What are you looking for?

Seminar: The Emergence of Terrorism in 19th-century Europe and the US

On 13 December, historian Carola Dietze will hold a seminar exploring the birth of modern terrorism: “The invention of the deed. The emergence of terrorism in Europe and the United States in the 19th century”.


About the Seminar

Carola Dietze presents her project, in which she examines how the development of mass media and the public in nineteenth-century Europe and the United States influenced the birth of the “propaganda of the deed,” i.e., terrorism in its modern shape. Moreover, she compares how societies in the nineteenth century dealt with the phenomenon of terrorism and what the political consequences of these different approaches were. Terrorist acts would be meaningless if they could not reach a wide audience, above all through the media. So terrorist acts are, by definition, “media events,” a term which, in itself, implies a constructivist approach. Although the concrete and immediate outcome of these attacks is well known, Dietze looks more closely at the political struggles surrounding the events that led to these consequences. She also examines the transnational representation of the attacks as well as their international impact. By examining political assassinations and assassination attempts as transnational media events, this project analyzes the symbiotic relationship between terrorism and mass media in the period when it came into being, in the last third of the nineteenth century. Its overarching aim is to help historicize the phenomenon of “terrorism” by confronting the discourse on the recent attacks with the discussions in the nineteenth century.

The lecture is followed by an open discussion.


About the Speaker

Carola Dietze is Senior Researcher at the Justus-Liebig-Universität Gießen and is a NIAS Fellow 2012/13.


About NIAS Seminars

NIAS Seminars are organised by the Rector of the Institute. They are meant to appeal to interested parties from a wide range of backgrounds and are aimed to encourage closer contact within the Dutch academic world.

NIAS Seminars take place in the Lecture Room (NIAS, Meijboomlaan 1, Wassenaar, telephone 070-512 27 00). This Seminar starts at 11.00 hours and ends at 12.30. Everyone is welcome to attend the seminar and join the discussion. However, since changes in the programme may occur, please let us know if you wish to attend. For further information, contact Communication.