The IWM Celebrates Its 35th Anniversary!

 

35 years ago, a group of young scholars founded the IWM as an Institute for Advanced Study in Vienna, wishing to foster the intellectual discourse between East and West in the Humanities and Social Sciences. What, in the beginning, seemed to be a crazy idea turned out as a success story. During the years, the IWM became a vibrant center of intellectual life in Vienna. Since its inception, the Institute hosted about 1.500 scholars, journalists and translators from all over the world and organized a large number of public debates, lectures and conferences.

We want to thank all fellows, guests, friends, supporters, cooperation and media partners, who joined us on this exciting journey, and look forward to good, cooperative partnerships as well as inspiring and stimulating discussions in the future.

To share your thoughts and memories, we invite you to leave a birthday message:

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Helga Nowotny Helga Nowotny from Vienna wrote on 19 September, 2017 at 10:54:
I had the privilege to be a member of IWMโ€™s Advisory Board from its very beginning. After some years of intermission due to my activities at the European Research Council I was invited to renew my engagement when Shalini Randeria took the helm at IWM. Serving as president of the Board of Trustees until last year, I could experience its intellectual energy and vivacity from inside. The high quality of the Fellows and the societal outreach through its much appreciated public events have earned the IWM a special place in Austria and far beyond. IWM has never wavered in taking a stand on controversial issues of societal relevance and is in the process of expanding the intellectual and societal range of its contributions. May it continue to radiate as a beacon of intellectual fermentation and a wonderful place of social gregariousness. May it also continue to speak out loudly whenever... Read more
I had the privilege to be a member of IWMโ€™s Advisory Board from its very beginning. After some years of intermission due to my activities at the European Research Council I was invited to renew my engagement when Shalini Randeria took the helm at IWM. Serving as president of the Board of Trustees until last year, I could experience its intellectual energy and vivacity from inside. The high quality of the Fellows and the societal outreach through its much appreciated public events have earned the IWM a special place in Austria and far beyond. IWM has never wavered in taking a stand on controversial issues of societal relevance and is in the process of expanding the intellectual and societal range of its contributions.
May it continue to radiate as a beacon of intellectual fermentation and a wonderful place of social gregariousness. May it also continue to speak out loudly whenever it matters that its voice is being heard.
Rafaล‚ Zawisza Rafaล‚ Zawisza from Warsaw wrote on 31 August, 2017 at 14:13:
โ€œI entered and left the IWM with an excellent impression. It provided me a hospitable environment in every way full of staff pleased to assist and support fellows. The intellectual climate of the institution is shaped by the sheer variety of its guests: in my opinion it is a brilliant idea for academics to share the same space with translators and journalists, who invigorated many of our meetings and seminars by posing pertinent, probing questions. The world expands and deepens in our minds when we can see it in a plurality of perspectivesโ€”and the Institute is a place, which helps one do just that.โ€
โ€œI entered and left the IWM with an excellent impression. It provided me a hospitable environment in every way full of staff pleased to assist and support fellows. The intellectual climate of the institution is shaped by the sheer variety of its guests: in my opinion it is a brilliant idea for academics to share the same space with translators and journalists, who invigorated many of our meetings and seminars by posing pertinent, probing questions. The world expands and deepens in our minds when we can see it in a plurality of perspectivesโ€”and the Institute is a place, which helps one do just that.โ€
Ira Katznelson Ira Katznelson from Columbia wrote on 28 August, 2017 at 14:12:
โ€œIWM is an intellectual gem, at ease with bordercrossings that are geographic, scholarly, human, while bringing deep knowledge into democratic public life.โ€
โ€œIWM is an intellectual gem, at ease with bordercrossings that are geographic, scholarly, human, while bringing deep knowledge into democratic public life.โ€
Karel Schwarzenberg Karel Schwarzenberg from Prag wrote on 28 August, 2017 at 14:09:
โ€žIch habe die Ehre, mit dem Institut fรผr die Wissenschaften vom Menschen schon seit seiner Entstehung zusammen arbeiten zu kรถnnen. Die intensive Beziehung ist nicht zuletzt auf den unvergesslichen Professor Michalski, welcher das Institut gegrรผndet hatte, zurรผckzufรผhren. Es gibt kaum eine Institution, von der ich mehr Anregungen und Information empfangen habe. Es ist eine reine Freude fรผr mich zu sehen, dass es weiterhin gedeiht und so ein anregendes Umfeld fรผr hervorragende Mitarbeiter und Fellows bietet. Ad multos annos.โ€œ
