History Seminar Series, 27 September – Dr Philipp Strobl

Dr Philipp Strobl will present his paper, titled ‘How to Write a Collective Biography of Austrian Refugee Migration to Australia, 1938-1945’, at this week’s History Seminar (Wednesday, 11am).


In my paper I will discuss the methodology of my current collective biographical project “Austrian Refugee Migration to Australia: 1938-1945”, which is funded by the Austrian Science Fund (FWF).

Using both prosopographic and collective biographical methods, I am currently exploring Austrian refugee migration to Australia after the 1938 Anschluss. I gathered and systematically compared standardised data about the overall group. This was used to select a sample representative of the entire group according to predefined criteria. I am currently researching and analysing the lives of this sample group, which allows me to write their collective biography by taking into account as many aspects of the overall group as possible. The project aims at introducing an innovative approach to historical biographical research. It makes it possible to write the history of a whole group of migrants and to eliminate as much randomness as possible in the selection of biographical subjects. In my talk, I will explain my research approach, discuss possible uses of the method, and provide insights into the current progress.


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