This two-day symposium will be held at the New York Public Library, South Court Auditorium from Thursday, November 8 through Saturday, November 10, 2007. The symposium addresses the framework for modernism in the region covered by the German and Austro-Hungarian empires and their successor states, from roughly 1890 to 1945. Modernity in central Europe arguably flourished from c. 1890 onward, under conditions that both resemble the western example yet differ from it in important respects. Rapid, uneven industrialization; basic anxieties over collective and national identity; the persistence of aristocratic or feudal habits, and a concomitantly lesser or delayed role for the middle classes; these are some of the guiding structures. Modernism in central Europe frequently seems motivated by self-conscious feelings of belatedness and insufficiency. At the same time, real economic wealth, the eventual emergence of consumerist and culturally avid middle classes, new streams of migration, and exceptional erudition regarding international developments combined to produce an outpouring of talent in this region during the first half of the twentieth century.
Reservations are required.
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