Discussion On Human Rights Continues In Library Series

Dr. Joshua Arthurs

WHEELING — In order to explore what we collectively call “Human Rights,” the Ohio County Public Library, in partnership with the Wheeling Academy of Law and Science (WALS) Foundation, has invited a diverse array of scholars and dynamic speakers from a variety of fields to present different perspectives on the development of Human Rights from the ancient to the modern worlds.

At 7 p.m. Tuesday at the Ohio County Public Library in Wheeling, West Virginia University history professor Dr. Joshua Arthurs will explore “Human Rights Under Communism, Fascism and Totalitarianism.” The program is part of the ongoing People’s University series focusing on “Human Rights” at the library.

In the 20 Century, liberal democracy came under assault from revolutionary ideas of both the left and the right. Communism and fascism offered radically alternative conceptions of society and human rights, and posed existential threats to the political order that had developed in Europe since the French Revolution. The group will explore the development and meaning of these two ideologies and critically dissect the related concept of totalitarianism. The group will also apply this historical lens to present-day challenges to liberal democracy.

Arthurs is associate professor of history at West Virginia University and a fellow of the American Academy in Rome. He is a cultural and social historian of 20th Century Italy and Europe, with a focus on fascism and the far right; everyday life in war and dictatorship; and the politics of memory. His publications include “Excavating Modernity: The Roman Past in Fascist Italy” (Cornell University Press, 2012) and the edited volume “The Politics of Everyday Life in Fascist Italy: Outside the State?” (Palgrave MacMillan, 2017).

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