Paolina's Innocence: Child Abuse in Casanova's Venice, Larry Wolff

New York, NY

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Event Details

Tuesday, November 13, 2012
20 Cooper Square, 5th Floor

Larry Wolff, Professor of History and Director of European and Mediterranean Studies at NYU, speaks on his latest work, Paolina’s Innocence: Child Abuse in Casanova’s Venice (Stanford University Press, 2012). With commentators Jane Tylus, Professor of Italian Studies and Faculty Director of the Humanities Initiative at NYU, and Dr. Lori Legano, M.D., Assistant Professor in the Department of Pediatrics, NYU, and Board Certified in Child Abuse Pediatrics.

Paolina's Innocence explores an 18th century case of child abuse in an era associated with liberty and libertinism. Wolff examines the case in the context of the libertinism of Casanova and also employs other prominent contemporaries—Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Carlo Goldoni, Lorenzo Da Ponte, Cesare Beccaria, and the Marquis de Sade—as points of reference for understanding the case and broader issues of libertinism, sexual crime, childhood, and child abuse in the 18th century.

Professor Wolff works  on the history of Eastern Europe, the Habsburg Monarchy, the Enlightenment, and on the history of childhood, and 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. Previous works include Inventing Eastern Europe: The Map of Civilization on the Mind of the Enlightenment (Stanford University Press, 1994), Venice and the Slavs: The Discovery of Dalmatia in the Age of Enlightenment ( Stanford University Press, 2001), and The Idea of Galicia: History and Fantasy in Habsburg Political Culture (Stanford University Press, 2010). He is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and is the recipient of numerous honors, including a Guggenheim Fellowship, Fulbright Fellowship, and the 2012 Karl von Vogelsang State Prize for History.

Part of the Great Books in the Humanities Series.

This event is free and open to the public. A reception will follow.