en5/1 | Activities

7 August 2017

New Publication: Biography in Theory: Key Texts with Commentaries, ed. by Wilhelm Hemecker and Edward Saunders

The English-language volume ‘Biography in Theory’, featuring key texts on biography with commentaries by current and former LBI researchers, was published by De Gruyter. The book is available both in print and online (institutional access required).

Link to the publisher’s announcement

Link to the online version


11 May 2017

Conference: Life Writing in Romance Languages and Literatures

On 11 May 2017 the Ludwig Boltzmann Institute for History and Theory of Biography held a conference in partnership with the Institute of Romance Studies, University of Vienna. The topic was 'Life Writing in der Romania' (Life Writing in Romance Languages and Literatures).


23-24 February 2017

Conference: "The 'New Person' and the Political Imaginary in Central Europe 1918/1919: Philosophy, Humanities, Literature"

An interdisciplinary conference organised by LBI researcher Albert Dikovich in partnership with IWK - Institut für Wissenschaft und Kunst, examined the 'new person' ('neuer Mensch') as a central of motif of a political imaginary in Central Europe in the aftermath of WW1. The conference was generously supported by the Fritz Thyssen Stiftung für Wissenschaftsförderung and the Österreichische Forschungsgemeinschaft (ÖFG).

Further information (in German)


13 February 2017

New publication: "Arthur Koestler" by Edward Saunders

An introduction to the life and work of Arthur Koestler was published by Reaktion Books in the 'Critical Lives' series.

Publisher's announcement


November 2016

New publication: "Leben Lesen" by Tobias Heinrich

Tobias Heinrich's study 'Leben Lesen: Zur Theorie der Biographie um 1800' ('Reading Lives: On the Theory of Biography around 1800') was published by Böhlau. The book is available via open access.

Publisher's announcement

Open access version


5-9 September 2016

Cornelius Mitterer at the Summer School on Digital Editions in Graz

Cornelius Mitterer took part in a Summer School on digital editing in the humanities. It was organized by the Zentrum für Informationsmodellierung - Austrian Centre for Digital Humanities at the University of Graz together with the Institut für Dokumentologie und Editorik. It included talks on relevant topics as well as applied activities and individual project consultations.

More information on the Summer School


22 July 2016

Talks by Cornelius Mitterer and David Österle at the ICLA 2016 in Vienna

Cornelius Mitterer and David Österle organized a panel at the 2016 ICLA Conference 'The Many Languages of Comparative Literature' (21-27 July 2016). The panel was titled 'The Many Languages of Biography'. Cornelius Mitterer discussed biographical writing and network analysis in the context of Richard Schaukal's literary correspondence. David Österle gave a talk on 'Life moments. The 'biographem' in biography'.


2-3 July 2016

Mao Zedong: Exploring Multi-Dimensional Approaches to Biography

Together with Univ. Prof. Dr. Susanne Weigelin-Schwiedrzik, LBI Director Prof. Wilhelm Hemecker was the co-organizer of the conference 'Mao Zedong: Exploring Multi-Dimensional Approaches to Biography', which addressed questions of Western-Eastern biographical traditions, questions of biographical theory, as well as the variety of ways Mao's life has been portrayed. The symposium took place at the University of Vienna main campus.

More information can be found here.


25 May 2016

Guest Lecture by Edward Saunders

Edward Saunders gave a guest lecture titled ‘Negotiating Questions of Method in Biography’ at the University of Applied Arts Vienna (Design History and Theory), as part of the FWF research project ‘Émigré Culture Networks and the Founding of Social Design’.


1 April  2016

Karl Kraus: Katharina Prager on Ö1 Nachtquartier

In the early hours of April 1, Katharina Prager was a guest on the Ö1 radio programme "Nachtquartier", speaking about her work on Karl Kraus. The programme was titled 'Der Anti-Literat und seine Anti-Biografin' ('The Anti-Littérateur and his Anti-Biographer').

Link to the programme homepage


26 February 2016

Fourth Ludwig Boltzmann Lecture, University of Cambridge

On 26 February 2016, DDr. Katharina Prager gave the 4th Ludwig Boltzmann Lecture at the Department of German and Dutch, University of Cambridge. Her title was "Anti/Biographical Affect and Karl Kraus".


