Inglorious Comparisons

In the pages of the newspapers of record in the United States and Europe, historical comparisons to current political events are flying thick and fast. The European history of the early twentieth century—in particular the rise of European fascism—has become an omnipresent simile on both ends of the political spectrum. But an analogy is not necessarily appropriate or illuminating simply because it is common, and comparisons to history draw as much criticism as acclaim. The Department of Germanic Languages and Literatures invites you to a series of discussions intended to test the merit of these inglorious comparisons, asking whether they shed light on recent and ongoing developments or instead obfuscate or even trivialize them.

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