Saturday, November 1

Film -- The Memory Project and New Voices in Chinese Documentary
1:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Langley Hall A224
Asian Studies Center
Confucius Institute, Department of English, Film Studies Program, Humanities Center

WU Wenguang, one of the founding figures in Chinese independent documentary, brings three young filmmakers from China to present their collective work, “the Memory Project.” The project is based at Coachangdi Workstation in Beijing. From there, young filmmakers fanned out to return to family villages and their own pasts, real and imagined, to inquire about The Great Famine of 1959-61 — a disaster of whose memories have been actively abandoned by the state. Aiming to create a “folk memory archive,” the project, which combines documentary films, oral history records, and live performances, presents an alternative narrative of Chinese history than the one written in official textbooks. As these young filmmakers search for the distant memory from an old generation that is still living in rural poverty, their encounter with the past reveals as much about the wish for memory as of memory itself and of the interesting role of film in such projects of retrieval..

Time: November 1 (Saturday), 1 pm- 5 pm
Location: LANGLEY HALL A224
Screening and Discussion
Discussants: Jinying Li, Neepa Majumdar, Robert Clift

(1:00 pm - 2:16 pm) Huamulin, Boy Xiaoqiang (2013, 76min) Directed by Li Xinmin
(2:30 pm - 3:55 pm) Children's Village (2012, 85min) Directed by Zou Xueping
(4:10 pm - 5:00 pm) Discussion with filmmakers Wu Wenguang, Zou Xueping, Li Xinmin, Zhang Mengqi and Pitt faculty Jinying Li, Neepa Majumdar, and Robert Clift.

Huamulin, Boy Xiaoqiang (2013, 76min)
Directed by Li Xinmin
The filmmaker’s statement:
This film is about a four-year-old boy, Xiaoqiang. His mother, Xiaoqun, is just of my age. I filmed Xiaoqun and her family last year. This year I went back filming her son Xiaoqiang who I found so interesting. We hung out together and picked up garbage in the village, witnessing the real life of old villagers and the damage they did to the environment.

Children's Village (2012, 85min)
Directed by Zou Xueping
The filmmaker’s statement:
In the winter of 2012, I returned to my village to continue interviewing elderly villagers. Meanwhile, I began investigating and gathering statistics on those who died during the Great Famine. I also started fund-raising to build a memorial for those who died. Many village children, from 10-15 years old, voluntarily joined these activities. They took the DV camera I gave them, visited old folks, interviewed them, and collected statistics and donations. This project gave them their first opportunity to learn about and appreciate the history of their village. Assisted by these "little angels," I no longer felt lonely in the village. I started seeing hope for the future. This film forms an important part of my Zou Village series.

Zou Xueping was born in Bingzhou City, Shandong Province, in 1985. In 2009 she graduated from the Department of New Media at the China Academy of Fine Arts. She is currently a resident artist at Wu Wenguang's Caochangdi (CCD) Workshop in Beijing. She has completed a documentary series centered on her home Village, including Mom (2008), The Starving Village (2010), Satiated Village (2011) which won an “Award of Excellence” at Beijing Independent Film Festival 2012, Children's Village (2012) and Trash Village (2013).

Li Xinmin was born in a mountain village in Yunnan Province in 1988. Her formal education stopped at the fifth grade due to poverty. At the age of 16, she began working as a migrant worker in the city to provide for her rural family. Since 2007, she has been working in CCD Workstation and completed documentary films Back to Huamulin (2011), Huamulin 2012 (2012) and Huamulin, Boy Xiaoqiang (2013).

Sunday, November 2

Cultural Event -- Slovak Heritage Festival
1:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Cathedral of Learning Commons Room
Center for Russian and East European Studies
and Pitt Student Slovak Club, Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures, Slovak Studies Program
Christine Metil

This year’s musical performers:
Jozef Ivaška, internationally renowned singer from Slovakia
The Singing Revil’ak Family of Bardejov, Slovakia
Pittsburgh Slovakians
PAS (Pittsburgh Area Slovaks)
Slavjane Folk Ensemble
Ben Sorenson on Fujara
And others!

