See Next Archive (2014-2015)
Please see below for archived 2014-2015 events.
ENEMIES FOR A DAY: ANTI-JEWISH VIOLENCE IN RUSSIAN-RULED LITHUANIA
Dr Darius Staliunas (Institute of History, Vilnius)
Darius Staliunas has been deputy director of the Lithuanian Institute of History, Vilnius since 2000. He is the author of Making Russians. Meaning and Practice of Russification in Lithuania and Belarus after 1863 (2007). His research interests include Russian nationality policy in the so-called Northwestern Region (Lithuania and Belarus), ethnic conflicts, Jewish-Lithuanian co-operation in late Imperial Russia, as well as historiography and memory in Lithuania. Since 1997, he has been lecturering at Klaipeda University; prior to that he taught at the Military Academy of Lithuania and European Humanities University. D. Staliūnas is a member of the Science Council of the Herder Institute (Marburg, Germany); a member of the Lithuanian National Committee of Historians, as well as the Lithuanian-Russian Historical Commission. In 2009−2010, he was the chairman of the Academic Council of the Eastern European Jewish Culture and History Research Center (Vilnius). He is a member of the editorial boards of the journals Ab Imperio, Studia z Dziejów Rosji i Europy Środkowo-Wschodniej, Central and East European Review, Pinkas: Annual of the Culture and History of East European Jewry, Lithuanian Historical Studies, Nordost-Archiv. Zeitschrift für Regionalgeschichte, Prace Historyczne, Lietuvos istorijos metraštis, Lietuvos istorijos studijos.
This paper explores the anti-Jewish violence in the Lithuanian lands of the Russian Empire. Specifically, it examines how widespread were anti-Jewish feelings among the Gentiles in the nineteenth century, placing the main focus on blood libel accusations, as well as the rise of modern anti-Semitism. The paper also attempts to reveal structural preconditions and situational triggers that helped to transform anti-Jewish sentiments into acts of collective violence. Putting the very nature of anti-Jewish violence in Lithuanian lands under scrutiny, the paper compares local pogroms to anti-Jewish violence in other regions of the Russian Empire. The ultimate goal of this paper is to explain the small scale of anti-Jewish violence in Lithuania. As I argue, pogroms in Lithuania followed a specific “communal” pattern of ethnic violence, which made them very different from deadly pogroms in other parts of the Russian Empire.
CENTER, PERIPHERY AND THE HABSBURG DILEMMA: THE CASE OF IVAN FRANKO (1856−1916)
Yaroslav Hrytsak, L’viv Catholic University
Abtract: How intellectuals articulate their cultural identities depends to a great degree on whether they live in the center or on the periphery. According to Ernest Gellner, nowhere else the conflict between different ways of identifying oneself was as acute as in the late Habsburg empire. In my talk, I explore different versions of Habsburg identities and different scenarios of living them out using the case of Ivan Franko, an intellectual from peripheral Galicia who has contributed enormously to making the modern Ukrainian identity. Regardless of his status as a Ukrainian literary icon, the repertoire of identities which he tried out in the course of his life ranged from Jewish to German to Polish, and to hybrids of those, however his final choice was made in favor of a really marginal at the time Ukrainian scenario. I place this fascinating biography in the context of Franko’s encounters with Viennese modernism of the 1890s, and explore the impact these encounters had had on his life and on Ukrainian intellectual history.
Speaker’s Bio: YAROSLAV HRYTSAK is Professor of History at the Ukrainian Catholic University in L’viv and at L’viv National University in Ukraine. He is a prolific scholar and influential public intellectual. Among his most recent books there are: Strasty za natsionalizmom. Isrtorychni esei (= Passions after Nationalism, Historical Essays. Kyiv, 2004); Prorok u svoyiy vitchyzni: Ivan Franko i yoho spil’nota (=Prophet in His Fatherland: Ivan Franko and His Community, Kyiv, 2006 − the best book of the 2006 year in Ukraine); Nowa Ukraina. Nowe iterpretacje (=New Ukraine. New Interpretations. Wrocław, 2009 in Polish); Ukraina. Przewodni Krytyki Politycznej. Z Jarosławiem Hrycakiem rozmawia Iza Chruslinska. Wstup Adam Michnik (=Ukraine. Guidebook of Krytyka Polityczna. Gdansk-Warszawa, 2009, in Polish) and others. He is a member of the editorial boards of a number of leading journals in the field of Slavic studies, including Slavic Review, Ukraina Moderna (Lviv), Krytyka (Kyiv), Ab Imperio, and Harvard Ukrainian Studies. Professor Hrytsak directed a number of international research projects, including: “East and West of Ukraine: Comparison of Social Identities and Group Loyalties”; “A Tale of Two Cities: Ethnic and Confessional Relations on the Ukrainian-Polish Border” and “Non multum, sed multa: Reforming of History Research and Teaching in Ukraine”.