โ€žIch habe die Ehre, mit dem Institut fรผr die Wissenschaften vom Menschen schon seit seiner Entstehung zusammen arbeiten zu kรถnnen. Die intensive Beziehung ist nicht zuletzt auf den unvergesslichen Professor Michalski, welcher das Institut gegrรผndet hatte, zurรผckzufรผhren. Es gibt kaum eine Institution, von der ich mehr Anregungen und Information empfangen habe. Es ist eine reine Freude fรผr mich zu sehen, dass es weiterhin gedeiht und so ein anregendes Umfeld fรผr hervorragende Mitarbeiter und Fellows bietet. Ad multos annos.โ€œ
Armand Van Nimmen Armand Van Nimmen from Wien wrote on 26 August, 2017 at 12:34:
In 1996, after retirement in the US, my wife and I decided to start a new life in Vienna. We had many reasons to do so but, to our surprise we discovered here the IWM as a most interesting and high-quality center for learning and debate. Top notch. Congratulations on your birthday. Keep up the good work.
In 1996, after retirement in the US, my wife and I decided to start a new life in Vienna. We had many reasons to do so but, to our surprise we discovered here the IWM as a most interesting and high-quality center for learning and debate. Top notch. Congratulations on your birthday. Keep up the good work.
Erhard Busek Erhard Busek from Vienna wrote on 22 August, 2017 at 15:58:
The existence of IWM is of great importance. Not only for Vienna and Austria, but in general in the situation of Europe. It is not sustainable what is going on, but it is quite necessary to be active and to have an influence on it. Not only on political decisions, but also in the way of ideas and thoughts. I am always saying we do not need only โ€œthink tanksโ€, we need โ€œdo tanksโ€. IWM is a do tank!
The existence of IWM is of great importance. Not only for Vienna and Austria, but in general in the situation of Europe. It is not sustainable what is going on, but it is quite necessary to be active and to have an influence on it. Not only on political decisions, but also in the way of ideas and thoughts. I am always saying we do not need only โ€œthink tanksโ€, we need โ€œdo tanksโ€. IWM is a do tank!
Valeria Korablyova Valeria Korablyova from Kyiv wrote on 18 August, 2017 at 12:38:
For me, the IWM is not a mere line in my CV but a life-changing experience that started before my fellowship (and hopefully will continue after)). I assume I had heard about the Institute before 2014 but it was precisely then that it clicked. In May 2014 when my country was crossing an existential Rubicon Tim Snyder and Leon Wieseltier brought to Kyiv (which was quite a risky enterprise in itself!) almost all renown intellectuals speaking on behalf of or in support of Ukraine. It was a powerful message and a strong sign but beyond that I was totally charmed with academic integrity and the style of scholarship presented at the gathering. It was something I got motivated to involve into and experience personally. And so I did, a year after. I discovered that the Institute was not only about bridging the West and the East, or โ€“ more recently... Read more
For me, the IWM is not a mere line in my CV but a life-changing experience that started before my fellowship (and hopefully will continue after)). I assume I had heard about the Institute before 2014 but it was precisely then that it clicked. In May 2014 when my country was crossing an existential Rubicon Tim Snyder and Leon Wieseltier brought to Kyiv (which was quite a risky enterprise in itself!) almost all renown intellectuals speaking on behalf of or in support of Ukraine. It was a powerful message and a strong sign but beyond that I was totally charmed with academic integrity and the style of scholarship presented at the gathering. It was something I got motivated to involve into and experience personally. And so I did, a year after. I discovered that the Institute was not only about bridging the West and the East, or โ€“ more recently โ€“ global North and South, but it was a meeting point for many local truths. Each of us knew a lot about the โ€˜Westโ€™ and was eager to be seen and heard internationally but we knew ridiculously little about each other. It turned out that getting to know neighboring stories, listening to local voices from Bulgaria, Macedonia, Hungary and Rumania was surprisingly refreshing and far more important than speaking myself or challenging โ€˜Western epistemological hegemony.โ€™ Indeed, as Tony Blair insightfully mentioned back in 2007 the major divide defining the 21st century would be between openness and closedness. And the IWM has a strong take in this debate. Bon anniversaire! *)
Dr. Andreas Mailath-Pokorny Dr. Andreas Mailath-Pokorny wrote on 9 August, 2017 at 09:54:
Located in Vienna, between East and West, the IWM has helped us to understand more of an ever more complex world. Thus, on behalf the City of Vienna Iโ€™d like to join in the very well-deserved congratulations und thank IWM for creating opportunities for scholars from around the world to do their research in Vienna. Happy birthday!
Located in Vienna, between East and West, the IWM has helped us to understand more of an ever more complex world. Thus, on behalf the City of Vienna Iโ€™d like to join in the very well-deserved congratulations und thank IWM for creating opportunities for scholars from around the world to do their research in Vienna. Happy birthday!
