Colloquium with Elidor Mëhilli

November 1 Wednesday, 4:30pm | Oakley Center

Archives are places of fiction and fact: They offer visitors clues and paths for intellectual discovery, but also present them with traps and problems of interpretation. Too often treated as merely repositories of “findings,” buried truths, or “declassified secrets,” the archives of Communist states can offer, in fact, broader and profound insights into state-building practices, national anxieties, and how geopolitics shapes the production of history. This talk explores the creation, uses, and abuses of Albania’s archives across the 20th and 21st centuries — fascism to socialism to the chaos of the 1990s — in conversation with recent histories of the role of archives from Guatemala to Romania to Saudi Arabia. As fabricated histories of Albanian Communism and post-Communism proliferate, archives also emerge as sites of ongoing self-invention, privatization, and capital accumulation since the 1990s.

Elidor Mëhilli teaches European and international history at Hunter College and the Graduate Center of the City University of New York. His work and research interests include authoritarianism, contacts between Europeans and non-Europeans, and the global Cold War. Mëhilli is the author of the award-winning From Stalin to Mao: Albania and the Socialist World. For this colloquium, he will be in conversation with Professor of History Chris Waters.

RSVPs required. Register here to join the conversation.