Mahler's Vienna and New York. Reflections on Modernism and Antisemitism

Krzysztof Michalski Memorial Lecture

From the vantage of Gustav Mahler's late nineteenth and early twentieth-century experiences as the director of the Court Opera in Vienna and the Metropolitan Opera and the New York Philharmonic in New York, we can discern a key contrast in types of anti-Jewish ideas and practices.  Each of Mahler's cities was uncommonly multicultural, with significant proportions of politically emancipated and assimilated Jews, and each suffered no shortage of antisemitism.  Yet with a crucial difference-the presence or absence of political antisemitism. The talk explores this variation by considering how modern mass politics based on popular sovereignty variously entwined with political liberalism and religious toleration and considers the broader implications for decently navigating human differences.      

Ira Katznelson is Ruggles Professor of Political Science and History at Columbia University. His "Fear Itself: The New Deal and the Origins of Our Time" (2013), received the Bancroft Prize in History and the Woodrow Wilson Foundation Award in Political Science.  Other books include "Liberalism’s Crooked Circle: Letters to Adam Michnik" (1996), and "Desolation and Enlightenment: Political Knowledge after Total War, Totalitarianism, and the Holocaust" (2003). He is a member of the IWM Board.

Misha Glenny, Rector of the IWM, will open the evening and introduce the speaker.

Here you can find the recording of the event