Geoff Eley (University of Michigan) "Eric Hobsbawm, History, Politics: A ‘Slight Angle to the Universe,’ Brushing History with the Grain.”

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In this talk, Professor Eley will be using the career and work of Eric Hobsbawm to reflect on the relationship between politics and history during the course of Europe's 20th century. He'll begin by exploring some political dimensions of Hobsbawm's lifetime as a historian -- Hobsbawm's own politics and some ways of understanding them. There he'll be pointing to certain continuities of a very particular 20th century life that was also emblematic of larger political formations, continuities that were powerfully structured around the experience of the Second World War. Next, he'll turn to the particular ways in which politics is treated in Hobsbawm's works: what can his writings tell us about the nature of politics and how politics takes place? For that purpose, he'll focus on his writings of the 1960s and 1970s, developing in the process some arguments about the relationship between the "postwar" and the "post-68." He'll close with some thoughts on the changing bases of Left politics during the last third of the 20th century and the difficulties of accomplishing generational transmission.

Date/Time: 
Thursday, February 26, 2015 - 4:00pm
Constituencies: 
All Welcome
Location: 
3335 Dwinelle Hall