Past Programs & Events

Oct 18, 2017

Freud on the Acropolis

The lecture offers a reading of Freud's famous description of his 1904 visit to the Acropolis with the aim of showing how his notion of the unconscious was entangled with his complicated relationship with antiquity. "A Disturbance of Memory on the Acropolis" written in 1936 provides a specimen of self analysis in which Freud's relationship with antiquity is examined as inseparable from his relationship with his father. Freud's imaginative encounter with his dead father on the Acropolis reveals how the "language of the unconscious" can teach us about the intrinsic relationship between the past and the present, between antiquity and modernity.

Vered Lev Kenaan teaches Hebrew and Comparative Literature at the University of Haifa. She is the author of Pandora's Senses: The Feminine Character of the Ancient Text (Wisconsin University Press, 2008).


Oct 17, 2017

THINKING THROUGH NATIONALISM AND MYSTICISM: THE TANGLED INTELLECTUAL BIOGRAPHIES OF GERSHOM SCHOLEM AND HANS KOHN

At a time when Gershom Scholem established the academic study of Jewish mysticism, Hans Kohn pioneered the academic study of nationalism.  The biographies of these intellectual giants intersected in central Europe as Zionists, and later in the Zionist Yishuv, as vocal advocats of binationalism.  Though the failed binationalist attempt led them to diametrically opposed paths, it arguably framed their respective intellectual careers.  
 
The event brings together the authors of two brand new intellectual biographies.  Amir Engel (Hebrew University, Jerusalem) and author of Gershom Scholem: An Intellectual Biography and Adi Gordon (Amherst College), author of Toward Nationalism's End: An Intellectual Biography of Hans Kohn.
 
 

Oct 5, 2017

ETHNIC CLEANSING, CLASS CLEANSING: FROM HANNAH ARENDT TO VICTOR ZASLAVSKY

NOTE:  THIS PRESENTATION WILL TAKE PLACE IN HERTER HALL 601, NOT AT THE INSTITUTE FOR HOLOCAUST, GENOCIDE, AND MEMORY STUDIES.

This talk introduces Victor Zaslavsky’s little-known theory of totalitarianism. It approaches the task by considering the ways in which his theory accords with and diverges from that of Hannah Arendt’s.  Arendt is the most influential theorist of totalitarianism against whom all successors must be measured. Zaslavsky's book on the Katyn massacre was awarded the Hannah Arendt Prize for Political Thought in 2008. Superficially, the Jewish Russian-born author and political sociologist seems only to enlarge on Arendt’s core argument about the nature of Bolshevism and National Socialism. Yet a closer reading of his work on the Soviet Union and the lands it dominated shows significant and original deviations from Arendt’s arguments. Not only does Zaslavsky extend Arendt’s argument on ethnic cleansing to class cleansing. He also challenges her theory of totalitarian longevity. Whereas Arendt considered totalitarianism in the Soviet Union to have expired with the death of Stalin in 1953, Zaslavsky thought otherwise: totalitarianism persisted but in the new “system maintenance” form, embodied foremost in the Brezhnev era. Objections to Zaslavsky’s arguments are considered and evaluated.

Visiting Scholar: Peter Baehr is Professor of Social Theory, Lingan University, Hong Kong. His many books include Hannah Arendt, Totalitarianism, and the Social Sciences (Stanford University Press, 2010) and Dictatorship in History and Theory (with Melvin Richter, Cambridge University, 2004).

 


Sep 26, 2017

THE NAZIS OF COPLEY SQUARE: ANTISEMITISM AND ESPIONAGE IN WARTIME BOSTON, 1939-1945

Charles Gallagher

Boston College professor Charles R. Gallagher, S.J. speaks on "The Nazis of Copley Square: Antisemitism and Espionage in Wartime Boston, 1939-1945.”


Sep 14, 2017

NATIVE AMERICA AND THE QUESTION OF GENOCIDE

In recent years, it has become fairly common to assert that Native Americans were the victims of genocide, but what exactly does that mean? Given the nature of this crime and its significance to the contested terrain of this nation’s history, it shouldn’t be a surprise that these claims have usually sparked a fair amount of discussion and debate as to the meaning of the word genocide and the most accurate and meaningful way to characterize the historic and present day experiences of Native American population groups. In this presentation, Alex Alvarez will assess some of the claims of genocide, with specific reference to a number of well-known examples such as the Sand Creek Massacre, in order to arrive at a more nuanced, complex, and ultimately more human understanding of the history of Native America post-contact.

                         
                ABOUT THE SPEAKER

Alex Alvarez is Professor of Criminology and Criminal Justice at Northern Arizona University.  In 2017-2018, he will serve as the Ida E. King Distinguished Visiting Scholar in Holocaust and Genocide Studies at Stockton University in New Jersey.  From 2001 until 2003 he was the founding Director of the Martin-Springer Institute for Teaching the Holocaust, Tolerance, and Humanitarian Values. His main areas of study are in the areas of collective and interpersonal violence, including homicide and genocide. His first book, Governments, Citizens, and Genocide, was published by Indiana University Press in 2001. His other books include Murder American Style (2002), Violence: The Enduring Problem (2007, 2013 2nd ed., 2017 3rd ed.), Genocidal Crimes (2009), and Native America and the Question of Genocide (2014). His latest book, Unsteady Ground: Climate Change, Conflict, and Genocide was published in July 2017 with Rowman & Littlefield. He has also served as an editor for the journal Violence and Victims, was a founding co-editor of the journal Genocide Studies and Prevention, and has served as an editorial board member for a number of journals. He has been invited to speak and present his research in various countries such as Austria, Bosnia, Canada, England, Germany, Lithuania, the Netherlands, and Sweden.

 

 

 


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