Kann Memorial Lecture: "Against the World: The Collapse of Empire and the Deglobalization of Interwar Austria"
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For decades leading up to the First World War, the world seemed to be shrinking, in a form of globalization that many internationalists linked to progress, peace, and prosperity. These illusions were shattered in 1914, when the First World War ushered in a quarter century of anti-global retrenchment. Austria-Hungary, once the largest free trade zone in Europe, became a laboratory and emblem of interwar deglobalization as the ties of mobility and trade that knit the Empire together and linked it to the world were ripped apart. This talk will examine the relationship between imperial collapse and anti-globalism in interwar Austria, focusing on popular movements that arose on the right and left to achieve greater individual and national self-sufficiency, as well as new forms of internationalism that aimed to reimagine and revive transnational relationships.
Tara Zahra is a professor of history at the University of Chicago. Her research focuses on the transnational history of modern Europe, migration, the family, nationalism, and humanitarianism. She is currently working on two book projects: a history of deglobalization in interwar Europe and, with Pieter Judson, a history of the First World War in the Habsburg Empire. Zahra is most recently the author of The Great Departure: Mass Migration and the Making of the Free World (Norton, 2016) and, with Leora Auslander, Objects of War: The Material Culture of Conflict and Displacement (Cornell, 2018). Her previous books include The Lost Children: Reconstructing Europe's Families after World War II (Harvard, 2011) and Kidnapped Souls: National Indifference and the Battle for Children in the Bohemian Lands (Cornell, 2008).
Presented by the Center for Austrian Studies, with the support of individual donors to the Robert A. Kann Memorial Lecture fund, cosponsored by the Department of History. Part of the greater North American Austrian Centers' fall event program collaborative.