint format. It encourages students to reflect upon the challenges of cross-cultural and cross-racial relations while getting acquainted with a less traveled path to turn-of-the-century Vienna. [Pp. 1-22]

         (Abstract and article copyright KvH)
         [article PDF (16.4 MB)]
         [PowerPoint in English (33 MB)] [PowerPoint in German (33 MB)]

  • Wien -- Kunst und Kitsch:
    Malerei am Beispiel von Gustav Klimt

    Astrid Weigert and Wendy S. Wilson, Georgetown University

    Our unit is conceived as an intellectually challenging segment for a 3-credit second year (Intermediate) course. The linkage of content and language acquisition takes place via a focus on tasks related to the genres Lebenslauf and Bildbeschreibung. We present primary sources and accompanying worksheets including the directions for the culminating oral task of a (simulated) guided tour through an art museum. (Length of unit: 5-6 class session at 50 minutes each). With its focus on painting, the Klimt segment is the first of three consecutive segments that constitute the overall unit of ³Vienna: Kunst und Kitsch,² with the subsequent parts focusing on architecture by Hundertwasser and Viennese coffee house culture. At the end of each subunit, students are encouraged to consider if and how marketing and tourism have turned "Kunst" into "Kitsch." The overall unit acquaints students with some of the highlights of Austrian culture present in the Austrian capital and asks them to consider the changing role and value of "art" and "C/culture" in today's society. [Pp. 23-41]

         (Abstract and article copyright AW and WSW)
          [article PDF (1.26 MB)]

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