Contemporary Austrian Literature, Film and Culture: International Conference 



13-15 April 2015


Highfield House, University of Nottingham



Registration for the conference is now closed


Keynote speakers

  • Professor Allyson Fiddler (University of Lancaster)
  • Professor Jonathan Long (University of Durham)
  • Professor Dagmar C. G. Lorenz (University of Illinois at Chicago)
  • Award-winning documentary filmmaker Dr Ruth Beckermann (Vienna)
  • Award-winning documentary filmmaker Dr Frederick Baker (Cambridge)

Conference sponsors 

  • The University of Nottingham
  • The Leverhulme Trust
  • The Austrian Cultural Forum London

Conference essentials



About the Conference 

Austrian society has undergone many shifts since the late 1980s. The most significant of these was the Waldheim affair of 1985-1988, which  was a turning-point in Austrian society, sparking the beginning of a belated process of coming to terms with the country’s National Socialist past.

The Waldheim affair saw a young generation of artists and intellectuals lead a protest movement against the presidential candidate, who had lied about his Nazi past. This generation was instrumental in the formation of a civil society and oppositional culture in Austria (Lorenz 2004), both during the Waldheim affair and following the 1999 elections, which saw the far-right Austrian Freedom Party enter the coalition government in 2000. In their literary works, figures such as Gerhard Roth, Elfriede Jelinek, Robert Schindel, Anna Mitgutsch, Doron Rabinovici and Robert Menasse have continued to offer incisive commentaries on the shadow that Austria’s past continues to exert on the country’s present. In the genre of film, new federal support for filmmaking and the rise of New Austrian Film in the 1980s led to a wave of innovative and socially-critical films in diverse genres, a trend that has continued to this day, with directors such as Michael Haneke, Ulrich Seidl, Stefan Ruzowitzky, Ruth Beckermann, Florian Flicker, and Barbara Albert testifying to the vitality of contemporary Austrian cinema.

In addition to internal political shifts, wider geopolitical changes have also not failed to leave their mark on Austria. Since the early 1990s the country has found itself once more at the heart of Central Europe, following the fall of the ‘Iron Curtain’ and Austria’s entry into the European Union in 1995. Here too, Austrian artists have been at the forefront of responses to immigration and a changing continent. The conference aims to examine these trends in Austrian literary and cultural production over the past thirty years. We are in discussions with Peter Lang Oxford with regard to publishing an edited volume arising from the conference.

Conference organisation and personnel

Conference Organiser:

  • Dr Katya Krylova (University of Nottingham)
Conference Committee:


  • Professor Allyson Fiddler (University of Lancaster)
  • Professor Dirk Göttsche (University of Nottingham)
  • Dr Hillary Hope Herzog (University of Kentucky)
  • Dr Todd Herzog (University of Cincinnati)
  • Mag. Elisabeth Kögler (Austrian Cultural Forum London)
  • Professor Florian Krobb (National University of Ireland, Maynooth)
  • Professor Jonathan Long (University of Durham)
  • Professor Dagmar C. G. Lorenz (University of Illinois at Chicago)
  • Professor Nicola McLelland (University of Nottingham)
  • Professor Imke Meyer (University of Illinois at Chicago)
  • Dr Manfred Mittermayer (University of Salzburg/ Literaturarchiv Salzburg)
  • Professor Andrea Reiter (University of Southampton)
  • Professor Andrew Webber (University of Cambridge)
  • Professor Roger Woods (University of Nottingham)


Conference report and photographs 


Conference report


Delegates at the conference
Delegates at the conference


Filmmaker Dr Ruth Beckermann
Filmmaker, Dr Ruth Beckermann, participating in a Q&A at the conference





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