The Politics of Mass Killing: Past and Present

Ohanessian Lecture by Timothy Snyder, Ph.D.

Date & Time:

Thursday, April 6, 2017
7:00 PM - 1:14 PM
Thursday, April 6, 2017, 7:00 p.m.


free and open to the public (registration requested)


Coffman Theater, Coffman Memorial Union
University of Minnesota, Minneapolis Campus

Timothy Snyder, Ph.D.

Timothy Snyder, Ph.D.

The Holocaust has defined countless lives and reshaped our world—and yet, when it comes to our understanding of just why and how this genocide took place, much research remains to be done. One of our generation’s most acclaimed and respected historians, Timothy Snyder, has spent years of painstaking effort to recover the experience of the victims, the intentions of the killers, and the history of the Europe they shared.

Professor Snyder’s lecture is based on his book Black Earth: The Holocaust as History and Warning, which is a remarkable work of scholarship that offers a new and innovative interpretation of the Holocaust—and a frightening warning about our future. In his most recent book, On Tyranny: Twenty Lessons from the Twentieth Century, Snyder argues that today our political order faces new threats, not unlike the totalitarianism of the 20th century, and that we are no wiser than the Europeans who saw democracy yield to fascism, Nazism, or communism.

Timothy Snyder, Ph.D. is the Housum Professor of History at Yale University, where he teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in modern East European political history, and is a permanent fellow at the Institute for Human Sciences in Vienna. He received his doctorate from the University of Oxford in 1997, where he was a British Marshall Scholar. Before joining the faculty at Yale in 2001, he held fellowships in Paris, Vienna, and Warsaw, and an Academy Scholarship at Harvard. Among his publications are six single-authored award-winning books: Nationalism, Marxism, and Modern Central Europe: A Biography of Kazimierz Kelles-Krauz (1998, second edition 2016); The Reconstruction of Nations: Poland, Ukraine, Lithuania, Belarus, 1569-1999 (2003); Sketches from a Secret War: A Polish Artist’s Mission to Liberate Soviet Ukraine (2005); The Red Prince: The Secret Lives of a Habsburg Archduke (2008); and Bloodlands: Europe Between Hitler and Stalin (2010). Bloodlands won twelve awards including the Emerson Prize in the Humanities, a Literature Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the Leipzig Award for European Understanding, and the Hannah Arendt Prize in Political Thought. Snyder was the recipient of an inaugural Andrew Carnegie Fellowship in 2015 and received the Havel Foundation prize the same year. He has received state orders from Estonia, Lithuania, and Poland. He is a member of the Committee on Conscience of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, is the faculty advisor for the Fortunoff Collection of Holocaust Testimonies at Yale, and sits on the advisory councils of the Yivo Institute for Jewish Research and other organizations.

Organized by the Arsham and Charlotte Ohanessian Chair at the University of Minnesota, and co-sponsored by the University of Minnesota's Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies, the Arsham and Charlotte Ohanessian Chair, the Center for Austrian Studies, and the University of St. Thomas' Jay Phillips Center for Interfaith Learning, Aquinas Chair in Theology and Philosophy, College of Arts and Sciences, and the Grants and Research Office. Made possible with support from the Arsham and Charlotte Ohanessian Fund for Justice and Peace Studies of the Minneapolis Foundation.

This lecture is part of the "Comparative Genocide Studies and the Holocaust: Conflict and Convergence,” an international Symposium, April 6-8, 2017 at the University of Minnesota.

To make an accessibility request, call Disability Resources at (651) 962-6315.

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