UM College of Arts & Sciences History Professor Receives 2014 Center for Austrian Studies Book Prize

Dominique Reill’s Nationalists Who Feared the Nation Recognized for Original Approach and Elegant Prose

Dominique Reill, associate professor of history in the UM College of Arts & Sciences, won the 2014 Book Prize from the Center for Austrian Studies for her book, Nationalists Who Feared the Nation: Adriatic Multi-Nationalism in Habsburg Dalmatia, Trieste, and Venice.

The Book Prize was established in 1990. It was awarded annually through 2002, and is now given on a biennial basis. Eligible books must deal with contemporary Austria, or the history, society and culture of Austria and the lands of Central and Eastern Europe with a common Habsburg heritage.

Reill’s book examines a group of community leaders and writers who lived in Venice, Trieste and Dalmatia during the mid-1800s, and who proposed the creation of a multinational zone in the area surrounding the Adriatic Sea. Their goal was to unite this region – where people spoke different languages and practiced different faiths, but identified as part of the Hapsburg Empire – for commercial, cultural and political purposes, while encouraging religious, linguistic and national autonomy.

The award selection committee wrote: “Dominique Kirchner Reill’s Nationalists Who Feared the Nation manages the exceedingly difficult feat of challenging existing paradigms of the most studied theme in Habsburg history: nationalism. … This book is striking for the originality of its sources, the clarity of its argument, and its elegant and lucid prose.”

Reill, who serves as the director of undergraduate studies for the UM College of Arts & Sciences Department of History, specializes in Modern European history. She conducted research for Nationalists Who Feared the Nation in Italy, Slovenia, Croatia and Serbia.

Professor and Chair of the Department of History Mary Lindemann said, “The Department of History is especially pleased to see that Professor Dominique K. Reill’s innovative work on the history of Austria and southeastern Europe has received a great deal of attention and scholarly acclaim.  In addition to the recent book award from the Center for Austrian Studies, Reill’s Nationalists Who Feared the Nation was honored last year with Honorable Mention from the Southern Historical Association’s Smith Book Award. Few books are crowned with one book award, let alone two, and these honors eloquently testify to Professor Reill’s standing in the field of European History.

The Center for Austrian Studies, based at the University of Minnesota, was established in 1977. Its mission is to: promote new scholarship about Austria and Central Europe across academic disciplines; create an international community of scholars on Austria; and bring awareness of Austria and the new Europe to educated non-academics across the globe. The Center sponsors research projects, publishes books and working papers, and offers symposia and other events.

September 22, 2014