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Simon Wiesenthal Lecture
Larry Wolff: Woodrow Wilson and the Remapping of Eastern Europe. Majorities, Minorities, and Plebiscites

Thursday, 22. April 2021, 18:30 - 20:00

Die Veranstaltung findet online statt:


This lecture will address some of the complications that followed from Wilson’s articulation of the principle of national self-determination for the remapping of Eastern Europe. Wilson, who never visited Eastern Europe and barely thought about the region before1917, educated himself very quickly in anticipation of the peace conference, and his “mental mapping” of Eastern Europe underwent important developments as he confronted the basic issues of the peace conference. Notably, the sense that national self-determination could be exercised by national majorities produced as a corollary a novel conception of minority rights, while an initial confidence in plebiscites as an instrument of national self-determination gave way to increasing anxieties about how to calculate majorities and minorities. The presence of Jewish populations in Eastern Europe played an important part in the formulation of political ideas about majorities and minorities.

Larry Wolff is the Julius Silver Professor of European History at New York University, the executive director of the NYU Remarque Institute, and the co-director of NYU Florence at Villa La Pietra. His books include The Singing Turk: Ottoman Power and Operatic Emotions on the European Stage from the Siege of Vienna to the Age of Napoleon (2016), The Idea of Galicia: History and Fantasy in Habsburg Political Culture (2010), Inventing Eastern Europe: The Map of Civilization the Mind of the Enlightenment (1994), and Postcards from the End of the World: Child Abuse in Freud’s Vienna (1988). His newest book is Woodrow Wilson and the Reimagining of Eastern Europe (2020). He is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

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SWL76 Wolff

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