Orel Beilinson

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Orel Beilinson am a historian of Eurasia at Yale University, where I am currently writing my doctoral dissertation. I study the region that stretches from Central Europe to Central Asia and from Eastern Europe to the Middle East in the nineteenth and twentieth century. Family life, labor, education, youth, and social stratification are themes that guide me as I navigate these vast territories.

My dissertation, “Tomorrow Belongs to Me: Coming-of-Age in the Other Europe,” is a new history of youth in Central, Eastern, and Southeastern/Ottoman Europe from the mid-nineteenth to the mid-twentieth century. Based on sources in all major regional languages, the dissertation uncovers a radical transformation in how adolescents became adults in industrializing Europe starting around 1870. Land reforms and industrialization, ideologies of meritocracy and individualism, shattering empires and new oceanic routes – all these transformations freed adolescents from becoming their parents. My dissertation shows how young adults became tormented by choice and how this crisis impacted their political participation. Weaving socioeconomic, cultural-literary, and political histories, “Tomorrow Belongs to Me” offers a new synthetic interpretation of adolescent Europe’s experience of industrialized modernity written from its East.

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