Department of History
 

Ke-Chin Hsia

  • Visiting Assistant Professor, Department of History
  • Postdoctoral Fellow, Department of History

Education

  • Ph.D. at History, University of Chicago, 2013

Contact Information

BH 835

Background

Why do people think the state owe them something—services, money, or acts of symbolic recognition? Why do the state and its officials believe they have the power and even duty to intervene in people’s lives? What leads to such expectations and assumptions? And what are the implications of these expectations and assumptions for the meaning (or should we say the “content”) of the state and citizenship, especially at critical moments when one side’s very survival was dependent on the other? These are the main questions that motivate my research in the history of the late Habsburg Empire and post-WWI East Central Europe.

My current book manuscript, tentatively titled Victims’ State: War and Welfare in Austria, 1868-1925, is an analysis of how the Austrian state (first Imperial/Habsburg and then republican) and society tackled the human and social consequences of soldering in an era of universal military service, democratizing political culture, and totalizing war mobilization. Specifically, it focuses on the politics of welfare provision for disabled veterans and dead soldiers’ surviving dependents (the so-called war victims) before, during, and after the First World War. By looking closely at the actions of and interactions between state officials and grass root war victim activists, the project combines political and social history in charting the emergence of a particular kind of state and a new conception (and practices) of citizenship in the context of multinational polity, war, and revolution.

Two other research projects are underway. One is on the “internal colonization” proposals in Imperial Austria during the First World War. The other is about political asylum and law and order in revolutionary Vienna.

Growing up in Taiwan, receiving graduate education in the U.S., and doing research in Europe, I am also very interested in the rise of social insurance systems in Europe and East Asia from a transnational perspective. My fascination with baseball as a subject of international and transnational history is growing as well.

Selected Awards

Bessie Pierce Prize Preceptorship, Department of History, University of Chicago

Division of the Social Sciences Dissertation Teaching and Research Fellowship, University of Chicago

Dissertation Fellowship for ROC Students Abroad, The Chiang Ching-kuo Foundation for International Scholarly Exchange

Ernst Mach Grant, OeAD/Austrian Federal Ministry of Education, Science and Culture

Österreich Scholarship, OeAD/Austrian Federal Ministry of Education, Science and Culture

Research Interests

  • Modern East Central Europe
  • The First World War
  • Welfare State
  • Democratization and Bureaucracy
  • Nationalism in multinational Empire
  • Disability

Publication Highlights

“Who Provided Care for Wounded and Disabled Soldiers? Conceptualizing State-Civil Society Relationship in WWI Austria,” in Other Fronts, Other Wars? First World War Studies on the Eve of the Centennial, ed. Joachim Bürgschwentner, Matthias Egger, and Gunda Barth-Scalmani, History of Warfare 100 (Leiden: Brill, forthcoming).

“Austrian Studies with ‘Chinese Characteristics?’ Some Observations” (coauthored with Fei-Hsien Wang), in Global Austria: Austria’s Place in Europe and the World, ed. Günter Bischof, Fritz Plasser, Anton Pelinka, and Alexander Smith (New Orleans: UNO Press; Innsbruck: Innsbruck University Press, 2011), 282-296.

“A Partnership of the Weak: War Victims and the State in the Early First Austrian Republic,” in From Empire to Republic: Post-World War I Austria, ed. Günter Bischof, Fritz Plasser, and Peter Berger (New Orleans: UNO Press; Innsbruck: Innsbruck University Press, 2010), 192-221.