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Cohen Honored for Improving Austrian-US Relations

November 16, 2009

Ambassador Prosl awards Prof. Gary Cohen, Center for Austrian Studies in Minnesota,  with the Austrian Cross of Honor for Science and Art 1st Class

The Austrian Ambassador to the U.S., H.E. Mr. Christian Prosl, awarded Prof. Gary B. Cohen, Director of the Center for Austrian Studies and Professor of History at the University of Minnesota, with the Austrian Cross of Honor for Science and Art 1st Class in November, 2009.  With this prestigious award, Prof. Cohen is recognized for his services in improving Austrian–American relations.  Besides his academic and scientific achievement, Prof. Cohen is well-respected by the Austrian business community for presenting Austria as an innovative and environmentally conscious country to the Midwest.

Established in 1977, the Center for Austrian Studies is the Western Hemisphere's oldest and best-known multidisciplinary research center devoted to the historical and contemporary experience of Austria and Central Europe.  With a mission is to serve as a focal point in the United States for the study of Austria in disciplines across the humanities, social sciences, applied sciences and fine arts, the Center has its origins in an endowment set up by the Austrian government to thank the United States for its political and economic support in Austria’s reconstruction after 1945.  It pursues this mission through a variety of activities, including research projects, publications, international interdisciplinary symposia, student and faculty exchanges, scholarships, and outreach events for students as well as the Twin Cities community.

Prof. Cohen was educated at the University of Southern California (B.A., 1970) and Princeton University (M.A., 1972; Ph.D., 1975). He was a member of the University of Oklahoma´s history faculty from 1976 to 2001, where he taught a range of courses on modern European social and political history, including East-Central Europe in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.  He then joined the University of Minnesota Twin Cities where he serves as Director of the Center for Austrian Studies, Executive Editor of the Austrian History Yearbook, and Professor of History.  Prof. Cohen's research has focused on social development, ethnic group relations, and education in modern Austria and the Czech Republic.  His publications include two books: the Politics of Ethnic Survival: Germans in Prague, 1861-1914 (Princeton University Press, 1981; second edition, revised, Purdue University Press, 2006) and Education and Middle-Class Society in Imperial Austria, 1848-1918 (Purdue University Press, 1996); articles in the Journal of Modern History, Central European History, the Austrian History Yearbook, the East European Quarterly, Jewish History, and the Social Science Quarterly; and numerous book chapters. Prof. Cohen's scholarship has earned national and international recognition and he serves on several national and international academic committees.