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The History Seminar

CANCELLED - Telling Histories of Violence Without Borders


March 30, 2020
4:30pm - 6:00pm
Hoffmann Room, Adolphus Busch Hall
March 30, 2020
4:30pm - 6:00pm
Hoffmann Room, Adolphus Busch Hall

This lecture explores how we might tell histories of violence in ways that capture their local specifics, but also transcend the temporal, geographical, and disciplinary borders that often delineate the form that such histories can take. Three subjects will be explored: first, the problem of disciplinary provincialism; second, the transformative experience of fieldwork; and, third, the practice of historical empathy.

The significance of these subjects will be illuminated through the telling of a set of stories about the making of the book, Violence as a Generative Force: Identity, Nationalism, and Memory in a Balkan Community (Cornell University Press, 2016), which is a micro history of a community that straddles the present-day border between northwest Bosnia and Croatia and was convulsed by intercommunal violence during the summer of 1941.

These stories will set the stage for a broader reflection about how histories of violence can be told in ways that break new empirical and theoretical ground while capturing the attention of the widest possible audience.

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