The War Beyond the West: Rethinking the Great War in Austria-Hungary and the Balkans

How does consideration of Austria-Hungary and the Balkans change our understandings of World War I?

Project Abstract

This project, timed to coincide with the 100-year anniversary of the outbreak of World War I in 1914, has afforded students the opportunity to conduct research in a historiographical field that is vibrant; historical scholarship on the Great War (1914-1918) has reached something of a fevered pitch. The research team has produced two interrelated pieces on Austria-Hungary and the Balkans. Thematically similar, each piece has been written with an eye toward a particular venue. The first consists of an extended encyclopedia article on the Central European homefronts commissioned for the 1914-1918 Encyclopedia On-line, an international collaborative project coordinated by the Free University in Berlin. The second is an article entitled “A Thursday Before the War: May 28, 1914 in Vienna” that appears in the current volume of the Austrian History Yearbook. This article was presented as a keynote lecture at a 2013 conference in Vienna. For this project students conducted in-depth research on all facets of daily life in the days and months before the outbreak of war. The article uses very close reading of the daily press on one “ordinary” day (May 28, 1914) as a portal through which to understand the social, political and cultural currents on the eve of war.

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