Dr. Rudiger Wischenbart, who has directed the "Schwerpunkt Österreich" at the 47th Frankfurt Bookfair, is the Director of the Department of Cultural Studies at the Donau-University Krems, Austria.
The Donau-University Krems opened on September 13h, 1995. It is located at one hour's drive west of Vienna, on the banks of the river Danube at the beginning of the famous vineyards of the Wachau. It is a public university sponsered jointly by the Austrian Federal Ministry of Science and the Governor of Lower Austria.
The Donau-University Krems focuses on postgraduate studies and it relies on research, teaching and consulting. It is bound to combine scientific debate with a practical and professional approach to some of today's key issues in societal debate.
By its location and by its founding principles, the Donau-University Krems is designed to especially emphasize the problems and the potential of East - West transfer in practical and concrete terms. It is supposed to remain a small institution where flexibility, interdisciplinary approaches and the calm atmosphere of a campus university are guaranteed.
The Department of Cultural Studies is one of the four founding departments of the Donau-University (the other three are dealing with the Media, the European Integration and Applied Biosciences).
The Department of Cultural Studies started with two centers, "Publishing and Documentation" and "Museum and Exhibiting". Each center will engage in theoretical debates within its field, establish partnerships with interested institutions and organize seminars, workshops, as well as more complex and extensive postgraduate programms.
The basic aim of these programms is to provide students with a pratical understanding and with valuable professional skills which by the same token are well-founded on theoretical reflexion and knowledgable debate on culture in a broad understanding, and on its ways to reach the public. Problems of cultural institutions and identities of small countries, as well as the consequences out of rapid technological innovation in today's culture, particularly in Central Europe, are a major concern for the Department of Cultural Studies at the Donau-University Krems.
The Department of Cultural Studies will also engage in consulting and thereby it will offer its knowhow to interested companies in adequate ways.
The timetable foresees to establish the basic structures of the Department of Cultural Studies until the end of the year, to organize several workshops and seminars as well as to conclude some basic studies in its future field of activity within the first half of 1996 and to start the full programm of the department by fall 1996.
Krems, September 2nd, 1995