Larry Wolff

Professor of History, Director of Center for European and Mediterranean Studies

New York University

Professor Wolff is a professor of History and the Director of Center for European and Mediterranean Studies at NYU, having received his PhD from Stanford in 1984. He works on the history of Eastern Europe, the Habsburg Monarchy, the Enlightenment, and on the history of childhood. HHe tends to work as an intellectual and cultural historian. He has been most interested in problems concerning East and West within Europe: whether concerning the Vatican and Poland, Venice and the Slavs, or Vienna and Galicia. He developed the argument that Eastern Europe was "invented" in the eighteenth century, by the philosophes and travelers of the Enlightenment, who attributed meaning to a supposed division of Europe into complementary regions, Western Europe and Eastern Europe. He has analyzed Western perspectives on Eastern Europe as a sort of "demi-Orientalism," negotiating a balance between attributed difference and acknowledged resemblance. Considering Venetian perspectives on Dalmatia and Habsburg perspectives on Galicia, he has attempted to explore the meaning of "Eastern Europe" within imperial frameworks and the ideology of empire. His research on the history of childhood has included projects on child abuse in Freud's Vienna and child abuse in Casanova's Venice. His current research concerns Turkish subjects on the European operatic stage during the long eighteenth century, and analyzes musical and dramatic representations in the context of European-Ottoman relations. He was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2003, and was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship in 2002-2003. He has received multiple International Research & Exchanges Travel Fellowships, Gladys Krieble Delmas Foundation Grants, and American Council of Learned Societies Fellowships. He has published six boks, most recently Paolina’s Innocence: Child Abuse in Casanova’s Venice (Stanford University Press, 2012).