20 January 2016

10 Years of the Ludwig Boltzmann Institute for History and Theory of Biography

The tenth anniversary of the Institute was celebrated with an event at the Literature Museum of the Austrian National Library (Grillparzerhaus). The evening featured an overview by LBI director Wilhelm Hemecker, the presentation of the "Ernst Jandl Online" project by Vanessa Hannesschläger, and a talk by Manfred Mittermayer on his biography of Thomas Bernhard, including readings by Johannes Silberschneider.  Claudia Lingner of the Ludwig Boltzmann Gesellschaft opened the event.

Link to Ernst Jandl Online


27 November 2015

Dissertation - A Biography of Berthold Viertel

On 27 November 2015 Katharina Prager defended her (second) doctoral dissertation, this time in (contemporary) history in the reading room of the library of the Institute for History at the University of Vienna.

The dissertation is an innovative biography of the largely forgotten director and writer Berthold Viert (1885-1953)  based around memory places of Austrian Modernism. Building on Viertel's autobiographical project, most of which was written in exile and after his 'remigration', the biography analyses a marginalized 'other Vienna' around 1900 which is often forgotten in research on Modernism. Berthold Viertel's life can be read as a resistant and differentiated counter-model to Stefan Zweig's romanticization of the 'World of Yesterday', which also tells the story of a 'critical modernism'.


27 November 2015 

Talk: "Between State, Nation and Culture: On the Political Appropriation of the Romanian Germans"

Roman Hutter gave a talk with the title "Between State, Nation and Culture: On the Political Appropriation of the Romanian Germans" as part of the interdisciplinary symposium  "Writing as Resistance: Elfriede Jelinek & Herta Müller", organized by the Forschungsplattform Elfriede Jelinek and the Elfriede Jelinek Forschungszentrum.

More information on the symposium can be found here:



27 October 2015 

Karl Kraus Online – "Der Vorleser"

On 27 October 2015 Dr. Katharina Prager  presented the first section of Karl Kraus Online, a digital anti-biography. It  is a quantification and networking of Karl Kraus as a 'reader' (Vorleser).

The event was held at Vienna City Library in Vienna City Hall (Wienbibliothek im Rathaus).

Link: Karl Kraus Online - Der Vorleser

„When I read, it is not staged literature. But what I write, is written drama", as Karl Kraus explained in Die Fackel in 1911. Only in 1910 had he begun reading texts to an audience, but his 'lectures' quickly became a regular feature of the cultural life of Central European cities. By the end of his life, Kraus had given more than 700 readings. The first section of "Karl Kraus Online" (www.kraus.wienbibliothek.at), presented here, makes it possible to experience the materiality of Karl Kraus as a 'reader'. More than 700 programme notes are linked with reviews, letters, receipts, travel documents as well as existing audio and visual records. Users have the opportunity to find their own paths through the rich material and to research Kraus in his networks.


8 July 2015

Talk by Cornelius Mitterer

On 8 July 2015, Cornelius Mitterer participated in the 'Nestroy-Gespräche 2015' (7-10 July) with a talk on the (a)political content of Emanuel Schikaneder's comedies. The theme of the Nestroy-Gespräche 2015 was 'Patriotism, Politics and Parody' and was in part devoted to the 200th anniversary of the Congress of Vienna.

Programme Link


6 July 2015

Q & A with Peter Morgan on biopics

An interview with the screenwriter Peter Morgan by Dr. Julia Lajta-Novak and Prof. Werner Huber, which was conducted as part of a lecture series co-organized with the LBI, was published in the European Journal of Life Writing on 6 July 2015. In the interview, Peter Morgan talks about his experience narrating lives on screen in his films The Deal (2003), The Queen (2006), Frost/Nixon (2008), The Other Boleyn Girl (2008), and Rush (2013).

Link to interview


9 June 2015

Judith Ryan lecture

On Friday, 19th June 2015, Prof Judith Ryan (Harvard) gave a talk on the unicorn motif in Rilke's Die Aufzeichnungen des Malte Laurids Brigge. The lecture was held at the University of Vienna.


