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Western Perspectives on Eastern Europe: New Mental Mapping after the Cold War
Centre for Transnational History: Annual Lecture
Tuesday, 14 May 2013 at 5.30pm
Chadwick Lecture Theatre B05
(near the UCL main entrance on Gower Street, on the right)
Introduction: Axel Körner (UCL)
Vote of thanks: Wendy Bracewell (UCL-SSEES)
The lecture will be followed by a reception in the North Cloisters.
Larry Wolff is Professor of History and Director of the Center for European and Mediterranean Studies at New York University. He works on the history of Eastern Europe, the Habsburg Monarchy, the Enlightenment, and on the history of childhood. His most recent books include Paolina’s Innocence: Child Abuse in Casanova’s Venice ( 2012) and The Idea of Galicia: History and Fantasy in Habsburg Political Culture (2010).
Abstract: This lecture will discuss the idea of Eastern Europe, as first conceived in the eighteenth century, and how that idea has been recently transformed during the twenty years since the end of the Cold War. Because the Cold War gave the idea of Eastern Europe its most concrete geopolitical meaning during the communist period, the post-communist period has witnessed a complex transformation of general ideas about the region, most notably in relation to the fall of communism and the entrance of so many lands of Eastern Europe into NATO and the European Union. The lecture will make use of images and commentary, principally from the media and recent popular culture, in order to attempt to demonstrate the ways in which the idea and imagery of Eastern Europe has been altered during the last two decades.
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