Austen Van Burns

Office Hours

Austen Van Burns studies European aspirations to universal communication, particularly the desire to convey scientific information through pictorial “languages.” Her research covers the genesis of these attempts in early twentieth-century Vienna, tracing their decades-long spread through Soviet Russia, the Netherlands, England, British West Africa, and the United States.

In the spring of 2022, she passed her general examinations with distinction. Her fields were Central Europe: Reformation to German Reunification; the History of the Human Sciences; and Ideas in the World, 1800-1950.

Austen earned a BA with Honors in Classical Studies from Swarthmore College. After graduating, she taught English in Germany as a Fulbright grantee. She then worked in the tech industry before returning to academia to start her PhD at Princeton. 

Year of Study
Third Year
Area of Interest
Art History
Film Studies
Gender & Sexuality
History of Science Communication
Human Sciences
Intellectual History
Visual Culture
Home Department & Other Affiliations
19th Century
20th Century
North America