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Monday, April 5, 2010

Fulbright Program Call for Papers - "Impacts: Does Academic Exchange Matter?"

The Fulbright Program is pleased to announce a call for papers, "Impacts: Does Academic Exchange Matter? Cultural Diplomacy, Scholarly Internationalism, and American Studies since World War II." The conference will take place on November 18-19, 2010 in Vienna, Austria. Abstract deadline: May 1, 2010.

Fulbright Program Call for Papers - "Impacts: Does Academic Exchange Matter?"
Does academic exchange matter? The celebration of the 60th anniversary of the
establishment of the Fulbright Program in Austria in 1950 provides an excellent
opportunity for a broader discussion of this question. The aim of this conference is
to highlight the ongoing research on the various topics related to academic
exchange and its impact and to stimulate further reflection on the state of cultural
diplomacy, scholarly internationalism, and the their ultimate impacts on foreign
As a program based on the conception of bilateral mobility and binational decisionmaking, the Fulbright Program has provided almost 300,000 students and scholars with opportunities to live and study abroad since its inception in 1946. It has played a significant role in the internationalization of academic practices as well as in the
consolidation of cultural relations between the U.S. and Austria as well as many
other participating countries.
Taking the Fulbright Program as a point of departure, this conference is designed to
embrace a broader range of topics and issues. Thus, it will aim at covering several
fields related to academic exchange and cultural diplomacy, such as the impact of
cultural diplomacy on the relations between the U.S. and Austria (and other
cooperating countries); the processes of the internationalization of academic
practices and the role of American scholars and American Studies therein; the
relationships between academia and politics during the Cold War and thereafter;
and the tacit and explicit economic and political agendas and expectations related to
cultural exchange.
The conference programming committee is seeking contributions that cover a wide
range of topics related to the fields of academic exchange, cultural diplomacy, and
the internationalization of the academy, and it solicits abstracts from scholars and
graduate students working in the fields of cultural diplomacy; diplomatic history;
American Studies; intellectual history; the history and political implications of
methodological innovation in the social sciences and the humanities; and related
topics associated with transatlantic academic and cultural relations, exchanges, and mobility.
The programming committee wishes to solicit in particular papers that address one
or more of the following thematic clusters:
A. The history and the evolution of the concept of "cultural diplomacy":
Cultural diplomacy as a widespread practice is in many respects a result of
World War II and has its roots therein: the purpose of propaganda and
psychological warfare was to transmit a series of images and arguments
conceived to modify the assumptions and behavior of recipient audiences.
After World War II, "re‚Äêeducation" and "public information" were high
priority items on the U.S. political agenda in occupied Austria and Germany,
in particular. The Fulbright Program (1946) and the U.S. Information and
Educational Exchange Act (Smith‚ÄêMundt Act) of 1948 brought the U.S.
government into exchange programs and cultural diplomacy in an
unprecedented and big way, and the United States established the United
States Information Agency (USIA) in 1953 explicitly to manage U.S.
exchanges and information policy. Idealists and practitioners of cultural
diplomacy praise cultural diplomacy as the nonpartisan "promotion of
mutual understanding" just as its critics and detractors identify it as part of a
"hegemonic project." Cultural diplomacy can be an ambivalent concept, and
in recent years, an increasing amount of historical research has thrown new
light on those instruments, which have come to be associated with "soft
power" diplomacy (Joseph Nye). How does cultural policy work?
B. The impact of exchange on academic and political life: The establishment
of the Fulbright Program in 1946 was a milestone in the institutionalization
of academic exchanges which, in the context of the Cold War, also were
accompanied by explicit political expectations (at least on behalf of the
policymakers) concerning the benefits and merits of an exposure to and the
propagation of an "American way of life." Despite the fact that "study abroad"
or "academic mobility" have become increasingly widespread phenomena,
the longitudinal impact of exchanges on academic and political life in those
cultures that were to benefit from exchanges has not been empirically