Also Featuring: Cultural Displays & Lectures
Shop for Christmas: Slovak and East European import vendors
Ethnic Food (klobasa, halušky, holupki, pirohy, and pastries)
(please donate cookies or pastries in support of this wonderful FREE festival. Bring them to the pastry table in the Commons Room)

1:15 room 242 CL Lisa Alzo
There is No Easy Button: Using “Immersion Genealogy” to Understand Your Slovak Ancestors
2:00 room 252 CL Thomas Check
Pearls of Wisdom: Slovak Expressions for Every Occasion
3:00 room 242 CL Paul Kostyak
The Taylor of Lendak: Revised
4:00 room 252 CL Martin Votruba
On 100th Anniversary of World War I: Mayhem from an Operatic Murder to a Slovak Dawn

Thursday, November 6

Lecture -- Let's Talk Africa!- Dr. Howard French
Dr. Howard French Associate Professor, Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism
1:00 pm - 3:00 pm
Kurtzman Room, William Pitt Union
African Studies Program, Asian Studies Center
Eric Swetts

Dr. French will discuss the relationship between China and Africa in a way that will help us understand the encounter between these two parts of the world. Having worked as an international diplomat and travelled extensively in Africa and China, he will tap into his wealth of experience as he shares the conversations Africans are having about China’s role in their communities and also the conversations the Chinese are having about their involvement in Africa. The question in many people’s minds is “Are the Chinese helping to bring about development that will change lives in Africa?”

About the Speaker: Dr. French was the bureau chief of the New York Times' Shanghai office from 2003-08, as well as a weekly columnist
on global affairs for the International Herald Tribune, as part of a 22-year career as a foreign correspondent.

Lecture -- Pre-Conference Lectures: A View from Cuba
4:00 pm - 6:00 pm
University Club
Center for Latin American Studies, Central Administration, Global Studies Center
Department of Hispanic Languages & Literatures, Department of Political Science, Graduate School of Public and International Affairs (GSPIA), Office of the Provost
Diana Shemenski

(University Club; in Spanish with translation)

Lenier González Mederos (editor: Cuba Posible): "Sociedad civil en Cuba: apuntes para el presente".
Roberto Veiga González (editor: Cuba Posible): "La Constitución de nuestra República ante una sociedad que renueva sus imaginarios socio-políticos".

Film -- Leipzig in the Fall (Leipzig im Herbst) (1989)
Andreas Voigt, Film Director
5:30 pm - 7:30 pm
G-24 Cathedral of Learning
Center for Russian and East European Studies, European Studies Center, European Union Center of Excellence
Dean of Undergraduate Studies, Department of German, Film Studies Program, the World Affairs Council of Pittsburgh and The Dietrich..., World History Center

Considered to be the most comprehensive documentation of events surrounding the 1989 Monday demonstrations in Leipzig, this film highlights the centerpiece of the citizens' movement that led to the fall of the Wall. As the only professional team able to film in Leipzig at the time, demonstrators were interviewed, as well as members of the citizens’ rights movement, officials and bystanders in East Germany’s peaceful revolution. Film Director Andreas Voigt will attend the screenings of his films November 7-8. A discussion with the director will directly follow the screening.

Friday, November 7

Lecture -- Muslims in a Global Context: Sub-Saharan Africa
5:00 pm - 1:00 pm
4200 Sennott Square
African Studies Program, Consortium for Educational Resources on Islamic Studies, Global Studies Center
Carenegie Mellon University
Veronica Dristas

This one credit mini-course is part of a series organized by regions around the world based on their role on the world stage, their importance within the Muslim world, and the critical influence they play in the global community. The series and course seeks to illuminate the various perspectives of the Muslim community around the world. Drawing upon the expertise and research of participating faculty from Carnegie Mellon University and the University of Pittsburgh and our partners at institutions around the world, the mini course series seeks to have students gain understanding of the religious, cultural, economical and political influences of Muslims in a global context.

Film -- Last Year Titanic (Letztes Jahr Titanic) (1991)
Andreas Voigt, Film Director
5:30 pm - 7:30 pm
324 Cathedral of Learning
Center for Russian and East European Studies, European Studies Center, European Union Center of Excellence
Center for Russian and East European Studies, Dean of Undergraduate Studies, Film Studies Program, Sponsored by the European Union Center of Excellence &..., the Department of German, the World Affairs Council of Pittsburgh and The Dietrich..., World History Center

On November 9, 1989 Americans tuned into the nightly news to watch anchorman Tom Brokaw’s reports from West Germany. The Berlin Wall was coming down after 28 years as a symbol of the Cold War between East and West. On November 11, 2014, in recognition of the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Wall, the European Union Center of Excellence and European Studies Center will host a roundtable panel of Pittsburghers who witnessed this momentous event. Audience participation is welcome.