Alexandra Fรถderl-Schmid Alexandra Fรถderl-Schmid from Vienna wrote on 8 August, 2017 at 16:50:
Think tanks are rare in Austria and it is therefore so important to have this institution in Vienna. IWM is an intellectual landmark and Der Standard is proud to be a partner in organizing events like Debating Europe/Europa im Diskurs for ten years now. Happy birthday and all the best!
Think tanks are rare in Austria and it is therefore so important to have this institution in Vienna. IWM is an intellectual landmark and Der Standard is proud to be a partner in organizing events like Debating Europe/Europa im Diskurs for ten years now. Happy birthday and all the best!
ERSTE Foundation ERSTE Foundation from Vienna wrote on 7 August, 2017 at 16:20:
Dear IWM, we would like to congratulate you on 35 amazing years of critical discussions and reflections, intellectual exchange, profound research, inspiration and success! We are honored to be your partner on this journey and look forward to the many years ahead!
Dear IWM, we would like to congratulate you on 35 amazing years of critical discussions and reflections, intellectual exchange, profound research, inspiration and success! We are honored to be your partner on this journey and look forward to the many years ahead!
Marci Shore Marci Shore from New Haven wrote on 6 August, 2017 at 22:34:
I would like to raise a virtual toast in memory of Jan Patocka, Jozef Tischner, and Krzysztof Michalski. I am grateful to them and others for the past 35 years and looking forward to many more in the company of colleagues and friends.
I would like to raise a virtual toast in memory of Jan Patocka, Jozef Tischner, and Krzysztof Michalski. I am grateful to them and others for the past 35 years and looking forward to many more in the company of colleagues and friends.
James Thomson James Thomson from Vienna wrote on 4 August, 2017 at 18:41:
Congratulations to everyone at the IWM on this milestone. The IWM is one of the institutions that helps put Vienna at the top table internationally, and makes it such a good place to live for locals and international residents alike. Cooperating with the IWMโ€™s friendly and professional staff is a pleasure, and its research fellows and alumni are a consistently rich source of outstanding, thought-provoking work and ideas. Please keep up the great work!
Congratulations to everyone at the IWM on this milestone. The IWM is one of the institutions that helps put Vienna at the top table internationally, and makes it such a good place to live for locals and international residents alike. Cooperating with the IWMโ€™s friendly and professional staff is a pleasure, and its research fellows and alumni are a consistently rich source of outstanding, thought-provoking work and ideas. Please keep up the great work!
Matti Bunzl Matti Bunzl from Vienna wrote on 1 August, 2017 at 09:50:
Dear Colleagues! The IWM is a pillar of Vienna's intellectual and cultural life. In its 35 years, it has been a steadfast force for good, promoting academic exchange, not just between East and West, but on a global scale. In the process, it has made Vienna's intellectual scene a global player. I am deeply grateful for all the inspiration you are bringing to the city. Thank you and best of luck for the next 35 years!
Dear Colleagues! The IWM is a pillar of Vienna's intellectual and cultural life. In its 35 years, it has been a steadfast force for good, promoting academic exchange, not just between East and West, but on a global scale. In the process, it has made Vienna's intellectual scene a global player. I am deeply grateful for all the inspiration you are bringing to the city. Thank you and best of luck for the next 35 years!
Lilia Shevtsova Lilia Shevtsova from Moscow wrote on 27 June, 2017 at 17:57:
Dear IWM colleagues and friends! Happy Anniversary! You are doing fantastic job not only bringing East and West. You have created a platform for intellectual dialogue and cooperation between communities and people. You have succeeded to turn Vienna into a powerful intellectual European Center. I personally owe you for your hospitality and wonderful debates. I wish you further Drive, Intellectual Courage and Ambition! Happy Birthday! Yours, Lilia
Dear IWM colleagues and friends!
Happy Anniversary! You are doing fantastic job not only bringing East and West. You have created a platform for intellectual dialogue and cooperation between communities and people. You have succeeded to turn Vienna into a powerful intellectual European Center.
I personally owe you for your hospitality and wonderful debates.
I wish you further Drive, Intellectual Courage and Ambition! Happy Birthday!
Yours, Lilia
Anton Shekhovtsov Anton Shekhovtsov wrote on 13 June, 2017 at 18:56:
Happy Anniversary, dear IWM! The IWM is famous for its very special and stimulating intellectual atmosphere, extremely helpful and friendly staff, a possibility to discuss one's research with world-known experts (permanent fellows and guests), unlimited freedom to focus on your own research, strong and useful networking opportunities, and delicious meals.
Happy Anniversary, dear IWM!

