Tid og Biografi. Forventninger og Forhandlinger rundt det Wilsonske Øyeblikket

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

The article explores how the biography’s focus on time, experience and expectations can make us rethink watershed moments in history. With offset in Reinhart Koselleck’s theories on time, the article follows Thanassis Aghnides, a Greek-Ottoman jurist-diplomat who through his work towards a Greater Greece ends up in the League of Nations Secretariat at the end of World War I. His expectations of what the peace held for Greece were dashed by realities, sparking a personal negotiation of its promises. The article shows how the so-called Wilsonian Moment – when so many of the world’s national and anti-colonial leaders looked to the Paris peace conference of 1919 in the hopes of self-determination and territories – was animated by an almost endless spectre of visions of the future. Indeed, it was “overburdened” by incompatible intentions. 1919, then, is first and foremost a climax, after which the spectre of opportunities dwindled drastically by the day. From the perspective of the historical actors, an ‘expected’ moment, like the end of WWI, is thus extended. It structures their focus long before it occurs and bleeds into their experiences afterwards. This is crucial in understanding the motives and decisions of actors in and around watershed moments in history.
Translated title of the contributionTime and Biography. Expectations and Negotiations Around the Wilsonian Moment
Original languageNorwegian
Article number5
JournalTEMP - tidsskrift for historie
Issue number22
Pages (from-to)81-97
Number of pages16
Publication statusPublished - 2021

ID: 256887402