Sunday, November 9

Cultural Event -- Polish Festival 2014
Nationality Rooms Program
12:00 pm - 4:00 pm
Cathedral of Learning Commons Room
Nationality Rooms
Polish Nationality Room Committee

Polishfest is an annual event featuring Polish folk music and dance, food, and arts and crafts. Funds raised help to support the Polish Nationality Room Scholarship fund.

Tuesday, November 11

Lecture Series / Brown Bag -- Colorblind Cats and Local Nationalists: Tourism and Two Kinds of Homeland in Austria and Hungary, 1930-1938
Andrew Behrendt, PhD Student, Department of History
12:00 pm - 1:30 pm
4217 Posvar Hall
Center for Russian and East European Studies, European Studies Center, European Union Center of Excellence
Department of History

Hungarian tourism promoters in the 1930s gnashed their teeth in frustration at a sluggish domestic travel market. In their minds, Hungarians were disloyal and ungrateful tourists, ignorant of their country and therefore unwilling to spend their vacations "at home" rather than abroad. The solution, these promoters decided, was to appeal to Hungarians' sense of patriotism and guilt them into traveling. But in neighboring Austria, another post-imperial country with its own struggles to stimulate tourism, such arguments were nowhere to be found. Austrians, it seems, did not need to be goaded into "seeing Austria first." What explains this disparity? In part, it has to do with two different visions of "homeland," one which defined the nation as an expression of local identity (and vice versa), and another that saw the state belonging to a single, fixed nation awaiting "discovery." This talk, adapted from a chapter of Mr. Behrendt's dissertation-in-progress, proposes that a comparison of these cases helps us to a better understanding of how societies adapting to the end of empire have (re-)imagined the idea of "home" as the national and regional boundaries changed around them.

Panel Discussion -- 25th Anniversary of the Fall of the Wall Panel
Ronald Linden, Professor, Department of Political Science; Steve Sokol, President and CEO, World Affairs Council; Gregor Thum, Associate Professor, Department of History; Katja Wezel, DAAD Visiting Professor of History; and Karen Lautanen, Director of Development, Andy Warhol Museum
4:00 pm - 5:00 pm
4130 Posvar Hall
Center for Russian and East European Studies, European Studies Center, European Union Center of Excellence
Dean of Undergraduate Studies, Film Studies Program, the Department of German, the World Affairs Council of Pittsburgh and The Dietrich..., World History Center

On November 9, 1989 Americans tuned into the nightly news to watch anchorman Tom Brokaw’s reports from West Germany. The Berlin Wall was coming down after 28 years as a symbol of the Cold War between East and West. On November 11, 2014, in recognition of the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Wall, the European Union Center of Excellence and European Studies Center will host a roundtable panel of Pittsburghers who witnessed this momentous event. Audience participation is welcome.

Wednesday, November 12

Lecture -- Marketing, Product Placement, Crowd Sourcing, and the Capitalism of New Russian Cinema
Richard Beach Gray, PhD Student, Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures
12:00 pm - 1:30 pm
4217 Posvar Hall
Center for Russian and East European Studies
Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures

Thursday, November 13

Lecture -- The Challenges and Promise of Democratic Governance in Asia
David D. Arnold, President of the Asia Foundation
12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
William Pitt Union Building/Lower Lobby
Asian Studies Center
The Center for International Legal Education at the School..., The Dick Thornburgh Forum for Law & Public Policy, The Institute of Politics, The Joseph M. Katz Graduate School of Business, The University Honors College
Free (must register beforehand)

2014 has been a remarkable year in terms of democratic developments in Asia. Landmark elections in India and Indonesia brought dramatic leadership changes to the region's two largest democracies. Afghan citizens defied Taliban threats to exercise their franchise in elections leading to the country's first democratic transition from one elected president to another, and student-led protests on the streets of Hong Kong demanded a greater voice in choosing their elected leaders. At the same time, a military coup in Thailand displaced a popularly-elected government, one-party rule consolidated its hold on Bangladeshi political life, opposition protests immobilized Islamabad following parliamentary elections in Pakistan, and China's new leadership signaled a diminished tolerance for political dissent and civil society activism. While the Asia Pacific region continues to show overall progress in respect for human rights and adherence to rule of law, there are also signs of democratic retreat. Drawing on The Asia Foundation's six decades of experience in promoting democratic governance in Asia, the president of the Foundation will examine both the opportunities and obstacles facing different Asian countries on their paths toward more transparent, accountable and responsive systems of government.

