Interpreneurship

Undergirded by the observation that business practices are not divorced from culture but are rather a constituent part of it, "Interpreneurship: Styria Meets the USA" sets Styrian entrepreneurial players into an interdisciplinary and intercultural dialog with the American entrepreneurial spirit. Under the aegis of American studies, Interpreneurship brings together the academic community at the University of Graz, local institutions, and bilateral stakeholders in an interdisciplinary effort to contribute a much-needed intercultural awareness, thinking, and praxis to Austro-American entrepreneurial ventures.

Regionally anchored yet transnational in its scope, this interdisciplinary project encompasses (i) a lecture series (available on YouTube), (ii) two undergraduate seminars, and (iii) a series of science-to-public outreach activities. Project deliverables include (i) a special issue of JAAAS: Journal of the Austrian Association for American Studies,  (ii) a made-to-order intercultural communication primer designed to expedite intercultural dialog, exchange, and cooperation between the participants of the annual Transatlantic Entrepreneurship Academy (Graz-Montclair), and (iii) an image film showcasing the interpreneurial spirit at work in Styria which is co-produced by Austro-Jewish-American film scholar and filmmaker James Forsher and Kulturverein Kunstkessel.

A humanities perspective, and more specifically an American studies angle, is all but absent from both the critical study of as well as the actual practice of entrepreneurship even though the American entrepreneurial spirit continues to serve as the idealized reference point for entrepreneurs all around the world. By drawing on American studies' productive interdisciplinary character, Interpreneurship opens up the as-yet untapped potential of an intercultural-economic knowledge transfer and dialog. By thinking, teaching, researching, and acting "glocally," American studies in Austria is ideally positioned to contribute meaningfully to a more interculturally informed and thus sustainable entrepreneurial practice.

Interpreneurship conducts intercultural translation work in a dialog-based process of helping entrepreneurial actors understand complex identity positions and the values they espouse with a view of enabling them to make more interculturally informed decisions. Consequently, Interpreneurship's overall goal is "glocal" in terms of studying and engaging with America—and, ultimately, understanding America—within a specific thematic context and from a decidedly regional perspective as well as to examine the impact of and dialogue with transnational processes on the ground in Styria.

Project at the Center for Inter-American Studies at the University of Graz
Funded by the Land Steiermark
Project Website
I co-authored the grant proposal with Stefan Rabitsch and Roberta Maierhofer