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Catalonia’s independence movement topic of International Seminar Series, February 28

Europe’s current challenges and past legacies will be the focus of the Spring International Seminar Series.

Under the theme “Europe in a Global Context,” speakers will address topics ranging from the resurgence of far-right groups in Germany, the implications of Brexit, and the independence movement in Spain, to causes of Europe’s economic crisis and struggles for refugees.

Talks will take place at noon on Wednesdays in the Bone Student Center through April 25. The series is free and open to the public. Find a full list of speakers on the International Seminar Series website.

February 28
“Catalonia’s Independence Movement”

Illinois State’s Associate Professor of Spanish Montserrat Mir will examine the independence movement of Catalonia in northeastern Spain. Mir, who was born in Barcelona, will explore how many Catalans feel that they are a separate people with their own history, language, and culture which must be protected through the restoration of their own nation. In this talk, he will briefly explain the historical reasons for the independence movement as well as the most recent events that led to the referendum in October 1 and the declaration of independence by the Catalan government afterwards.

March 7
“Brexit—It’s British Context and the International Implications”

Illinois State’s Assistant Professor of History Richard Soderlund will explore the latest developments in Brexit, or the “divorce” of Britain from the European Union.

March 21
“Refugees Need Language—Perspectives on the Linguistic Integration of Adult Migrants (LIAM) Initiative of the Council of Europe”

A record number (more than 5 million) of mostly adult migrants and refugees from non-EU countries have immigrated to the European Union since 2015. Associate Professor of French and Linguistics Zsuzsanna Fagyal at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign will offer an overview of the Council of Europe’s “Linguistic Integration of Adult Migrants” (LIAM) initiatives, which assist host countries in providing rapid acquisition of basic competence in the national languages for migrants.

Fagyal earned a doctorate from the Université de Paris III Sorbonne Nouvelle. Her research focuses on the sociophonetics of French and language policy and planning in Europe.

The series is sponsored by the Office of International Studies and Programs and co-sponsored by the Harold K. Sage Fund and Illinois State University Foundation; 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, contact the Office of International Studies and Programs at (309) 438-5276.

This story will be updated throughout the semester. Go to the International Seminar Series website for a full list of speakers.

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