Novara visiting scholars

See details about talks given by visiting scholars hosted by the Antipodean East European Study Group.

Previous Novara visiting scholars

Martin D. Brown Novara lecture series

Martin D. Brown, a historian at Richmond, the American University of London, was the second Novara visiting scholar. Professor Brown completed an MA at the School of Slavonic and East European Studies at the University of London, and his Ph.D. at Surrey. He works on European diplomatic history. He is on the steering committee of the British-Czech-Slovak Historians' Forum.

Download a schedule of Martin Brown's talks (Word document)

A Munich Winter or a Prague Spring?—British policy toward Sudeten Germans, September 1938 to September 1939

31 July 2012
British foreign policy toward Sudeten Germans lacked a clear definition, and changed dramatically after British authorities became responsible for a flood of Anti-Henleinist German refugees.

Recognizing 'East' and 'West'—British foreign policy and the GDR during the Helsinki Process, 1970–1975

3 August 2012
British recognition of Central European frontiers converged with Willy Brandt's Ostpolitik policy.

Setting Europe ablaze? The Special Operations Executive and the Czechoslovak government-in-exile.

14 August 2012
This paper details the historiography of the Special Operations Executive, created in 1940 to 'set Europe ablaze.' It examines the organisation’s strategic objectives, and explores SOE’s relations with the Czechoslovak Government-in-exile, led by Edvard Beneš.

Charles Ingrao Novara lecture series

Charles Ingrao, a historian at Purdue University in Indiana, was the first Novara visiting scholar in 2010. Professor Ingrao completed his Ph.D. at Brown in 1974. His areas of specialty are Early Modern Europe, the Habsburg Empire, and Central European History. He edited the Austrian History Yearbook and the Purdue University Press series on Central European Studies. Over the past decade he has focused on issues of ethnic conflict and coexistence in contemporary central Europe.

Download a schedule of Charles Ingrao's talks (Word document).

Why Bosnia? Why Kosovo? Explaining ethnic conflict in Central Europe

4 March 2010
Yugoslav wars came as a shock to many. But to some it was the plausible climax to a centuries-long process that may ultimately be duplicated around the world.

The Holy Roman Empire reconsidered

10 March 2010
Famously dismissed by Voltaire as “neither holy, nor Roman, nor an empire,” Germany’s “thousand-year Reich” actually offered a great deal both to its people and to Europe as a whole.

Weapons of mass instruction: How schoolbooks destroyed multiethnic Central Europe

16 March 2010
Parents expect schools to teach the next generation about their nation’s history. Yet the textbooks that their children read are very selective in what is taught and what is forgotten about the past. The central European experience suggests that the end result is a recipe for conflict.

Democracy and dissolution

26 March 2010
When the Berlin Wall fell, pundits and politicians proclaimed the triumph of democracy. Some hailed the “end of history” as a narrative of wars, rebellions, and human suffering caused by authoritarian forms of government. Their naïveté exposed a flawed understanding of what democracy is and must become.

Revolutionary origins of European genocide

13 April 2010
Following the outbreak of the Yugoslav wars, observers routinely likened the horrific crimes committed against Bosnia’s Muslims to the Nazi campaign against the Jews. Yet very few appreciated how both genocides can be traced to a common cause.

The Novara and Central European friendship with New Zealand

The frigate Novara, the first Austrian vessel to circumnavigate the globe, left Trieste on 30 April 1857 under the command of captain Bernhard von Wüllerstorf-Urbair. It carried a contingent of scholars from the Austrian Academy of Sciences, including botanists Eduard Schwarz and Anton Jellinek, geographer Ferdinand Hochstetter , ethnographer Karl von Scherzer, and zoologist Georg Ritter von Frauenfeld. After visiting Rio de Janerio, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Singapore, Hong Kong, and Sydney, the ship arrived in Auckland on 22 December 1858 (1).

During the Novara’s stay in Auckland, the ship’s geologist made a brief survey of the Drury coalfields along the Waikato river. The New Zealand authorities were so impressed with his initial report that they asked him to remain in New Zealand and conduct a full survey, offering to pay his expenses and return passage.

Hochstetter stayed nine months in New Zealand, spending most of his time near Auckland but also visiting Nelson, Rotomahana, and the Southern Alps. He later published several books based on his research (2), and took great pains to ensure that they be translated into English. Hochstetter subsequently described New Zealand as “one of the most remarkable countries of the world, a beautiful country… I look back with enthusiasm on my stay in the Antipodes” (3).

When the Novara departed from Auckland on 8 January 1859, it left Hochstetter behind, but gained two new passengers from Ngāti Apakura (4). Wiremu Toetoe and Hemara Te Rerehau became the first Māori to visit Central Europe when the Novara returned home. During their stay, they addressed Emperor Franz-Josef in Māori, and when Archduke Ferdinand Maximillian offered them a farewell present, they asked for a printing press, which later published Te Hokioi from 1862 to 1863.

Te Hokioi, the voice of the Kingitanga movement, was not the first Māori-language newspaper, but it was the first paper edited and printed by Māori. Toetoe later wrote that the Austrians were “a good people, the most generous people we visited in the land of the Europeans. The buildings are beautiful, the food and the beverages delicious” (5).

The Novara expedition thus symbolises discovery, scholarly exchange, and friendship between New Zealand and Central Europe. While the geographic distance between the two regions may be great, the Antipodean East European Study group seeks ways to create common understanding.


  1. See the three-volume work Karl von Scherzer, Reise der Oesterreichischen Fregatte Novara um die Erde, in den Jahren 1857 (Vienna: Karl Gerhold’s Sohn, 1866 [Vienna: KK Hof- and Staatsdruckerei, 1861]); also available in English as Narrative of the Circumnavigation of the Globe by the Australian Frigate Novara (London: Saunders, Otley and co., 1861–3). For a brief summary of the voyage in French, see “ Voyage de circumnavigation de la fregate autrichienne la Novara,” in Édouard Charton, ed., Le tour du monde (Paris: Hachette, 1860), 30–48; 66–68. See also Renate Basch-Ritter, Die Weltumsegelung der Novara 1857–1859: Österreich auf allen Meeren (Graz: Adeva, 2008).
  2. Ferdinand Hochstetter, Die ausgestorbenen Riesenvögel von Neuseeland (Vienna: Carl Gerold's Sohn, 1862); Neu-Seeland (Stuttgart: Cotta, 1863), translated as New Zealand: Its Physical geography, Geology and Natural History (Stuttgart: Cotta, 1867); Geologisch-Topographischer Atlas von Neu-Seeland (Gotha: Perthes, 1863), translated as The Geology of New Zealand, In Explanation of the Geographical and Topographical Atlas of New Zealand (Auckland: T. Delattre, 1864). For a full bibliography of Hochstetter’s works, see F.v. Heger, “Ferdinand von Hochstetter,” Mitteilungen der kaiserlich-konigliche Geographischen Gesellschaft, vol. 27 (1884), 345–92.
  3. Hochstetter, New Zealand (1867), iii.
  4. Scherzer, Reise der Oesterreichischen Fregatte Novara, 3:170.
  5. Wiremu Toetoe, “ A Vienna Journal / He Whare Perehi o te Kingi,” translation by Te Rotohiko Jones, published in Te Ao Hou / The New World, vol. 6(4), no. 24 (October 1958), 40. See also Helen Hogan, ed., Bravo, Neu Zeeland: Two Maori in Vienna 1859–1860 (Christchurch: Clerestory Press, 2003).