The topic of the Spring 2018 International Seminar Series will be “Europe in a Global Context.” These events will take place at noon on Wednesdays in the Bone Student Center throughout the semester. The series is free and open to the public.
Kathryn Jasper and Anthony Crubaugh, both from the Department of History, have worked with the Office of International Studies and Programs to coordinate this semester’s series.
The relationship between the U.S. and Europe is among the most important of global partnerships. European civilization greatly shaped U.S. political, intellectual, and social culture; democracy, the nation state, capitalism, and industrialization all originated in Europe. Intellectual movements from the earliest philosophers and poets (Sappho, Plato, Aristotle) to great medieval thinkers (Thomas Aquinas, Christine De Pizan) to the groundbreaking scholars of the Enlightenment (D’Alembert, David Hume, Mary Wollstonecraft), and modern intellectuals (Simone de Beauvoir, Michel Foucault) all informed American culture, education, and statecraft.
Furthermore, Europe does not exist in a vacuum. Economic decline, extreme ecological shifts, plague, and large-scale warfare have always had a global effect; likewise, when Europe experienced great moments of creativity in the realms of art, literature, music, religion, and philosophy it has historically sparked worldwide change. While the intellectual legacy of European civilization appears as a positive contribution, the U.S. has also inherited the problems associated with the consolidation of Western Christendom, such as the exclusion and “otherness” of particular groups, such as immigrants, Jews, and Muslims, and the internal conflicts that “made” Europe and its first states.
The European Union today includes 28 individual states, making it a complex and dynamic entity. It depends on concentrated and collaborative international relationships, which is the very definition of internationalism. Because of demographic shifts and immigration, individual European nations have become less and less homogeneous and more cosmopolitan over time. The international seminar series will examine these and other issues through an interdisciplinary lens.
The series is sponsored by the Office of International Studies and Programs and co-sponsored by the Harold K. Sage Fund; Milner Library; the College of Arts and Sciences; the Department of Economics; the Department of Politics and Government; the Department of English; the Department of Sociology and Anthropology; the Department of Languages, Literatures, and Cultures; the School of Art; and the Department of History.
For additional information, please contact the Office of International Studies and Programs at (309) 438-5276.