Prager Vorträge: The Magazine Die Bühne between Budapest, Vienna, and Prague

“We Will Not Rest Until Our Goal of Being a Stage For All the World Is Achieved”

Date of event
22. 5. 2024, 17:00 – 22. 5. 2024, 18:30
Place of event
Collegium Carolinum, 3th floor, Valentinská 91/1, Praha 1

Particularly in the early years, Die Bühne claimed to be a platform for the widest possible readership and explicitly took a cosmopolitan (and quite grand) perspective. With an eye on international developments, the magazine presented a modern, urban lifestyle.

In the 1930s, Die Bühne reduced its popular cultural diversity but, unlike other Austrian magazines, remained (largely) true to its open, liberal-democratic stance. This was largely due to the contributors, editors, and owners: The magazine was founded in 1924 and published by Hungarian journalist and emigre Imre Békessy, widely known for his disputes over unethical practices, but at the same time instrumental in the introduction of modern journalism in Austria. After his resignation in 1926, the Austrian government became involved in the Vernay publishing house, which printed Békessy’s media. Around this time until 1938, the Czechoslovak Orbis publishing house became the – more or less silent – majority owner as part of a government strategy.

The lecture examines how the Bühne’s claim to be up-to-date and cosmopolitan developed over the years, from pre-depression democratic Austria to the Dollfuß-Schuschnigg regime, focusing on the possible influence of the respective ownership structures and contributors. What, e. g., did the Czechoslovak government expect from its involvement in the Vernay publishing house – and a Lifestyle magazine?

Marie-Noëlle Yazdanpanah is a cultural historian in Vienna, focusing on visual history, and urban and gender history with an emphasis on the 1920s and 1930s. Since 2010 researcher at the Ludwig Boltzmann Institute for Digital History in Vienna (i.e. for the “Red Vienna Sourcebook” and in the project “Practices of Educational Film in Austria”, funded by the Austrian Science Fund). She is also active in exhibitions and educational projects (i.e. “Red Vienna”, Wien Museum 2019). Currently, she is working on “Visual Culture in the Illustrated Magazine Die Bühne”.

Lecture series Prager Voträge are organised by Collegium Carolinum, Deutsches Historisches Institut Warschau and Leibniz Institut für Geschichte und Kultur des östlichen Europa in cooperation with the Masaryk Institute and Archives of the CAS and other institutions.


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