Call for papers

How did transatlantic exchanges between Central Europe and the United States impact pedagogy and design? Connecting aspects of design and women’s history, pedagogy, migration history and cultural transfer, this event series seeks to establish a critical overview of the achievements of migrant women designers who moved to the United States from Central Europe in the first half of the 20 th century. It addresses how ideas related to design and pedagogy that were consolidated in Central Europe were developed and disseminated by designers who began second careers in the United States after emigration. 

By shedding further light on the transatlantic connections that represented an important aspect in the careers of many of these designers, the event series shows that their careers continued to develop in emigration and highlights that the contributions of female migrant artists played a significant role in advancing design and pedagogy in the United States.

The project invites proposals for papers analysing examples and case studies about transatlantic exchanges in pedagogy and design with a focus on Central Europe and the United States. 

Specific questions that might be addressed include, for example:

  • How and why were female designers funnelled into particular trajectories (i.e. specializations in teaching children or particular fields of design)?
  • Which opportunities were open to women designers upon arrival in the United States?
  • How was their education in Central Europe formative for their second careers?
  • Which impact did the women have, through teaching and practice, on the history of American design?

Keynote lectures

Rebecca Houze (Northern Illinois University)


Elana Shapira (Academy of Applied Arts, Vienna).


The event series is scheduled to take place online in March and April 2023. The event series will be accompanied by a website with blogposts and an online exhibition, which offers further opportunity for participation.

We plan to publish selected contributions in a dedicated special issue of the Journal of Austrian-American History.

How to apply

Please submit your proposals of around 250 words in length to Professor Megan Brandow-Faller  ( and Dr. Julia Secklehner ( until 15 November 2022


For enquiries, feel free to contact Professor Megan Brandow-Faller and Dr. Julia Secklehner.