As of October 2011, the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna will be headed by a team of women for the first time. Eva Blimlinger, who was elected rector as one out of three candidates nominated by the Senate in April this year, will be leading the Academy for the next four years together with Andrea B. Braidt as vice-rector for art and research and Karin Riegler as vice-rector for teaching and promotion of early stage artists/researchers.
The reorganization of the vice-rectorates signalizes the new leaderschip's focal points: strengthening internal support services for grant applications in the fields of art and research and promoting a distinct understanding of art university teaching in the context of young talent development. In addition, the upcoming renovation of the Academy's main building will be a top priority on the rectorate's agenda.
The new team's backgrounds:
Eva Blimlinger, born in Vienna in 1961, studied history and German philology at the University of Vienna and has worked on a freelance basis in the arts, culture, teaching, and research since the 1980s. She is the author of numerous publications and has taught at a number of universities in Austria. She established the Public Relations Office at the Vienna University of Applied Arts, which she headed between 1991 and 1999 and was managing director of the EU Premiere graduate scholarship program from 2002 to 2004. In 2004 she was appointed head of the Department of Project Coordination and Process Management at the University of Applied Arts. Between 1999 and 2004 she was research coordinator of the Historical Commission of the Republic of Austria. Since 2008 she has been research coordinator of the Austrian Commission for Provenance Research of the Federal Ministry for Education, Arts and Culture as well as deputy chairperson of the Art Restitution Advisory Board.
Andrea B. Braidt, born in Ried im Innkreis in Upper Austria in 1971, studied literature, film theory, and cultural studies in Innsbruck and England and has been teaching at Austrian universities since the late 1990s, concentrating on gender/queer studies, film genres, and art/media theory. She was a cultural researcher at the Vienna-based Austrian Cultural Documentation Center and received fellowships from the International Research Center for Cultural Studies (IFK) and the Cologne Research Kolleg "Media and Cultural Communication". Moreover, she did research in the USA and in Canada. After two years as a visiting professor at the Central European University in Budapest, she joined the Department for Theater, Film and Media Studies at the University of Vienna, where she has been responsible for research management and international cooperation, besides her activities as a scholar and teacher. Andrea B. Braidt is the author of many publications; she is the co-editor of Montage AV, a periodical dealing with media studies, and has hosted numerous international conferences. She has been in charge of several multi-year research projects, such as on film digitization. Most recently, she has been a member of the Senate of the University of Vienna.
Karin Riegler, born in Graz in 1967, studied history and English/American studies at the University of Vienna. She gained international experience in the USA, first at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C. and then as visiting researcher at Indiana University in Bloomington. Since 2008 she has been in charge of the Department of Institutional Development and Quality Management at the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna. Prior to this she was senior program manager with the European University Association in Brussels, deputy secretary general of Universities Austria, program officer with the Austrian Fulbright Commission, and worked as assistant professor and lecturer at the University of Vienna. In these positions she specialized in teaching and learning, quality management, the Bologna Process, non-discrimination, and internationalization. Her scholarly interests focus on U.S. legal and constitutional history (civil rights and women's rights).