SEE NEXT: REVOLUTION AND COUNTERREVOLUTION IN CENTRAL EUROPE AND BEYOND: THE PROSE OF COUNTERINSURGENCY AND THE POETRY OF ZOMBIES
Abstract: The modern capitalist economy found one of its origins in a set of transatlantic rural insurgencies that extended from Central Europe to Haiti in the period of the French Revolution. In Prussia, peasants utilized the presence of invading French Armies to achieve freedom from serfdom and other forms of bondage. Elites, meanwhile, sought to appropriate these uprisings to their own ends. Prussian military leaders, above all Carl von Clausewitz, redirected some rural insurgency from an uprising against landlords to a war against the French occupiers. The philosopher GWF Hegel built his Phenomenology of Spirit on the dialectic of lord and bondsman, placing rural insurgency at the origin of the dialectic, eventually also for Marxist communism. Later in the century, Max Weber created a racialized sociology of labor from the lives of young Polish migrant workers, who cultivated the sugarbeet fields of eastern Prussia. Weber both described and also helped to create conditions of precarity essential to their exploitation. All these variant elite attempts to utilize the insurgency of Central European peasants represent what subaltern studies scholar Ranajit Guha has termed the “prose of counterinsurgency,” forms of knowledge that sought to both suppress and make use of peasant insurgency. To begin to understand the insurgent’s own perspective, we can turn to a widespread politics of living death that found its highest expression in the figure of the zombie, which slaves from west Africa to Haiti had long used to understand their own bondage and rebellion. This talk thus concludes by reading GWF Hegel against filmmaker George Romero (especially his 1978 Dawn of the Dead), the prose of counterinsurgency against the poetry of zombies.
Andrew Zimmerman is Professor of History at George Washington University. He works on modern Germany, the United States, and West Africa, connecting in his research East-Central European history with American history and the history of colonial world. Professor Zimmerman published multiple collection chapters and articles, among which the latest are: “From the Rhine to the Mississippi: Property, Democracy, and Socialism in the American Civil War,” Journal of the Civil War Era 5 (forthcoming, March 2015): 3-37; Race against Revolution in Central and Eastern Europe: From Hegel to Weber, from Rural Insurgency to ‘Polonization. [in Russian], Ab Imperio (2014): 23-57; “Cotton Booms, Cotton Busts, and the Civil War in West Africa,” Journal of the Gilded Age and Progressive Era 10 (2011): 454-463; “Primitive Art, Primitive Accumulation, and the Origin of the Work of Art in German New Guinea,” History of the Present 1 (2011): 5-30 and many others. He is the author of two books: Alabama in Africa: Booker T. Washington, the German Empire, and the Globalization of the New South. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2010. Paperback edition, 2012, and Anthropology and Antihumanism in Imperial Germany. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2001.
SEE NEXT: THE GREAT DEPARTURE: MASS MIGRATION FROM EASTERN EUROPE AND THE MAKING OF THE ‘FREE WORLD,’ 1889-1989
Tara Zahra, Professor of East European History, University of Chicago
Beginning in the nineteenth century millions of East Europeans departed from home in search of work or in flight from war and persecution. How did this emigration affect the families and societies left behind? This talk explores how emigration became a powerful political tool in Eastern Europe, as successive governments sought to turn the flow of people on and off in order to reshape their populations and societies. Across the rise and fall of empires and nation-states, dictatorships and democracies, attempts to manage mass emigration gave rise to new forms of border control, ethnic cleansing, social protection, colonial ambitions, and humanitarian activism.
During the Cold War, in particular, mobility came to be seen as a fundamental measure of freedom and human rights. Nothing symbolized the brutality and bankruptcy of Communist governments more than the walls and guns that imprisoned people in their own states. But the Iron Curtain did not simply drop from the sky in 1948 or 1961. Its foundation was laid decades earlier, when anti-emigration activists in Eastern Europe mobilized to stop the hemorraghing loss of population to the West. While many migrants insisted that they were leaving home in search of freedom and prosperity, these East Europeans claimed that emigration actually delivered citizens to new forms of slavery. The debate about leaving home ultimately shaped competing views of the meaning of freedom itself- one linked to individual geographic and social mobility and another centered on social solidarity and the freedom to stay home.
Tara Zahra is Professor of East European History, Chicago University. She is the author of two award-winning books that in many ways defined current trends in East and Central European history. Her Kidnapped Souls: National Indifference and the Battle for Children in the Bohemian Lands, 1900-1948 (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 2008) was selected as the best book in Contemporary European Studies and received Barbara Jelavich Book Prize of the American Association for the Advancement of Slavic Studies, 2009, Austrian Cultural Forum Book Prize and other awards. Her The Lost Children: Reconstructing Europe’s Families after World War II (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2011) was recognized as the best book in European International History by the American Historical Association in 2012. In her books, Tara Zahra is challenging the way we view the development of the concepts of nation, family, and ethnicity and painting a more integrative picture of twentieth-century European history. She is the recipient of multiple research awards and fellowships, the most recent of which is The MacArthur Fellowship. This unrestricted fellowship is awarded to talented individuals who have shown extraordinary originality and dedication in their creative pursuits and a marked capacity for self-direction. Professor’s Zahra SEE NEXT talk represent her current book project, The Great Departure: Mass Migration from Eastern Europe and the Making of the Free World (forthcoming from W.W. Norton, New York).