MAKING AUSTRIAN: CULTURAL MEMORY, NATIONALISM, AND PERFORMING IDENTITY POLITICS IN LATE IMPERIAL VIENNA
Since Carl Schorske’s seminal Fin-de-Siècle Vienna, an explosion of scholarship has focused on the capital city’s years leading to the Austro-Hungarian Empire’s collapse. While the veritable Petrie dish of nationalism in the city has been commonly addressed in scholarship, the interplay between performances of cultural memory, indeed often a fabrication of shared memory, and the theatrical contributions to nationalist aims, has been largely overlooked. This thesis aims to examine the evolution of two interrelated performances: First, the development of anti-Semitism as key to shared cultural memory in the rhetoric and political rallies of opposing but predominant political leaders Karl Lueger and Georg Schönerer, and second, how this development gave rise to an increased awareness and discussion of nationalism and Zionism. It examines these veiled themes in Viennese theatrical writings and stage productions leading to the conclusion of the First World War, with special attention to the works of the two leading, and largely divergent, authors, Karl Kraus and Arthur Schnitzler.