Emeritus Appointment

PhD in European History (Harvard University, 1972)
BA in Comparative Literature and Philosophy (Wesleyan University, 1966)

Profile Field Tabs

Courses Taught: 

HST 407 SEMINAR (20th Century Intellectual History)

Research/Career Interests: 

David Luft is a modern intellectual and cultural historian who works primarily on modern Central European history, including Germany, Austria, and the Habsburg Monarchy. Luft is currently working on two book projects: The Austrian Tradition in German Intellectual History and he is co-editing a collection of essays with Franz A. J. Szabo entitled, New Perspectives on the Austrian Enlightenment.


The Austrian Dimension in German Intellectual History:
From the Enlightenment to Anschluss

(Bloomsbury Academic Press, 2021).
Hugo von Hofmannsthal and the Austrian Idea:
Essays and Addres
s, 1906-1929

(Purdue University Press, 2011).
Hugo von Hofmannsthal and the Austrian Idea
Eros and Inwardness in Vienna Eros and Inwardness in Vienna:
Weininger, Musil, Doderer

(University of Chicago Press: Chicago, 2003).

Robert Musil, Precision and Soul: Essays and Addresses,

co-translated and edited with Burton Pike

(University of Chicago Press: Chicago, 1990)

[Paperback edition, 1994.]

Robert Musil, Precision and Soul: Essays and Addresses
Robert Musil and the Crisis of European Culture

Robert Musil and the Crisis of European Culture: 1880-1942

(University of California Press: Berkeley, 1980)

[Second edition, paperback, 1984]


  • “Austrian Intellectual History before the Liberal Era: Grillparzer, Stifter, and Bolzano,” Robert A. Kann Memorial Lecture, in The Austrian History Yearbook 41 (2010).
  • “Austrian and German History and Literature,” Contemporary Austrian Studies, ed. Günter Bischof, Vol. 18, 2010.
  • “Austrian Intellectual History and Bohemia,” The Austrian History Yearbook 38 (2007), pp. 108-21.
  •  “Das Intellektuelle Leben Österreichs in seiner Beziehung zur deutschen Sprache und der modernen Kultur,” Working Paper, Center for Austrian Studies, University of Minnesota, Fall 2006.
  • “Thinking about Sexuality and Gender in Vienna,” in Sexuality in Austria, volume XV of  Contemporary Austrian Studies, ed. Günter Bischof/Anton Pelinka, Dagmar Herzog, Guest Editor, Fall 2006, pp. 21-30.
  • “Cultural Memory and Intellectual History: Locating Austrian Literature,” in Gender, History, and Memory, Vol. 31 of Studies in Twentieth and Twenty-First Century Literature, ed. Maria-Regina Kecht, No 1 (Summer 2007), pp. 25-45.
  • “Being and German History: Historiographical Notes on the Heidegger Controversy,” Central European History, Vol. 27, No. 4, 1994, pp. 479-501.
  • “The Writer and Austrian Culture: Robert Musil and Heimito von Doderer,” in The Habsburg Legacy: National Identity in Historical Perspective, ed. Ritchie Robertson and Edward Timms, Edinburgh, 1994, pp. 136-43.
  • “Eros and Apperception in Heimito von Doderer's Tangenten,” Philosophie, Psychoanalyse, Emigration, ed. Peter Muhr, et. al., Vienna, 1992, pp. 194-209.
  • “Austria as a Region of German Culture: 1900-1938,” Austrian History Yearbook, Vol. XXIII, 1992, pp. 135-48.
  • “Science and Irrationalism in Freud's Vienna,” Modern Austrian Literature, Vol. 23, No. 2, 1990, pp. 89-97.
  • “Austrian Intellectuals in the First Republic: Psychology, Philosophy, Literature,”Austria Between Wars: Dream and Reality, Washington, D.C., 1988, pp. 17-35.
  • “Austrian History as a Field of Study in the United States,” in Modern Austrian Literature, Volume 20, Number 3/4, 1987, pp. 1-15.
  • “Austrian Intellectuals and the Palace of Justice Fire,” in The Austrian Socialist Experiment, ed. by Anson Rabinbach, Westview Press, Boulder, Colo., 1985, pp. 151-56.
  • “Schopenhauer, Austria, and the Generation of 1905,” in Central European History, March 1983, pp. 53-75.