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International Seminar Series: Refugees need language, March 21

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.

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 socio-phonetics of French and language policy and planning in Europe.

March 28
“Banking on Markets: Europe’s Economic Crisis and Reform”

International Studies Professor Rachel A. Epstein from University of Denver will lead a discussion on Europe’s economic crisis and reformations.

Epstein who teaches International Relations and European Politics at the Josef Korbel School of International Studies, is the author of In Pursuit of Liberalism (2008) and Banking on Markets (2017). Epstein is also a co-editor at the Review of International Political Economy. Her research interests include post-communist transition, the enlargement of the European Union and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, financial crises, and reform.

April 4
“Secular StagnationIs Economic Growth a Matter of the Past?”

The Robert H. Strortz Professor of Arts and Sciences, Joel Mokyr from Northwestern University will provide an overview about the history of economic growth and discuss about sustainability. Mokyr will rope in the topic of industrial revolution and its connection to economic growth.

Mokyr specializes in economic history and the economics of technological change and population change. He has authored over 100 articles and books in his field including “Why Ireland Starved: An Analytical and Quantitative Study of the Irish Economy,” “The Lever of Riches: Technological Creativity and Economic Progress,” and The British Industrial Revolution: An Economic Perspective among others. His most recent work titled A Culture of Growth has been published by Princeton University Press. Mokyr is also a Sackler Professor (by special appointment) at the Eitan Berglas School of Economics at the University of Tel Aviv in Israel.

April 11
“Woodrow Wilson and the Impact of the United States on World War I”

Ross A. Kennedy, the chair of Illinois State University’s Department of History, will talk about World War I and America’s impact on the conflict.  American policies under Woodrow Wilson from 1914 onwardsheavily influenced the balance of power between the Allies and the Central Powers, and impacted the key decisions made in London, Paris, and Berlin. In his talk, Kennedy will examine those choices and the relationship of the United States to these powers. He will also discuss the structure of the international system that emerged from World War I.

Kennedy has written extensively on American domestic politics and foreign policy during World War I. Some of his work includes The Will to Believe: Woodrow Wilson, World War I, and America’s Strategy for Peace and Security (2009), among others. Kennedy’s current project, titled The United States and the Origins of World War II, analyzes how the policies of the United States contributed to the structure of great power politics from 1918 to 1939.

April 18
“The Lutheran Reformation—A Balance Sheet After 500 Years”

Professor of History Emeritus John Freed of Illinois State University will discuss about The Lutheran Reformation and explore the good and the bad that came out of it. His speech will throw some light on the negative outcomes of the reform, from the confiscation of church property and  confessionalization to religious intolerance and bloody wars of religion. Freed’s professional field of expertise is medieval Germany. He is the author of several books including “Frederick Barbarossa: The Prince and the Myth (2016), The Friars and German Society in the Thirteenth Century (1977), and The Counts of Falkenstein: Noble Self-Consciousness in Twelfth-Century Germany (1984) among others.

April 25
“Europe’s Crisis of Multiculturalism?”

Professor of History Rita Chin from University of Michigan at Ann Arbor will discuss the growing belief of multiculturalism failure in Europe. Chin will offer an overview of Britain’s 1989 Rushdie affair and the headscarf controversy in France and how these events laid the groundwork for present-day doubts about Muslim immigrants and their incompatibility with European society and values. Some of Chin’s work include The Crisis of Multiculturalism in Europe: A History (2017), and The Guest Worker Question in Postwar Germany (2007). She is also the co-author of After the Nazi Racial State: Difference and Democracy in Germany and Beyond (2009).

The series is sponsored by the Office of International Studies and Programs and co-sponsored by the Harold K. Sage Fund and the 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.

Go to the International Seminar Series website for a full list of speakers.

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