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Eisenberg Institute for Historical Studies pres.

EIHS Lecture: The Truth of Place in Cities of the Habsburg Monarchy

Scott Spector, University of Michigan

Scott Spector Scott Spector
Scott Spector
How is “historical truth” inscribed or obscured in the material presence of cities? While much of East Central Europe belonged for centuries to the empire known from 1867 until its demise in 1918 as Austria-Hungary, various agendas of this vast realm’s successor states were chiefly opposed to preserving its memory. And yet, traces of this past are more integral to the present reality of these cities than they at first appear. Parallel examples of a few cities from Ukraine to Romania to Italy will open questions of how contemporary subjects relate to their place in space and time, and of the landscape of memory and forgetting.

Scott Spector (PhD, The Johns Hopkins University, 1994) is the Rudolf Mrázek Collegiate Professor of History and German Studies at the University of Michigan He is a cultural and intellectual historian of modern central Europe, specializing in Habsburg and Jewish culture. He is the author of Prague Territories: National Conflict and Cultural Innovation in Franz Kafka's Fin de Siècle (University of California Press, 2000); Violent Sensations: Sexuality, Crime, and Utopia in Vienna and Berlin, 1860-1914 (University of Chicago Press, 2016), and Modernism without Jews? German-Jewish Subjects and Histories (University of Indiana, 2017). He serves on the editorial board of the journal Jewish Social Studies as well as the series Nexus: Essays in German Jewish Studies and the book series Social History, Popular Culture, and Politics in Germany at the University of Michigan Press. He is currently working on a manuscript on the layers of historical traces in cities of the former Habsburg Empire, a project he has been researching in the past year as a DAAD visiting professor in Potsdam and a visiting fellow at the Institut für Wissenschaften vom Menschen (IWM) in Vienna.

Free and open to the public.

This event is part of the Thursday Series of the Eisenberg Institute for Historical Studies. It is made possible by a generous contribution from Kenneth and Frances Aftel Eisenberg.

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