22 May 2015

Lecture by Christoph König on Rainer Maria Rilke's "Sonette an Orpheus"

On 22 May 2015, Prof. Dr. Christoph König (Universität Osnabrück) discussed his work on Rilke's cycle "Die Sonette an Orpheus" (1922) in a lecture held at the University of Vienna. More information on König's book can be found here (external link).


6 May 2015

Katharina Prager on Arte

On 6 May 2015 Katharina Prager appeared in the third part of the Arte series 'The Wild Twenties' ("Die wilden Zwanziger") titled 'Vienna: A Dance into the Abyss' (3/3), talking about Karl Kraus (ARTE +7, 54min).

A link to the programme (available online until 13 May 2015) is available here:



28 - 30 April 2015

Project presentation on “Oskar Pastior – Components of a Biography” by Roman Hutter in Berlin

Roman Hutter will take part in the workshop ‘From the Poison Cabinets of Communism – Methodological Questions on Working with Surveillance Files in South-Eastern and Central Europe’ and participate at the conference of the same name. The events are organized by the Department of German Literature at the Humboldt-University Berlin, the Institute for German Culture and History in South-East Europe associated with the Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich (IKGS), and the European Network Remembrance and Solidarity (ENRS).

Participation is enabled by a scholarship of the Humboldt University Berlin.

Link: https://ueberwachungsakten.wordpress.com/


17 April 2015

„data+link+tag=(anti-)biography online“ (7th Workshop of the Netzwerk Biographieforschung)

Vanessa Hannesschläger and Katharina Prager organized the 7th workshop of the Network for Biographical Research ('Netzwerk Biographieforschung'). It was titled „data+link+tag=(anti-)biography online“ and was held in the Loos Rooms at the Wienbibliothek (Vienna City Library). The projects of the research strands  Virtual Biography (Karl Kraus und Ernst Jandl) were presented and discussed.


24 February 2015
New publication and book launch: "Mira Lobe. Doyenne of Austrian Children's and Young Adult Literature"

At 18:30 on 24 February 2015 at the Wien Museum, LBI researcher Georg Huemer presented his book, 'Mira Lobe. Doyenne of Austrian Children's and Young Adult Literature'. The children's author Heinz Janisch was present and the director of STUBE,  Dr. Heidi Lexe (University of Vienna), opened the event.

Further information (in German)


30 January 2015
Third Ludwig Boltzmann Lecture

This year's Ludwig Boltzmann Lecture at the University of Cambridge, the third in the series, was given by Dr Manfred Mittermayer and was titled '"The deadly element in this lethal soil". Thomas Bernhard’s Salzburg'.


15 - 16 December 2014
Symposium: 'Tradition in Viennese Modernism'


The symposium 'Tradition in Viennese Modernism'  held on 15-16 December 2014 was organized by the Ludwig Boltzmann Institute for the History and Theory of Biography in cooperation with the University of Vienna and Vienna City Library. Several members of the Institute, including Katharina Prager, Wilhelm Hemecker, David Österle, Albert Dikovich and Cornelius Mitterer gave papers at the conference. An edited volume is planned with contributions on  the authors featured, such as Peter Altenberg, Leopold von Andrian, Hermann Bahr, Felix Salten, and Arthur Schnitzler.

Conference programme



14 November 2014
New article by Wilhelm Hemecker and David Österle

An article by Wilhelm Hemecker and David Österle on the history of Schnitzler's literary estate, titled '"… so grundfalsch war alles Weitere": Zur Geschichte des Nachlasses von Arthur Schnitzler', has been published in the Jahrbuch der Deutschen Schillergesellschaft (Vol. 58, 2014).

Link to the online version (subscription required)


5 November 2014
Opening of the exhibition "I am Me. Mira Lobe and Susi Weigel" at the Wien Museum.

The exhibition is the result of a partnership between the Wien Museum and the Ludwig Boltzmann Institute for the History of Theory of Biography. As part of the launch event, LBI researcher and co-curator of the exhibition, Georg Huemer, talked about aspects of Mira Lobe's biography. The exhibition can be seen until 1 March 2015.

