Sunday, November 24, 2013, 5 - 7 pm

UNC-Chapel HillInstitute for the Arts & HumanitiesHyde Hall

Karen Hagemann (UNC-Chapel Hill))

Heroes, Horror and Hunger:
The Battle of Leipzig in October 1813 — Experiences and Memories

On October 16 and 19, 1813 the largest battle in history before World War I took place in Leipzig and its Saxon hinterland. It decided the fate of Europe by leading to the end of the Napoleonic Empire. Although the military history of the Napoleonic Wars has been thoroughly researched, we still know relatively little about how it affected civilians. This lecture seeks to rectify that imbalance by exploring what the new forms of warfare with mass armies mobilized by national propaganda meant for civilians. It will argue that unless we take these varied experiences and their contested interpretations into account, we cannot hope to understand why events like the battle of Leipzig came to occupy such a prominent place in regional, national and European memory.

Karen Hagemann is the James G. Kenan Distinguished Professor of History at UNC- Chapel Hill. She has published widely in German and European 19th and 20th-century history. Currently she finished the monograph Revisiting Prussia’s Wars Against Napoleon: History, Culture, Memory (Cambridge University Press).

North Carolina German Studies Seminar Series

Co-sponsored by the Triangle Institute for Security Studies