steirischer herbst University Programs

The steirischer herbst University Programs (established in 2021) aims to bridge the gap between curatorial practice and academic theory. It creates connections between students and the festival, both in Graz and internationally, and facilitates cross-disciplinary networking and exchange.

The program includes discursive events planned and carried out together with steirischer herbst, workshops with and by experts working for the festival, and lectures that explore the festival’s themes and productions in depth. There are also events outside the festival period. In connection with the university programs, steirischer herbst offers international fellowships for scholars and artists.

The steirischer herbst Research Residency Fellowship gives researchers the opportunity to work with financial support from the festival in its archive, which includes a press archive, media archive, document archive and a reference library with over 3,000 publications.

Milan Hrbek, PhD student at the Academy of Sciences in Bratislava, was the first Research Fellow in 2021.

In April 2022, the call for the second Research Residency Fellowship was published. From over seventy applicants, Lisa Moravec and Eike Wittrock were selected to conduct research in the archive between August and November 2022. They presented their results in two public lectures during steirischer herbst ʼ22.

For 2023, Soim Lee has been selected as a Research Fellow. She is studying contemporaneity and transnationality using the example of contemporary art in Central Europe since the 1960s and participates in the festival’s symposia as a respondent.

Thanks to the university programs, six international curators will be able to visit the festival and attend the symposium Curating the Troubled Past. With it, steirischer herbst continues the series of panel discussion started in February 2023, which connects the exhibition and festival business with urgent political and social issues—locally and globally. The panels showcase diverse projects that work with unresolved and troubled histories in various contexts.

The curators come from institutions in Belgium, Austria, Slovenia, and Croatia.

Two lectures at the University of Graz also deal with the current festival. Senior curator Pieternel Vermoortel looks at it from the perspective of the visual arts and explains the creation of its concept. Gábor Thury, curator for performing arts and theater, presents performative projects of steirischer herbst and provides insight into the work of a curator.

University groups visiting the festival receive exclusive offers and guided tours from festival curators and the education team.