Link to the exhibition


November 2014
Papers from Vienna conference online

Tobias Heinrich (LBI) and Monica Soeting are the editors of a cluster titled 'Beyond the Subject. Vienna Conference Papers' in the European Journal of Life Writing (Vol. 3, 2014) featuring essays by participants of the IABA Europe Conference 2013. The Vienna conference, "Beyond the Subject", was organized by the Ludwig Boltzmann Institute for the History and Theory of Biography on behalf of IABA Europe.

Link to the journal (open access)


November 2014
Katharina Prager presents the 'Object of the Month' on the website of Vienna City Library / Wienbibliothek

Link to the text and the 'Object of the Month'


17 October 2014
Talk by Katharina Prager: Exile Biography and Gender

Dr Katharina Prager gave a talk titled 'Unusual biographical consciousness' - Exile Biography and Gender at the 24th International Conference of the 'Women in Exile' Working Group, which was held on 17 October 2014 in Berlin.


16-17 October 2014
Symposium: Hungary 1919: The Allure of Communism.

In co-operation with the Institute for Hungarian Historical Research (Balassi Institut - Collegium Hungaricum Wien) and the University of Vienna - European and Comparative Literature and Language Studies (Department of Finno-Ugristic), the Ludwig Boltzmann Institute for the History and Theory of Biography hosted a symposium titled "Hungary 1919: The Allure of Communism".

Press (german)


9 September 2014
Book launch for 'Hofmannsthal. Places. 20 Biographical Constellations' in Frankfurt

The volume is the result of a joint project between the Institute and the Frankfurter Goethe-Haus / Freies Deutsches Hochstift and will be presented on September 9th by the editors, Claudia Bamberg, Wilhelm Hemecker and Konrad Neumann, alongside other authors.

Link to event information (German)


17 May 2014
New publication Arthur Schnitzler: 'Später Ruhm'

Published by Zsolnay on 17 May 2014, with an afterword by Wilhelm Hemecker and David Österle

Link (German)

Press review (German)


21 March 2014
Academic Advisory Board

The Academic Advisory Board met this year at the Austrian National Library (ÖNB). The LBI for the History and Theory of Biography presented its current research programme to the members of the board, which included Univ-Prof. Peter-André Alt, President of Freie Universität Berlin, Univ.-Prof. Dr. Alfred Hornung, Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz, Prof. Dr. Gerhard Lauer, University of Göttingen and Prof. Dr. Hans Renders, University of Groningen. The members of the board were content with the Institute’s current research activity and in discussion with the LBI team contributed valuable insights for the development Institute’s projects.


28 February 2014
Second Annual Ludwig Boltzmann Lecture

The Ludwig Boltzmann Lecture was given this year by Dr Deborah Holmes of the University of Kent, at the Main Lecture Theatre, Divinity School, St. John's College, Cambridge. Dr Holmes's talk was titled War and Words. Krausian Biographik in 'The Last Days of Mankind'.



24 February 2014
Talk by Ed Saunders

Dr Ed Saunders gave a talk titled ‘Renaming Königsberg-Kaliningrad: questions of memory beyond a German-Russian dichotomy’ as part of the series ‘Russian & East European Cities Between Past & Present’, organized by the Russian and Eurasian Studies Centre at St Antony’s College, University of Oxford. The talk was based on his PhD research.


13 March - 26 June 2014
Ringvorlesung / Lecture Series  "The Many Faces of Biography"

The recent boom in biography has sparked a fresh interest in life-writing on the part of academia, with scholars from disciplines as diverse as literary studies, history, sociology, music, cultural studies, or ethnology contributing to the production and critical analysis of biographical work.
This interdisciplinary lecture series will bring together renowned scholars from different fields working on various historical epochs and auto/biographical practices. Themes that will occupy us throughout include subject representation and the notion of biographical truth, the questions of whose lives get told, for what reasons, and in what form. Next to the conventional book-length treatment of a life we will critically investigate alternative and innovative forms of life-writing, such as fictional biographies, bio pics, bio plays, and virtual biographies.