investigated to a great extent. How has institutionalized exchange affected
career choices trajectories of scientists, scholars, and politicians? How has it
contributed to the internationalization of academic culture and cultural
practices? Has it met the expectations of policymakers in terms of anticipated
"results"? This conference will provide a platform for the presentation of new
empirical evidence as well as theoretical approaches.
C. "Mobility" and the epistemic, political and cultural geography of the
social sciences and humanities: The history of exchanges also includes the
internationalization of academic practices, and the impact of the export and
import of methodologies as a result of academic mobility can be traced
particularly well in the social sciences and the humanities: disciplines which
constitute core domains of national identity. The extent to which long‚Äêterm
visits of European scholars to the U.S. in the 1950s and 1960s impacted
substantially on their careers after they returned to their home countries is
well known. New methodologies and, in some cases, new disciplines also
emerged as a result of internationalization: among the prominent examples
is "American Studies." How has exchange shaped the epistemic geography of
disciplines, approaches, and practices? To what extent is the
internationalization and globalization of social sciences and humanities
actually their Americanization, and what semantics are behind such
attributions? How does the social and cultural capital accumulated through
the exchange function in local conditions? Is it possible to map out these
impacts and practices?
D. Transatlantic perceptions, images, and stereotypes: Cultural exchange is
supposed to dismantle stereotypes and to foster mutual understanding.
American cultural diplomacy in particular also has relied on people‚Äêtopeople
exchanges as well as the idea of citizens as "cultural ambassadors."
This session wishes to discuss the extent to which transatlantic exchanges
have impacted on the perpetration and alteration of stereotypical
perceptions and images, and it wishes to investigate the extent to which the
expectations placed cultural diplomacy ultimately are met and outcomes are
measured in different national contexts. Where, when, and why has cultural
diplomacy been successful, and why is it more successful in some cases than
Contingent upon submissions, conference panels will be designed around these
clusters of issues and be conceived to facilitate interconnections among the topics
Advisory Committee
Prof. Oliver Rathkolb, Chair, Institute of Contemporary History, University of Vienna
Univ. Doz. Dr. Margit Reiter, Institute of Contemporary History, University of Vienna
Prof. Friedrich Stadler, (joint appointment for History and Philosophy of Science)
Institute of Contemporary History, Institute of Philosophy, University of
Prof. Reinhold Wagnleitner, Institute of History, University of Salzburg
Mag. Barbara Weitgruber, MA, Austrian Ministry of Science and Research, Chair of
the Austrian‚ÄêAmerican Educational Commission (Fulbright Commission),
Programming and Planning Committee
Dr. Lonnie R. Johnson, Austrian‚ÄêAmerican Educational Commission (Fulbright
Commission), Vienna
Dr. Thomas König, Institute of Contemporary History, University of Vienna
Dr. Claudia Schwarz, Institute of American Studies, University of Innsbruck
Dr. Tereza Stöckelova, Institute of Sociology, Academy of Science, Czech Republic
This conference is being organized with the support of the Austrian‚ÄêAmerican
Education Commission, Austrian Ministry of Science and Research, and the Public
Affairs Section of the U.S. Embassy, Vienna, in collaboration with the Institute of
Contemporary History, University of Vienna
Date: Thursday and Friday, November 1819,
2010 under the auspices of
International Education Week
Venue: Amerika Haus, Friedrich Schmidt Platz 2, 1010 Vienna
Format: Keynote (tba) and panels
Deadlines and Organizational Details:
Deadline for the submission of abstracts is May 1, 2010. Abstracts should include a
short description of the proposed presentation (400 words), and a curriculum vitae
including recent publications.
Conference languages: English and German
Abstracts should be sent to Dr. Thomas König at thomas.koenig@univie.ac.at.
Individuals submitting abstracts will be informed about the status of their proposals
by June 1, 2010.
Participants invited to present will be required to submit papers for distribution
among panel participants and chairs by October 1, 2010. The length of the
conference presentations will be dictated by the panel format and number of
individuals on individual panels.
Participants will be expected to cover their own costs for travel and
accommodations on‚Äêsite. There will be a number of hosted meals and events.
For further information or details, please contact Thomas König at