Murray Gordon Hall (born 25 May 1947, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada – died 4 September 2023, Vienna, Austria) was a renowned Germanist and an associate professor of modern German literature at the University of Vienna.
Hall embarked on his academic journey in 1972, diving deep into German language and literature at the University of Vienna. By 1975, he earned his Ph.D. in German studies, focusing his dissertation on ‘Tier und Tiermotivik im Prosawerk Robert Musils’. During the summer of 1974, Hall co-organized a significant exhibition dedicated to Robert Musil at the National Library of Austria.
His affiliation with Robert Musil extended further, as he became an executive member of the International Robert Musil Society (Internationalen Robert-Musil-Gesellschaft). Beyond this, Hall showed profound interest in the history of Austrian editorial activities. His two-volume treatise on this topic, released in 1985, is regarded as a seminal work in the field.
From 1987 onwards, Hall delivered numerous lectures and seminars at the German Studies Institute of the University of Vienna, having earned the title of ‘doctor habilitat’.
Hall’s career also included a stint at ORF, Austria’s public radio, where he worked as an editor from May 1977. He became a full-time employee in July 1995 and continued his role until May 2009. Recognizing his outstanding service, the Vienna government awarded him the Gold Medal for Services to the Land of Vienna on 11 December 2002.
His editorial work expanded to include the catalog for the “Geraubte Bücher” exhibition at the National Library of Austria, held from 10 December 2004 to 27 February 2005. Since 2006, Hall took the reins as the president of the Austrian Society for Book Research (Gesellschaft für Buchforschung in Österreich) and co-edited the collection ‘Buchforschung. Beiträge zum Buchwesen in Österreich’.
As an invited professor, Hall taught at various universities, including Ludwig-Maximilian University in Munich, Alpine-Adriatic University in Klagenfurt, University of Salzburg, and University of Klagenfurt between 2009 and 2012.
Furthermore, Hall was the vice-president of the Austrian Society for Research on Children’s and Youth Literature (Österreichischen Gesellschaft für Kinder- und Jugendliteraturforschung, ÖG-KJLF).
- 1984: Cardinal Innitzer Prize for Humanities
- 2002: Gold Medal for Services to the state of Vienna
- 2007: Buchkultur e.V. Prize for exceptional achievements in bibliology, in collaboration with authors Christina Köstner and Margot Werner for “Geraubte Bücher” (2004).
- 2018: Vienna State Prize for journalism
- Der Fall Bettauer – 1978
- Die Muskete: Kultur- und Sozialgeschichte im Spiegel einer satirisch-humoristischen Zeitschrift, 1905-1941 – 1983
- Österreichische Verlagsgeschichte 1918–1938 – 1985
- Handbuch der Nachlässe und Sammlungen österreichischer Autoren – 1992
- Der Paul-Zsolnay-Verlag – 1994 & 1999
- Carl Junker: Zum Buchwesen in Österreich – 2001
- Geraubte Bücher – 2004
- … allerlei für die Nationalbibliothek zu ergattern… – 2006
Hall’s legacy and contributions to the world of German literature and research are immeasurable. His dedication and passion for the subject have left an indelible mark on the academic world.