Ideological Storms: Intellectuals and the Totalitarian Temptation

November 14, 2011 // 9:00am3:15pm
Event Co-sponsors: 
History and Public Policy Program
Podcast (Audio-only): 
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The Center for the Study of Post-Communist Societies at the University of Maryland, College Park and the Romanian Cultural Institute in collaboration with the Wilson Center's Cold War International History Project began, in 2007, a series of conferences in Washington D.C. focused on providing, by means of reflection on watershed moments of post-1945 history, an overview of the global dynamics characteristic for the 20th century and its lessons and impact upon the 21st. In the previous years, the central topics were centered on the Sovietization of Eastern Europe, the promises of 1968, the meanings of 1989, and on the process of overcoming a traumatic past in post-authoritarian societies.

This year's conference entitled Ideological Storms: Intellectuals and the Totalitarian Temptation will take place on 14-15 November 2011.

The conference will provide an overview of the main issues raised by the temptation of the extremes in the 20th century and their weight upon the contemporary world. The aim is to create a forum that will discuss the political passions, radicalism, utopian ideals, and their catastrophic consequences in the twentieth century’s experiments in massive social engineering which will attempt to chart the map of and explain what Hannah Arendt called “the ideological storms” of a century second to none in terms of violence, hubris, ruthlessness and human sacrifices.

14 November: Woodrow Wilson Center
To RSVP to Day 1 of the conference email:

15 November: OFF-SITE at the Embassy of Romania
To RSVP to Day 2 of the conference email:

Conference speakers include:
Christian Ostermann, Wilson Center; Mark Lilla, Columbia University; Cristina Vatulescu, New York University; Jeffrey Herf, University of Maryland; Michael David-Fox, Georgetown University; Angelo Mitchievici, Ovidius University, Romania; Balazs Trencsenyi, Central European University; Ian Ward, University of Maryland; Stanislao G. Pugliese, Hofstra University; Nikos Marantzidis, University of Macedonia-Thessaloniki; Jeffrey Isaac, University of Indiana, Bloomington.


5th Floor, Woodrow Wilson Center

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Meetings listed on this page are free and open to the public. Reservations are not required unless otherwise noted. All meetings take place at the Woodrow Wilson Center in Washington, DC. Please see map and directions. Allow time for routine security procedures. A photo ID is required for entry.

To confirm time and place, contact Maria-Stella Gatzoulis on the day of the event: tel. (202) 691-4188. Check this page for the latest updates and notices.

Experts & Staff

  • Christian F. Ostermann // Director, History and Public Policy Program; Global Europe; Cold War International History Project; North Korea Documentation Project; Nuclear Proliferation International History Project
  • Laura Deal // Catalog Specialist
  • Pieter Biersteker // Editorial Assistant
  • Charles Kraus // Program Associate
  • Evan Pikulski // Program Assistant
  • Roy O. Kim // Program Assistant
  • James Person // Deputy Director, History and Public Policy Program; Cold War International History Project; North Korea Documentation Project; Nuclear Proliferation International History Project