The IWM is famous for its very special and stimulating intellectual atmosphere, extremely helpful and friendly staff, a possibility to discuss one's research with world-known experts (permanent fellows and guests), unlimited freedom to focus on your own research, strong and useful networking opportunities, and delicious meals.
Piotr Kubasiak Piotr Kubasiak wrote on 12 June, 2017 at 23:25:
Dear IWM, All the best for your 35th birthday! I blame you for my fellowship, because during this time I had to: 1) realise, through your intense interdisciplinarity, that my discipline does not own the whole truth. 2) revise some opinions through the many lectures and conferences I had to attend. 3) admit, because of the many discussions, that I am not right in all points. 4) go to the optician because of your library. 5) increase my weight by 5 kilograms because of your kitchen. 6) limit the time for computer games because of some new friendships made here. But for all that, I wish you to remain as you are: continue to bring the best intellectuals to Vienna, build civil society and spoil the Fellows with the best desserts! With this in mind, Happy Birthday!
Dear IWM,

All the best for your 35th birthday!

I blame you for my fellowship, because during this time I had to:

1) realise, through your intense interdisciplinarity, that my discipline does not own the whole truth.
2) revise some opinions through the many lectures and conferences I had to attend.
3) admit, because of the many discussions, that I am not right in all points.
4) go to the optician because of your library.
5) increase my weight by 5 kilograms because of your kitchen.
6) limit the time for computer games because of some new friendships made here.

But for all that, I wish you to remain as you are: continue to bring the best intellectuals to Vienna, build civil society and spoil the Fellows with the best desserts!
With this in mind, Happy Birthday!
Paolo Costa Paolo Costa from Trento wrote on 9 June, 2017 at 11:51:
The first time I heard about the IWM I was still a doctoral student. It was June 1995. I was attending a conference on Charles Taylor's oeuvre at Cerisy-la-Salle. It was Charles himself who told me that he was going to Vienna after the conference to spend some time at the Institut fรผr die Wissenschaften vom Menschen. That stirred my imagination. And, well, everybody knows how human imagination works, so it is no surprise if I say that my visionary picture of the Institute got bigger and bigger over the years. This is a familiar risk, which everyone is accustomed to. But you know what? When I was so lucky to get directly involved with the Institute - first at a Summer School in Cortona and then as a visiting fellow - it never disappointed me. Quite the opposite. So, at least for once, reason and imagination did not take... Read more
The first time I heard about the IWM I was still a doctoral student. It was June 1995. I was attending a conference on Charles Taylor's oeuvre at Cerisy-la-Salle. It was Charles himself who told me that he was going to Vienna after the conference to spend some time at the Institut fรผr die Wissenschaften vom Menschen. That stirred my imagination. And, well, everybody knows how human imagination works, so it is no surprise if I say that my visionary picture of the Institute got bigger and bigger over the years. This is a familiar risk, which everyone is accustomed to. But you know what? When I was so lucky to get directly involved with the Institute - first at a Summer School in Cortona and then as a visiting fellow - it never disappointed me. Quite the opposite. So, at least for once, reason and imagination did not take two opposite roads. So I can say with certainty that it was no crush: I am in love with the IWM, which I wish a long and productive life to.
Holly Case Holly Case wrote on 9 June, 2017 at 00:23:
Happy birthday, IWM! You're looking fresh for 35, and I hope you have many more years of inspiring intellectual exchange ahead of you.
Happy birthday, IWM! You're looking fresh for 35, and I hope you have many more years of inspiring intellectual exchange ahead of you.
Rรฉka Kinga Papp Rรฉka Kinga Papp from Budapest wrote on 8 June, 2017 at 14:58:
IWM has been very kind to me. The Jesenkรก journalist fellowship at the IWM is the opportunity every journalist needs: a great time of reflection and research, in an inspiring company and the loveliest work circumstances one might possibly imagine. It also helps me bridge academy and mainstream journalism, channel scholarly perspectives into my daily work which I cherish a lot. Anyway, long live, IWM!
IWM has been very kind to me. The Jesenkรก journalist fellowship at the IWM is the opportunity every journalist needs: a great time of reflection and research, in an inspiring company and the loveliest work circumstances one might possibly imagine.

It also helps me bridge academy and mainstream journalism, channel scholarly perspectives into my daily work which I cherish a lot.

Anyway, long live, IWM!