2014 TEC Lectureship on Europe and the World with Adam Tooze, Yale University

2014 TEC Lectureship on Europe and the World with Adam Tooze, Yale University

Wednesday, April 30, 2014
4:00 PM - 4:00 PM

April 30th and May 1st: Koret-Taube Conference Center in the Gunn–SIEPR Building (366 Galvez Street).

May 2nd: Bechtel Conference Center in Encina Hall (616 Serra Street).

  • Adam Tooze

The Europe Center invites you to the inaugural annual lectures of this series by Adam Tooze, Barton M. Briggs Professor of History, Yale University. On the centenary of the outbreak of the First World War, Adam Tooze will deliver three lectures about the history of the transformation of the global power structure that followed from Imperial Germany’s decision to provoke America’s declaration of war in 1917.  Tooze advances a powerful explanation of why the First World War rearranged political and economic structures across Eurasia and the British Empire, sowed the seeds of revolution in Russia and China, and laid the foundations of a new global order that began to revolve around the United States and the Pacific. These lectures will present an argument for why the fate of effectively the whole of civilization changed in 1917, and why the First World War’s legacy continues to shape our world today.

Titles and venues are listed below.

Wednesday, Apr 30, 2014, 4:00 pm - 5:30 pm
Location: Koret Taube Room, Gunn-SIEPR
“Making Peace in Europe 1917-1919: Brest-Litovsk and Versailles”
Recent events in Ukraine pose the question, is a comprehensive peace for Europe, both East and West, possible? This lecture will address the first moment in which that question was posed, during and after World War I. In light of current events the lecture will focus on the influence of Russian power and powerlessness in shaping both the abortive effort to make peace in the East between Imperial Germany and Soviet Russia at Brest Litovsk - the first treaty to recognize the existence of an independent Ukraine - and the efforts to make peace in the West at Versailles and after. Returning to the period 1917-1923 suggests sobering conclusions about the stability of the order that we have taken for granted since 1991.


Thursday, May 1, 2014, 4:00 pm - 5:30 pm
Location: Koret Taube Room, Gunn-SIEPR
“Hegemony: Europe, America and the Problem of Financial Reconstruction, 1916-1933”

Having established itself in the 19th century as the financial center of the world, Europe's sudden impoverishment by World War I came as a dramatic shock. The ensuing trans-Atlantic crises of the 1920s and early 1930s were not only the most severe but the most consequential in the history of Europe and the wider world. But, to this day there is substantial disagreement amongst both social scientists and historians as to the causes of the disaster. Was it American leadership or a failure of cooperation that was to blame? This lecture will argue the case for a revised and historicized version of the hegemonic failure thesis. The absence presence of American influence was crucial in determining Europe's fate.


Friday, May 2, 2014, 4:00 pm - 5:30 pm
Location: Bechtel Conference Center
Followed by a reeception, 5:30 pm - 6:15 pm
“Unsettled Lands: The Interwar Crisis of Agrarian Europe”
Until the middle of the twentieth century Europe, like the rest of the world, was majority agrarian. And yet the most influential accounts of the interwar crisis, framed as they were by the industrial and urban world of the later twentieth-century Europe, tended to ignore this evident fact, focusing instead on workers and business-men, politicians and soldiers. This lecture will illustrate how brining the peasantry back in has the potential not only to throw new light on Europe's great epoch of crisis, but to open that history, beyond the Bloodlands to the wider world.


Tooze is the author of The Wages of Destruction: The Making and Breaking of the Nazi Economy (2006) and Statistics and the German State 1900-1945: The Making of Modern Economic Knowledge (2001), among numerous other scholarly articles on modern European history.