31 October - 3 November 2013
Conference ‘Beyond the Subject – New Developments in Life Writing’

The Ludwig Boltzmann Institute for the History and Theory of Biography in Vienna hosted the third IABA Europe conference titled ‘Beyond the Subject – New Developments in Life Writing’. Experts in auto/biography from 25 countries took part in the conference. Around 90 papers were given on the latest trends and developments in the field of Life Writing and in the digital humanities in particular.



17 June 2013
Tobias Heinrich chairs a discussion with Prof. Dr. Karin Harrasser und Dr. Rupert Gaderer

As part of the Meet the Expert series, an event for early career researchers of the Ludwig Boltzmann Institutes, Tobias Heinrich chaired a discussion with Prof. Dr. Karin Harrasser (Kunstuniversität Linz) and Dr. Rupert Gaderer (Ruhr-Universität Bochum) on the topic "Post-Doc - Now What? A Crisis or an Opportunity?".


22 May 2013
Talk by Wilhelm Hemecker

Prof. Dr. Wilhelm Hemecker gave a talk titled 'Ovid in the Context of Biographical Research' at an event at the University of Vienna held in honour of the renowned biographer Diane Middlebrook, who died in 2007. The talk discussed theoretical aspects of her unfinished biography of the Roman poet Ovid (published in German as Der junge Ovid. Eine unvollendete Biographie, Salzburg 2012). The event, which was titled 'The Young Ovid: An Evening for Diane Middlebrook', also saw readings from the book, a personal contribution by her husband, Prof. Dr. Carl Djerassi, and a panel discussion, featuring Prof. Hemecker and Prof. Djerassi, together with the Vice-Rector of the University of Vienna, Prof. Dr. Susanne Weigelin-Schwiedrzik and the Dean of the Faculty of Philological and Cultural Studies, Prof. Dr. Matthias Meyer.


4 April 2013
Talk by Ed Saunders

Ed Saunders gave a talk titled  '"Kinder mit unsern Herzen": Reading Childhood, Landscape and Memory in Volker Koepp's Holunderblüte' as part of the 20th Century Studies Panel at the seventy-sixth meeting of the Association for German Studies in Great Britain and Ireland, held at Cardiff University, 3-5 April, 2013.


21 March 2013
Talk by Tobias Heinrich

Tobias Heinrich delivered a paper titled 'Characteristics - Memorials - Galleries' at the workshop 'Textures of Knowledge. Literary Genres as Forms of Organizing Knowledge' at the Zukunftskolleg of the University of Konstanz. 


31 January 2013
Tobias Heinrich chairs a discussion with Prof. Dr. Jürgen Mittelstraß

As part of Meet the Expert, a series of events for early career researchers at the Ludwig Boltzmann Institutes, Tobias Heinrich chaired a discussion with the philosopher and science theorist Prof. Dr. Jürgen Mittelstraß, also the Chairman of the Austrian Science Board, on the topic of 'Applied Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences?' .


3 November 2012
Talk by Wilhelm Hemecker and Tobias Heinrich

The paper was titled 'Hugo von Hofmannsthal: Places. Writing a Topographical Biography" and was delivered at the conference 'Thinking Space. Explorations through Life Writing' at the Humboldt University Berlin.


24 October 2012
New Release: Boredom is Poison. The Life of Eugenie Schwarzwald.

By Deborah Holmes, published in German by Residenz Verlag.

More on the book launch

More about this title


19 October 2012
Inauguration of the Ludwig Boltzmann Lecture Series

The Austrian ambassador in London, Dr Emil Brix, opened the Ludwig Boltzmann Lecture Series at the University of Cambridge with a talk titled Revisiting Fin-de-Siècle Vienna.

Read more


27 June 2012
Federal Minister Töchterle visits Ludwig Boltzmann Institutes

Today the Austrian Federal Minister for Science and Research Dr Karlheinz Töchterle visited the Ludwig Boltzmann Institute for Cancer Research and the Ludwig Boltzmann Institute for the History and Theory of Biography. "Both Institutes represent pure research on the highest level. They demonstrate the broad disciplinary spectrum of the Ludwig Boltzmann Institutes and successfully bridge the gap between theory and practice", said the impressed minister following the visit.

