During the Bachelor’s program in Applied Cultural Studies students acquire scientific and theoretical knowledge on historical and current cultural phenomena, learn a Slavic and a Romance language as well as skills that enable them to manage the applied, cultural work. In the master’s program Applied Cultural Studies, students deepen their cultural-scientific knowledge by focusing on specific priorities and by consolidating their applied competences.
By “culture” we designate all those spheres of the world that give people fill with meaning. We pay special attention to everyday cultural practices and phenomena. These everyday phenomena are examined according to their historical origin and taken into account in their social contexts.
Theoretical considerations of Cultural Studies authors such as Max Weber, Walter Benjamin, Pierre Bourdieu or Judith Butler enable us to understand cultural issues. Singing as a social practice, the cultural meaning of food, the transit space of the airport, the practice of making selfies, the cultural-historical phenomenon of vampirism, the mother-in-law’s stereotype, interactions in the urban space or remembrance practices in the Alps-Adriatic region appear to us equally as facets of cultural expression to be explored.
These topics are exemplary for the different research foci of the employees of the Department of Empirical Cultural Studies / Cultural Anthropology, which range from cultural history to urban research and migration research to the research on culture and technology.
In order to be able to investigate cultural phenomena, we employ different methods, especially ethnographic methods such as interviews, perceptual walks or systematic observations of places and people. Hermeneutic-interpretative methods are used primarily for the analysis of texts and images.
The applied perspective is conveyed not only by the staff of the Department, but also by experts from the cultural field, who are invited to the institute as external lecturers. In addition to the basics of cultural marketing and cultural management, students gain an overview of the cultural industry in Austria and in the Alps-Adriatic region. In the courses, usually supplemented by excursions, examples of topics such as theory and practice of the theater, dance and performance festivals in the Alps-Adriatic region or the conditions of the contemporary art market are explored, together with competences that play a role in the work of cultural mediation. Students can try these out in self-organized events.
A new focus in our study is the research on multilingualism. With a focus on the extended Alps-Adriatic region, multilingual discourses and practices in the context of historical and new linguistic minorities are examined. Likewise, we investigate the question of the function of language and languages in the construction of images of the Self and the Other in a globalised society.
VAss. Dr. Reinhard Kacianka †
General Assembly of Empirical Cultural Sciences in Austria (GVEKW)
The University Departments of the disciplines of Cultural Sciences, which emerged from the earlier Folklore Studies and are known in Austria under the names of European Ethnology (Innsbruck and Vienna) and Cultural Anthropology (Graz) and the newly established Klagenfurt Department of Cultural Analysis, meet on a yearly basis since 2010 (Klagenfurt 2017) at varying locations to discuss current disciplinary, higher education policy and societal issues and developments.
From this network, the “General Assembly of Empirical Cultural Sciences in Austria” (GVEKW), having an annually changing chairmanship, emerged in March 2018, with the aim of acting as a university voice of the discipline with respect to political issues in Austria. In the wake of the upcoming challenges and the current political use of key terms and objects of investigation of our discipline with an outdated or inaccurate semantics, the University Departments have joined to speak up as a scientific-political voice. More information can be found here.