EU Day 2017

Learn about EU Day and the keynote delivered by David O'Sullivan, Ambassador of the EU to the U.S. on the 15th Annual EU Day on March 15.

Master of Arts in European Union Studies

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.

Language Shapes Opinion Towards Gender Equality

Dr. Margit Tavits discussed langauge and gender as a part of the EUC Faculty Lecture Series.

Conversations on Europe

Watch the collection of online roundtable discussions on different EU issues sponsored by the University of Pittsburgh.

Transatlantic Relationships after US Elections

Watch the EUC Sponsored Roundtable on Transatlantic Relations after the 2016 US Election with Moderator Niala Boodhoo

Videos of Previous Lectures

Missed an EUC-hosted lecture? Our blog's video tag has archived previous EUC-sponsored lectures.

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Revolutionary Film Series: The Commissar

By Cassia Smith

Revolutions, where lofty goals meet complicated reality, are often left to grapple with the ethics and practical implications of their ideology. In her writeup of the Soviet film The Commissar for the REEEC blog, Comparative and World Literature grad student Lizy Mostowski discusses the ways this film tackles the less savory implications of the Russian revolution. In particular, she highlights Professor Harriet Murav's introduction to the screening, which outlined the film's relationship with suffering, violence, and anti-Semitism, as well as its unfriendly reception by the Communist Party. Whether you attended the screening yourself or want some context before watching the film on your own, the blog serves as a great companion to the viewing experience.
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Revolutionary Film Series: I Am Cuba

By Cassia Smith

How do you evaluate a film that failed to achieve its ambitious political goals at the time it was released? What if it went on to be embraced by other factions for other purposes long after it first flopped? How do you evaluate a screening of a film that was rejected by the very revolution it tried to valorize? And how do you do that in the context of contemporary politics? History PhD candidate Franziska Yost wrestles with these questions and more in her thoughtful, in-depth discussion of the November screening of the Soviet film I Am Cuba. Read her write-up on the REEEC blog to learn more about the film's complicated past and how local audiences responded to the screening.
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Monday, January 29, 2018

The 1917/2017 Symposium: First Decades, Global Reverberations

By Cassia Smith

Over the course of the fall semester, the European Union Center joined other campus units in sponsoring the Ten Days That Shook the World event series, which highlighted revolution past and present. In early November, this series featured a symposium titled "First Decades, Global Reverberations" that explored these topics with a focus on the aftereffects of the Russian Revolution of 1917. The keynote, delivered by Professor Boris Kolinitskii of the European University at Saint Petersburg, brought the topic to the present. Titled "100 Years Later: Memories of the Revolution in Contemporary Russia," it focused on how the memory of the 1917 revolution functioned in contemporary Russian politics and culture. You can read an in-depth write-up of the keynote by Slavic Languages and Literatures PhD student Marija Fedjanina on REEC's blog. The symposium itself took a more global and varied approach to the topic, considering the effects of the 1917 revolution on Brazil, South Asia, and the current labor movement, among other topics. You can read a summary of the symposium presentations on REEEC's blog as well, written by Lucy Pakhnyuk, an MA student in REEES, and Nadia Hoppe, a PhD student in Slavic Languages and Literatures.
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Thursday, January 25, 2018

Maple Razsa’s Participatory Documentary Film “The Maribor Uprisings”

By Cassia Smith

What would you do during a popular uprising? Where would you choose to go? What would happen next? Madeline Artibee, MA student in REEES, got to explore these questions in a unique way while attending a screening of the participatory documentary The Maribor Uprisings. This documentary allows audience members at screenings to decide at key moments which aspects of the protests the documentary will follow. Madeline describes the protests covered by the documentary and the experience of participating in a screening on the REEEC blog. You can also learn more about the film on the documentary's website.
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Monday, January 22, 2018

Now is Not the Time for the EU to Become Ukraine-Fatigued

By Katherine Brown

They’ve been dealing with the ‘Ukraine issue’ for several years now, spent billions of dollars in aid and investment, and asked for reforms that are slow to appear. The European Union, and more specifically its people, have grown tired of the topic. ‘Ukraine Fatigue’ has been on the rise since September 2015 – less than two years after Euromaidan. The Minsk II Agreement has not been fulfilled and fighting continues in the east. Discontent with the glacial pace of reforms has frustrated the EU but is near boiling point with Ukrainians. For all the frustrations, now is not the time to grow weary and look away from Ukraine. Here’s two important reasons the European Union needs to drink a cup of coffee and wake up: Russia isn’t Fatigued.

Vladimir Putin is going to win another term, and he doesn’t show any signs of growing tired of the issue. The Ukraine issue is actually quite popular in Russia – Russians by in large have patriotic sentiments surrounding Ukraine and most believe former Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukoyvch was illegally ousted in a coup. While sanctions certainly hurt, being relevant in the international scene feels pretty good. While its certainly up for debate how much control Vladimir Putin has over the separatist’s leaders, he’s contributed to the maintenance of a status quo in the East, preventing the implementation of the Minsk II and keeping the fighting going.

The US Might Want In…at the EU’s Expense

Is there room for the US in this fight? Some in the US government think so. At the end of 2017, US President Donald Trump approved a plan to send lethal arms to Ukraine to aid in the fight against Russia (something former President Barack Obama danced around and ultimately left office without doing).1 While current assistance is by no means enough to put Ukraine on the offense, it’s a step closer to offensive aid. That’s especially concerning for the European Union – particularly for France and German who have invested so much time and money into pursuing a non-violent end to the conflict. The prospect of US offensive aid naturally invokes concerns of a proxy war, and diminishes the EU’s ability to manage the conflict as a ‘European issue’. The EU should feel nervous about offensive aid…it would pit US-backed Ukraine against Russia. Both the US and Russia are used to sparing no expense on weaponry…and a full-scale conflict to end the conflict is probably too close to the EU border for comfort. It would also put Germany and France in an uncomfortable position – allies of the US but likely to be very offended and angry at such an undertaking near EU soil.

If European nations feel uncomfortable at the prospect of US involvement, they might want to wake up, smell the coffee, and pay close attention to Ukraine. They’ll also need to listen to the Ukrainian people, and ease their frustrations with the EU before Ukrainians turn to the US for help.

Footnotes

1https://www.cnbc.com/2017/12/23/us-officials-say-lethal-weapons-headed-to-ukraine.html
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