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Syllabus Antisemitism and the Development of Democracy in Austria after 1945 - 54814
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Last update 11-03-2018
HU Credits: 2

Degree/Cycle: 2nd degree (Master)

Responsible Department: european studies

Semester: 2nd Semester

Teaching Languages: English

Campus: Mt. Scopus

Course/Module Coordinator: Dr. Karin Bischof

Coordinator Email:

Coordinator Office Hours: by prior arrangement

Teaching Staff:
Dr. Karin Bischof

Course/Module description:
The main focus of the course is on how the persistence of antisemitism in Austrian post-national-socialist society shaped postwar politics and the development of a specific Austrian model of democracy. On the one hand, it will shed light upon the conditions and forms of this persistence, on the other, it will trace different ways of politico-strategic treatment of antisemitism in political rhetoric after 1945. In an exemplary way, also the political-strategic use of other forms of discrimination such as racism and sexism will be taken into account.

Course/Module aims:
The aim of the course is to gain structural insights into the development of democracy in post-war Austria and the politico strategic treatment of antisemitism.

Learning outcomes - On successful completion of this module, students should be able to:
Knowledge about Austrian postwar politics and history. Individual and collective ability to work with texts, discuss them in small groups and present them to the class.

Attendance requirements(%):

Teaching arrangement and method of instruction: The teaching is organized as an overview of Austrian postwar development of the Austrian model of democracy with regard to the politico-strategic treatment of antisemitism. An introductory session will provide the students with background knowledge. Each session will deal with selected relevant thematic aspects concerning the persistence of antisemitism in postwar Austria and its political use.

Course/Module Content:
19.3. Introduction
26.3. Forms of persistence: Repression of stereotypes – The third man.
9.4. Forms of persistence: Repression and evocation of stereotypes.
16.4. Conditions of persistence: the victim myth
23.4. Stereotyping in the early years: Antisemitism as a ‘glue’ in Austrian postwar ‘consociational’ model of democracy – theorizing the stereotype of the ‘emigrant’
30.4. Austrian political culture – former hostile political camps and the consociational model of democracy: agreed silence
7.5. Politics of allusions and its contestation: the ‘Waldheim phenomenon’
14.5. Right wing populism as a threat to the Austrian model of democracy – the rise of Jörg Haider
28.5. Right wing populism – the Freedom party, antisemitism and racism
4.6. no class
11.6. Right wing populism and the shift of meanings of democracy and its core concepts: intersectional perspectives
18.6. Current developments: the end of Austrian post-war democratic consensus and the end of the taboo on antisemitism in the realm of the publicly sayable?
25.6. Final reflection

Required Reading:
- Ajanovic, Edma/ Stefanie Mayer/ Birgit Sauer (forthcoming): Constructing the people. An intersectional analysis of right-wing concepts of democracy and citizenship in Austria, in: Journal of Language and Politics 17/5.
- Bischof, Karin (forthcoming). Austrian postwar democratic consensus and anti-Semitism – rhetorical strategies, exclusionary patterns and constructions of the ‘demos’ in parliamentary debates, in: Journal of Language and Politics 17(5).
- Mitten, Richard (1992). The Politics of Antisemitic Prejudice. The Waldheim Phenomenon in Austria, Boulder-Colorado.
- Krzyzanowski, Michal/ Ruth Wodak (2009). The Politics of Exclusion. Debating Migration in Austria, New Brunswick-New Jersey.
Pelinka, Anton (1998). Austrian political culture. From subject to participant orientation, in: Richard Luther and Peter Pulzer (eds.): Austria 1945-1995: fifty years of the Second Republic, Aldershot.
Reisigl, Martin/ Ruth Wodak (2001). Discourse and Discrimination. Rhetorics of racism and antisemitism, London-New York.
- Silverman, Lisa (2017). Absent Jews and Invisible Antisemitism in Postwar Vienna: Der Prozess (1948) and The Third Man (1949), in Journal of Contemporary History, 52(2), 211-228.
Karin Stögner: ‘We are the new Jews!’ and ‘The Jewish Lobby’ – antisemitism and the construction of a national identity by the Austrian Freedom Party, in: Nations and Nationalism, 2016, 1-21.
- Uhl, Heidemarie (2011). Of Heroes and Victims: World War II in Austrian Memory, in: Austrian Yearbook 42, 185-200.
Wodak, Ruth (2011). Suppression of the Nazi Past, Coded Languages, and Discourses of Silence: Applying the Discourse-Historical Approach to Post-War Anti-Semitism in Austria, in: Willibald Steinmetz (ed.): Political Languages in the Age of Extremes, London: Oxford University Press.
Wodak, Ruth/ Anton Pelinka (eds) (2002). The Haider Phenomenon in Austria, New Brunswick-New Jersey.
Wodak, Ruth (1991). Turning the tables: anti-Semitic discourse in post-war Austria, in: Discourse and Society, 2(1), 65-83.

Additional Reading Material:
Falter, Matthias, Saskia Stachowitsch (2012) Antisemitism as a political strategy in parliamentary discourse: debates on voting rights in Austria from 1861 to 1918, in Liliana Ruxandoiu (ed.): Parliamentary Discourse Across cultures: Interdisciplinary Approaches, Cambridge, 49-60.

Course/Module evaluation:
End of year written/oral examination 40 %
Presentation 0 %
Participation in Tutorials 0 %
Project work 0 %
Assignments 30 %
Reports 0 %
Research project 0 %
Quizzes 0 %
Other 30 %
Small group discussion and presentation to th

Additional information:
Percent of Final Grade
End of year written examination/Oral Examination 40%
Assignments (reading and summarizing of texts) 30%
Small group discussion and presentation to the class 30%
Students needing academic accommodations based on a disability should contact the Center for Diagnosis and Support of Students with Learning Disabilities, or the Office for Students with Disabilities, as early as possible, to discuss and coordinate accommodations, based on relevant documentation.
For further information, please visit the site of the Dean of Students Office.