  Complete article.pdf


1 March 2012
Dr Wilhelm W. Hemecker appointed to a Foundation Professorship

A Professorship for the History and Theory of Biography has been founded at the University of Vienna. The Director of the Ludwig Boltzmann Institute for the History and Theory of Biography Dr. Wilhelm W. Hemecker was appointed to the Chair.


5 January 2012
Dr Katya Krylova wins 2011 Peter Lang Young Scholars Competition in German Studies

Dr Katya Krylova's proposal for her book manuscript, entitled Walking through History: Topography and Identity in the Works of Ingeborg Bachmann and Thomas Bernhard, was selected as the winner of the 2011 Peter Lang Young Scholars Competition in German Studies. The 2011 Peter Lang Young Scholars Competition was held in the fields of German, French and Irish Studies. Proposals were invited from early career scholars with connections to the UK and Ireland by 30 September 2011. The proposals and sample chapters were evaluated by a distinguished Editorial Board. The winner of the competition in each field is offered a contract for a non-subsidized paperback book to be published by Peter Lang, Oxford. Katya Krylova's book was published in 2012.

More about this title (pdf)

7 December 2011
Research funding awarded for a project on Mira Lobe

The application for funding from the Austrian Science Fund (FWF) for a research project on ‘Mira Lobe - Doyenne of Austrian Children’s and Young People’s Literature' was successful. The project will be funded for 30 months, with Mag. Georg Huemer, Researcher at the Ludwig Boltzmann Institute for the History and Theory of Biography, working on the project. Following exile in Israel, Mira Lobe spent most of her life living in Vienna and she is primarily known as the author of children’s and young people’s books, which have enjoyed a wide readership.


1 December 2011
New Publication: The Last Austrian: Leopold von Andrian and his Estate in the German Literature Archive Marbach

The Last Austrian. Leopold von Andrian and his Estate in the German Literature Archive Marbach by Günter Riederer, has been published in the series ‘From the Archive’. More about this title


15 November 2011
New Publication: Judaism in the Life and Work of Franz Werfel

The publication arose from a symposium held in October 2010 in Los Angeles and organised by the University of California, Los Angeles, in conjunction with the Ludwig Boltzmann Institute for the History and Theory of Biography.


10 November 2011
Literaturcafé: Bachmann, the Myth


Wilhelm Hemecker and Manfred Mittermayer in conversation with Thomas Trenkler (Der Standard) on the subject of Bachmann, the Myth:

'Ingeborg Bachmann was denigrated as a ‘fallen poet’ and extolled as a precursor of feminist critiques of patriarchy. The aim of the volume 'Bachmann, the Myth'  is not to write the biography of the poet anew, but rather to examine the media images, pre-scholarly readings and scholarly interpretations of the writer’s work, which still continue to shape public perception of Ingeborg Bachmann to the present day.'

Location: Messe Wien/Literaturcafé
Date: 10.11.2011, 14.00
Link: BuchWien


10 November 2011
Presentation by Tobias Heinrich

A talk entitled ‘Biography as Translation: Medial and cultural genealogies in the theory of life writing around 1800’, was given by Tobias Heinrich in the context of a graduate workshop organised by the Department of German Studies, University of Vienna. Presentation of dissertation project.

6 October 2011
Tobias Heinrich chairs a discussion with the inventor of the Pill, Professor Carl Djerassi

Tobias Heinrich chaired a discussion with the chemist and writer Carl Djerassi in the context of Meet the Expert, a series of events for early career researchers of the Ludwig Boltzmann Institutes. The Emeritus Professor at Stanford University, best known for his contribution to the development of the contraceptive pill, spoke about his diverse life experiences as a scientist and writer, about being expelled from one’s home and returning to Austria, on success and failure. His book Four Jews on Parnassus: A Conversation. Benjamin - Adorno - Scholem - Schönberg (Columbia University Press, 2008) served as the point of departure for the discussion.



Ludwig Boltzmann Institute
for the History and Theory of Biography

Porzellangasse 4/1/17
1090 Vienna

Tel.: +43-1-4277 43099
Email: office@gtb.lbg.ac.at