Our Research Cluster

The Doctoral School of Historical and Cultural Studies is unique for its seven research cluster which transcend periods, disciplines, and regions and offers its fellows the exceptional opportunity to study, work, and write in a truly cross-disciplinary setting.

Ancient, Byzantine, Medieval Studies

Thematically, the focus of this research cluster rests on the pre-modern cultures and civilisations of the Mediterranean basin and its adjacent areas and the civilisations, societies, and structures that emerged from, and succeeded, it. Thus our work embraces a period of almost 3,000 years of human history, from the late Bronze Age and the emergence of our earliest written sources up to the end of the Middle Ages, from approximately 1500 BCE to approximately 1500 CE. The Ancient, Byzantine and Medieval Studies cluster brings together the traditional academic disciplines of Ancient History (including Papyrology and Epigraphy), Etruscology and Italic Studies, Classical Archaeology (including Late Antique and Early Christian Archaeology), Numismatics and Monetary History, Byzantine Studies, Medieval Studies, and Jewish Studies.


Archaeology and Material Culture

This research cluster offers an interdisciplinary network for doctoral candidates and supervisors whose research deals with topics from the areas of archaeology and material culture studies. With the goal of achieving a well-coordinated group of interested scholars, it primarily caters to doctoral candidates in the fields of Egyptology, classical archaeology, prehistoric and historical archaeology, and papyrology and epigraphy—but also to researchers into other suitable topics from study areas of the Faculty of Historical and Cultural Studies.

Women's and Gender History

Women’s and gender history at the University of Vienna is characterized by social and contemporary relevance as well as by interdisciplinarity and spatial, temporal, and thematic diversity. This is manifested in the research questions and foci of the various scholars working at practically all institutes of the Faculty of Historical and Cultural Studies (Institute of History, Institute for Austrian Historical Research, Eastern European History, Economic and Social History, Contemporary History, European Ethnology).

Chor im Arkadenhof


Social and Economic Spaces

The research cluster Social and Economic Spaces is geared toward doctoral candidates dealing with social, economic, and related cultural processes, practices, and structures. These perspectives are in turn connected to political, institutional, legal, and knowledge history aspects and approaches. The topics can be localized in local, regional, national, inter- and transnational, European, and global spaces as well as in overlapping social spaces constituted through interaction and communication, ideas and perceptions, cooperation, competition and conflict, and disparities and inequalities.

Art History and Visual Culture

The research cluster Art History and Visual Culture brings together disciplines and scholars interested in exploring the ways in which images and visual material – from architectural structures to contemporary media images – produce and perform cultural meaning and significance. Rather than treating components of visual culture merely as objects, the historical and contextual conditions of which can be investigated, the Cluster addresses the agency of images in constituting culturally significant forms and practices.

Tor im Campus

East European and Eurasian Studies

This regionally defined research cluster is closely linked to the Deparment of Eastern European History, the largest relevant academic institution in the German-speaking world dedicated to the history of Eastern Europe and Eurasia in its geographical breadth and temporal depth. Its internationally recognized research expertise is expanded through cooperations with colleagues from the fields of Byzantine studies, Slavic studies, Turkology, contemporary history, and political science.

State, Politics, and Governance in Historical Perspective

The research cluster State, Politics, and Governance in Historical Perspective focuses on innovative, interdisciplinary and methodologically diverse examination of changing forms of rule and statehood. Investigation of the logics of paper-, data- and knowledge-based government and administration as well as of internal communication, organization, and decision-making improves our understanding of the interactions between state and society. Analytical reference to questions of governance allows this interrelation to be viewed as a dynamic and changing network of relationships.

lachende Studierende