Justin Stagl, born in Klagenfurt, Austria, in 1941. Ph.D. from Salzburg University. Professor of Sociology at Salzburg University.
Fellow (1 September 1999 – 30 June 2000)
I worked on but was unable to finish my project for my NIAS Fellowship, A history of the social and cultural sciences in the Austrian-Hungarian Empire. In the process, I had to restrict it because it was over-ambitious. I focused on the succession of works which attempted to describe the whole congeries of territories and peoples (“Austrian Empire 1804-1867”, “Austrian-Hungarian Monarchy 1867-1918”) comprehensively, i.e. their underlying ideologies and their connection with the rising social and cultural sciences. The Austrian(-Hungarian) specialty was that there was no single leading nationality or language; thus such descriptions and their theoretical conceptualisations had from the origins to be multi- or supranational (there were two principal theoretical models: harmony (‘holism’) or conflict (Social Darwinism). Some of my findings will be published in a book I am co-editing with the Hungarian scholar Endre Kiss (see below).
The main reasons why I made so little progress with my original project was that another project intervened: the German edition of the book A History of Curiosity: The Theory of Travel, 1550-1800 (Harwood Academic Publishers, 1995). I discovered that I could not simply translate it into German, but had to completely rewrite it, which entailed a lot of new research. I finished the manuscript in May; it was accepted by the publisher Böhlau (Vienna-Cologne-Weimar). It is almost a new book based on the old version: Eine Geschichte der Neugier: Reisekunst und Sozialforschung 1550-1800.