Letters in Troubled Times: Evaluating Epistolary Sources

Friday February 16, 2018


8:30 - 9:00 am

Continental Breakfast and Coffee

9:00 - 9:15 am

Welcome and Introductory Comments:  Suzanne M. Sinke, Department of History, Florida State University


9:15 - 11:30 AM
Session One:  Letters of Twentieth-Century War

Chair: Jonathan Grant, Department of History, Florida State University

German-American Attitudes Toward World War I as Reflected in Letters to Germany

Walter D. Kamphoefner, Department of History, Texas A&M University

The Epistolary Practices of Habsburg-American Bureaucrats: Examining Writings on Migration, Transatlantic Consular Work, and War-time Disruptions, 1900-1919

Kristina Poznan, Editor, Journal of Austrian-American History

Unsent Letters from Budapest to Shreveport, 1941-1945: The Diaries of Dr. Kiss Madi Maria as Imagined Correspondence with her Daughter

James W. Oberly, Department of History, University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire

Testimonials of Troubled Times. Rereading Exonerating Letters in Postwar Austria and Germany

Anton F. Guhl, Institute of History, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology

Commentator: G. Kurt Piehler, Institute on World War II and the Human Experience, Florida State University


11:30 AM - 12:00 PM

Coffee Break


12:00 PM - 1:00 PM
Session Two:  Collecting, Preserving, and Disseminating Letters of Migrants

Chair: Paul F. Marty, School of Information, Florida State University

Against Suffocation: Letters as Strategies of Survival

Stephan Steiner, Sigmund Freud University (Vienna)

Message from Abroad: Austrian Collections of Emigrant Letters and Diaries 1900-1980

Verena Lorber and Andreas Praher, Department of History, University of Salzburg


1:00 PM - 2:00 PM  



2:00 PM - 4:00 PM
Session THREE:  Approaches to Epistolary Evaluation

Chair: Christian Weber, Department of Modern Languages and Linguistics, Florida State University

Re-reading and re-using the Palandech letters (1919-1959)

Wladimir Fischer, Austrian Academy of Sciences, INZ-Institute of Contemporary Historical Research

'Because the times are getting worse and blessed are the families who have members around the world!’ — the contextualization of correspondence and the epistolary (re)construction of normality

Mirjam Milharčič Hladnik, Slovenian Migration Institute, Research Centre of the Slovenian Academy of Sciences and Arts

 Letters as Cultural Mirrors

Sandra Sattlecker, University of Salzburg

Commentator: Suzanne M. Sinke, Department of History, Florida State University


4:00 PM - 4:30 PM

Coffee Break


4:30-6:00 PM
Session FOUR:  Mobile People and their Connections

Chair: Elizabeth Cross, Department of History, Florida State University

On Many Roads from Hungary. Internal, European, and Transatlantic Migration, 1850 – 1914

Annemarie Steidl, Department of Economic and Social History, University of Vienna

Migration Experiences in Letters of "Guest Workers" from Turkey Living in Austria

Faime Alpagu, DOC Fellow of Austrian Academy of Science, Department of Sociology, University of Vienna

Commentator:  Antje Muntendam, Department of Modern Languages and Linguistics, Florida State University


6:00 PM

Concluding Remarks

6:15 PM - 8:00 PM



Updated as of January 29, 2018.