The Hannah Arendt Center for Politics and Humanities at Bard College
The Hannah Arendt Center for Politics and Humanities at Bard College

Conferences

Annalia 1933

Annalia 1933

Bard's Hannah Arendt Center and Center for Civic Engagement in collaboration with the Roosevelt Institute and the Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library and Museum in Hyde Park, NY announce Annalia 1933—a three day Festival including 20 short talks and a student-led cabaret exploring major events from the historically transformative year of 1933. The festival will take place Wednesday, September 18 (at FDR Library), Thursday, September 19 (at Bard) and Friday, September 20 (at Bard).

View the full schedule here.

1933 was the year Adolf Hitler came to power in Germany and Franklin Delano Roosevelt assumed the presidency in the United States. It is the beginning, therefore, of totalitarianism and the American version of the welfare state. It was also the year of the Humanist Manifesto, the release of the movies Duck Soup and King Kong, the dedication of Mount Rushmore, the Chicago World's Fair, Osip Mandelstam's "Stalin Epigram," FDR's 100 Days, the first concentration camps in Germany, the burning of the Reichstag, and Japan's withdrawal from the League of Nations following its invasion of Manchuria.

Annalia 1933 features Bard Faculty participating on panels and offering short talks about multiple events from their disciplines that occurred in 1933 talks (each talk will be approx. 10 minutes and will be followed by 20 minutes of Q&A). The intent is to offer insight into meaningful historical moments by looking closely at one year from a plurality of perspectives. Talks include "Native Advocates: Mount Rushmore, Indigenous Rights, and John Collier,” “Churchill, King and Country," “A Century of Progress?: Race and the 1933 Chicago World’s Fair," “A Long Day’s Journey to the Right: The Strange Case of Louis Ferdinand Celine," “On the Eve of Destruction? East European Jewry, 1933," “The Humanist Manifesto and the New Anti-Humanism," and more. Bard Professor of Literature Justus Rosenberg, who fled Germany as a child in 1933, will also speak about his experiences in Germany in 1933.

In addition to the talks by Bard Faculty, Bard students from the Theatre program will be presenting a Cabaret featuring food, drinks, and performances all set in and around 1933. Songs, dances, monologues, and excerpts from plays that were performed in 1933 will contribute to our exploration of the world as it was 80 years ago on the cusp of disruption and transformation. 

"It is striking how fleeting is the historical consciousness not only of students but also of highly educated and often overly specialized adults," says Roger Berkowitz, Academic Director of the Hannah Arendt Center at Bard College. "We often learn history in broad sweeps by studying 'The 20th Century' or in narrow focus when we study 'The Rise of Totalitarianism.' The driving force behind the idea of Annalia 1933, is that certain years like 1933, 1914, and 1848 combine transformative and quotidian events—that both Hitler and Roosevelt came to power in 1933 allows a reflection on both the coherence and serendipity of history.” Jonathan Becker, Bard's Vice President for Civic Engagement, says, “We hope that Bard's new Annalia series will be an exciting way to give meaning and sense to our common history. We are particularly pleased that we will be doing this in collaboration with the Roosevelt Institute and Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library and Museum and that students and public alike will be exposed to a wide array of events that cover tremendous geographic and thematic diversity.” 

The talks this year will take place on September 18-20, 2013 and are open to the public. The intent is to make the Annalia Festival an annual event, focusing each time on a different significant year in history. Next year, for example, will be Annalia 1914. 

Annalia 1933 begins on Wednesday, Sept. 18 at the Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library and Museum in Hyde Park, NY with a guided tour of the museum and a panel titled “1933—A Transformative Year in American and World History,” to be led by David Woolner, Senior Fellow and Hyde Park Resident Historian of the Roosevelt Institute. We continue on Thursday, Sept. 19 at Bard College with a panel titled “1933—Adolf Hitler Becomes Chancellor of Germany,” featuring President of the College, Leon Botstein, and a series of short talks which will continue into Friday, Sept. 20.