Fellow 2017-18, Janek Wasserman

Janek Wasserman is an associate professor of modern German and Central European history at the University of Alabama. In addition to his doctoral degree from Washington University in Saint Louis, Yanek has earned several honors: In 2008-09, a Richard-Plaschka-Stipendium from the Austrian Bundesministerium für Wissenschaft Forschung und Wirtschaft; in 2014-15, the Botstiber Institute for Austrian-American Studies Fellowship; in 2015, a fellowship from the Rockefeller Archive Center; in 2016, the President's Faculty Research Award, the University of Alabama's highest recognition for research; and now, his fellowship at the Center for the History of Political Economy.

A European intellectual historian by training, Janek’s focus is on German-speaking Central Europe in the twentieth century. Janek’s first book, Black Vienna: The Radical Right in the Red City, 1918-1938 (Cornell UP 2014; paper 2017), explored the intellectual and political conflicts that raged in the Austrian capital between the end of the Great War and the Anschluss. In particular it reintroduced conservative ideological movements into the interwar Viennese narrative, since these "black" groups are often overlooked yet were hegemonic in the universities and scholarly societies of the time.

In 2015, Janek spent several months in the Economists’ Papers Archive at Duke, examining the papers of Austrian economists Morgenstern, Menger, and Hayek. During that period he visited the Center, discussed his work with the fellows and faculty there, and developed a friendly connection with its director, Bruce Caldwell. He has returned to the Center to complete his next book, Marginal Revolutionaries: Austrian Economics from Coffeehouse to Tea Party, an intellectual history of the Austrian school of economics from its origins in the 1870s up to the present, which should appear in 2018. After this project, Janek plans to continue his research of Central European economists possibly shifting his focus to Alexander Gerschenkron and Paul Rosenstein-Rodan.