Learn about EU Day and the keynote delivered by His Excellency Henne Schuwer, Ambassador of the Netherlands to the U.S. on the 14th Annual EU Day on February 29th.
The European Union Center at the University of Illinois offers the only Master of Arts in European Union Studies (MAEUS) program in the Western Hemisphere. Learn more here.
Dr. Liv Thorstensson Dávila discussed langauge education as a part of the EUC Faculty Lecture Series.
Watch the online roundtable discussion sponsored by the University of Pittsburgh.
Read about the 2015 recipient of the Larry Neal Prize for Excellence in EU Studies, Michelle Egan, and her book Single Markets
Missed an EUC-hosted lecture? Our blog's video tag has archived previous EUC-sponsored lectures.
Monday, October 21, 2013
Friday, October 18, 2013
A video of the lecture can be viewed below or by clicking here:
Wednesday, October 16, 2013
Elements of American culture abound in France, and vice versa. But that doesn't mean we are all doomed to cultural homogenization. Take hip-hop music, for example.
There are few cultural forms more American than hip-
hop, and yet it has taken firm hold in France. Over the last three decades, France has grown to become the largest market in the world (behind only the United States) for the production and consumption of this genre. But French hip-hop is not a copy of its American precursor. On the contrary, it is a rich scene of French artists who rap in their national language (and local argot) and narrate their own unique socio-political realities.
Unbeknownst to Americans, the French were among the first to embrace hip-hop. In 1984, the world's first regularly and nationally broadcast hip-hop television show made its debut on France's largest television channel, TF1 — long before any equivalent would appear in the United States. Later, the French minister of culture Jack Lang, whose mission was to promote and cultivate "French" culture, proclaimed that "intellectually, morally and artistically," hip-hop was a movement: "Even if in the beginning it drew inspiration from America, I believe it has found its originality here in France." In a decade, hip-hop went from being a fun, foreign, American import to being recognized as a source of French cultural pride.
The story of hip-hop in France makes clear that culture — and sometimes, in particular, presumed "national cultures" — are malleable and fluid. The borders that are constructed around a set of cultural practices and mark them as truly "French" or "American" only reflect the concerns of a given moment. And although hip-hop's historical roots are undeniably American, the music is now a lingua franca that speaks as powerfully to realities in France as it does in its country of birth.
Samir Meghelli is a professor of African American studies and French at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He is writing "Between New York and Paris: A Transatlantic History of Hip Hop" and is on Twitter.
This post was originally posted on the New York Times Opinion Pages on October 14, 2013 as part of the Room for Debate series "Is France Becoming Too American?"
Monday, October 14, 2013
The video can be viewed on YouTube or below:
Friday, October 4, 2013
Lost amidst recent debate1 of whether the international community should militarily intervene in Syria are all the ways in which intervention has already happened.
As of late September, the European Community Humanitarian Office (ECHO) had allocated nearly €1.8 billion to provide support for the over 6 million Syrians either registered as refugees or internally displaced since the crisis began in 2011. Funds originate from the EU humanitarian aid budget, as well as individual member states—the UK (€ 473 million) and Germany (€205 million) being the largest donors. The US, in 2012 and 2013 alone, provided nearly $1.4 billion in assistance.
Compare with the tens of millions of dollars Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel told the House of Representatives that limited airstrikes in Syria would cost. Even if we assume that costs would be much higher, say in the hundreds of millions and perhaps approaching $1 billion (the approximate US contribution to the Libyan intervention), the numbers still don’t amount to the funds already poured into the crisis by the US and EU—albeit for more virtuous humanitarian assistance. This is not to say that the US or the broader international community should approve military intervention in Syria. But, it is to say that the isolationist refrain, heard recently across the US and perhaps parts of Europe, that tax dollars cannot continue to be wasted on conflicts in the Middle East is a bit off-base. For better or worse, the US and EU are already heavily invested, having already spent tax dollars in greater sums than a limited military intervention would likely require.
Fortunately, diplomatic negotiations have progressed, and military intervention now appears less imminent. Still, the humanitarian crisis on the ground continues to worsen. Even before the chemical weapons attack in late August, the UN had already increased the 2013 humanitarian appeal from $1.5 to $4.4 billion—the largest humanitarian appeal in the history of the UN. So, if there’s one certainty about the current crisis, it’s that the international community must continue to provide substantial monetary assistance. The stability of a region teetering on the brink depends on it.
|Refugee camp in Turkey (Source: Creative Commons)|
1 The European Union Center (EUC) at the University of Illinois co-hosted a Teach-In on Syria on September 18, where professors from departments across campus addressed key issues concerning the conflict in Syria and held a robust dialogue with the audience. A video of the teach-in may be viewed by clicking here.
Wednesday, October 2, 2013
Zihnioğlu was a Visiting Scholar at the European Union Center during spring 2012. During her stay, she taught a course on EU civil society policy and gave a public lecture on the "Europeanization of Turkish NGOs."
Her new book is an important contribution to the current scholarship on EU-Turkey relations. Earlier in September, it was the 50th anniversary of the signing of the Ankara Agreement between Turkey and the European Economic Community. The Turkish Studies Program at the University of Illinois offers language courses at the elementary, intermediate, and advanced levels, as well as culture courses offered in English and faculty-led study abroad programs.