Meeting with Prof. Larry Wolff

2020-11-19, 8:00 p.m.
On November 19th took place the first Polish meeting with Larry Wolff, an American professor, researcher of Central and Eastern Europe, with whom Adam Leszczyński talked to. In his book Inventing Eastern Europe: The Map of Civilization on the Mind of the Enlightenment, devoted to the ways in which French writers, diplomats and the military designed the Enlightenment images of Eastern Europe, Wolff tries to go beyond the stereotypes about this region and see how they were created.

It is not so much looking at Eastern Europe as it is Western Europe's knowledge of the East, its proposition to "civilize", "organize" and conquer it. He looks at philosophers' writings, plays, diaries, letters and legal codes with suspicion and criticism. Its heroes are Catherine II, Wolter, Rousseau, Casanova, the first researchers, anthropologists, diplomats and the military, but also Edward Said, Jacques Derrida and Michel Foucault.

The paradigm of thinking about Eastern Europe developed in the Enlightenment is still active, influencing not only cultural perceptions, but also political and economic activities, as well as ideological and ideological assignments, demanding that Central Europe reaffirm its "Europeanness" over and over again and assign specific roles - according to which, for example, Poland has the position of the bulwark in the face of Russian influence.
Wolff is aware that the process he describes not only led to Napoleon's conquest of Eastern Europe, but its final consequence was also Hitler's expansion to the East, as well as the still-current policy towards Russia. Therefore, he asks about its sources, but also about what made it a convenient scheme, alive even today.

The meeting, in English, was broadcasted on November 19th, 2020 at 20.00 live on the ICC profile on Facebook.

Larry Wolff – professor at New York University, director of the Remarque Institute, member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Awarded with Fulbright, American Council of Learned Societies and Guggenheim scholarships. Recognized as one of the most important Western researchers of Central and Eastern Europe - alongside Norman Davies, Tony Judt, Timothy Garton Ash.

Adam Leszczyński – journalist, historian, reporter, professor at SWPS in Warsaw.


Organizers of the event: Institute of Reportage and the International Cultural Centre

The project is co-financed by the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage.

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