Bates College Catalog: 2006-2007
Bates Fall Semester Abroad, Austria
Professors Decker (German) and Richter (Politics)
During fall semester 2006, Bates students, including entering first-year students, can study language, culture, history, and politics in Vienna and its environs. No prior knowledge of German is required, though language learning is a focus of the program. Located in the heart of Europe, Vienna combines the elegance of an old imperial capital with the vibrancy of a modern metropolis. The former seat of the Habsburg Empire, Vienna is renowned for its museums, palaces, and historic sites. The city of Mozart, Schubert, Mahler, Freud, and Klimt, Vienna has a rich intellectual heritage and remains one of the key centers of the performing arts in Europe. Vienna is also a political center; its close proximity and historical ties to former communist capitals such as Prague, Budapest, and Bratislava have given it a unique role in the creation of a new Europe since the end of the cold war.
The program begins in late August with a three-week intensive German course at Cultura Wien, a German language institute. Students continue their language study in German courses through the semester. Students are placed in German courses based on their ability. Travel to the Danube Valley, Prague, Budapest, Bratislava, Salzburg, Innsbruck, and Munich is integrated with course work.
BSAV 001. From Habsburg to Haider: Austria in the Twentieth Century.This course explores major political and cultural developments in Austria from the end of the nineteenth century to the present, giving particular attention to the changing role of Vienna. Students examine the decline of the multiethnic Habsburg Empire and the outbreak of World War I; the ill-fated First Austrian Republic, which emerged from the Great War; Austro-fascism and the National Socialist Anschluss; and the establishment of a stable democracy in the post-World War II period. Attention is given to the emergence of modernism in early twentieth-century Vienna, post-World War II attempts to come to terms with Austria's past, and evolving concepts of Austrian identity. Open to first-year students. C. Decker.
BSAV 002. Vienna, Budapest, and Prague: Struggling with Modernity.This course traces the history of these Central European capitals from the fall of the Austro-Hungarian Empire through the end of the cold war. Each of these cities confronted the powerful ideologies that shaped Europe in the twentieth century, including nationalism, liberalism, social democracy, fascism, and Nazism. Though these cities experienced these ideologies differently, their common Habsburg heritage and geographical position has meant that, in many respects, their fates have been linked. The course examines the roles the cities played under the Habsburg Empire and their respective countries' efforts to create a new identity after its demise. Next, the course focuses on the part the cities played in World War II and the cold war. Students examine Prague and Budapest under Soviet-style communism and the unique role that neutral Austria played in a divided Europe, and consider the recent postcommunist transitions to democracy in Hungary and the Czech Republic. Open to first-year students. J. Richter.