Please register at:

Friday, November 14

Lecture -- The Politics of Migration Control in Asia
Dr. Erin Chung, Johns Hopkins University
3:00 pm
4130 Posvar Hall, University of Pittsburgh
Asian Studies Center
Dr. James Cook

On 16 October 2010, German Chancellor Angela Merkel declared multiculturalism in Germany a failure. Far-right parties that have recently gained power in countries such as Sweden and Austria have further raised doubts about the viability of multiculturalism in Western Europe and North America. Meanwhile, in South Korea, Japan, and Taiwan, where immigration is tightly controlled and integration programs are at their infancy, the catchword, “multiculturalism,” has gained popularity among policymakers and the public alike. This paper argues that the variants of multiculturalism developing in the three countries represent each society’s attempt to improve upon what policymakers view as the failures of multiculturalism—and, more broadly, diversity—in traditional countries of immigration. Multicultural discourse and programs ostensibly attempt to promote greater diversity and openness in South Korea, Japan, and Taiwan; yet, they are more notable for the ways in which specific categories of foreigners are included and excluded. Whereas “multicultural society” in Korea signifies a broadened definition of Korean national identity to include specific categories of “overseas Koreans” and foreign spouses, “multicultural coexistence” in Japan has further narrowed conceptions of Japanese national identity to exclude ethnic Japanese (Nikkei) foreigners. The arrival of new immigrants to Taiwan has shaped a type of hierarchical “multiculturalism” with native ethnic groups at the top, non-Chinese migrants in the middle, and mainland Chinese marriage migrants at the bottom. Using interview and focus group data of the major foreign communities in each country, I analyze how government officials, the media, pro-immigrant advocacy groups, and immigrants themselves define and negotiate these frameworks.

Erin Aeran Chung is the Charles D. Miller Associate Professor of East Asian Politics in the Department of Political Science and the Director of the East Asian Studies Program at the Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland. She is also the Co-Director of the Racism, Immigration, and Citizenship (RIC) Program at Hopkins. She specializes in East Asian political economy, international migration, and comparative racial politics.

Saturday, November 15

Film -- Film screening: Magicky hlas rebelky (The Magical Voice of a Rebel)
This event's time has changed
6:30 pm - 8:00 pm
Frick Fine Arts Auditorium
Center for Russian and East European Studies, Nationality Rooms
Honorary Consul of the Czech Embassy
Gina Peirce

This is the first film in the series, "The Play's the Thing: Vaclav Havel, Art and Politics," presented at Pitt by the Czechoslovak Nationality Room courtesy of the Czech Embassy. "Magicky hlas rebelky" is a 2014 documentary about the Czech singer Marta Kubisova, who has become a symbol in the Czech Republic of the period in history known as the Velvet Revolution (1989), when a mass protest movement led to the fall of communism in Czechoslovakia. The film includes segments of members of the dissident organization Charter 77, including former Czech President Vaclav Havel. It received the audience award at the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival this year and is currently showing in movie theaters throughout the Czech Republic. The producers are making screenings available in the U.S. in commemoration of the 25th year since the Velvet Revolution. This film is in Czech with English subtitles.

Sunday, November 16

Lecture -- Hooligans: Václav Havel & Pavel Landovský
Dr. Jay Ball
1:00 pm - 2:00 pm
4130 Posvar Hall
Center for Russian and East European Studies

During the era of “normalization” that followed the 1968 Warsaw Pact invasion of Czechoslovakia, “hooliganism” (Article 202) became the state’s preferred criminal charge to wield against dissident activities and performances. To the Anglophone ear, ‘hooligan’ is a slightly comic term, one that suggests a sense of playfulness that risks confrontation with authority. And in this lecture, I will argue that this carnivalesque mode perfectly captures Václav Havel’s theatrical and political collaborations with actor and fellow Chartist Pavel Landovský (1936 – 2014). After screening Landovský’s virtuoso performance as the clownish Brewmaster in Havel’s one-act play Audience, I will show how the pair’s legendary (and not always sober) exploits on behalf of Charter 77 helped generate enthusiasm for dissidence in a way not always accounted for by hagiographical treatments of Havel.

Film -- Havel Film Festival
3:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Frick Fine Arts Auditorium
Center for Russian and East European Studies, Nationality Rooms

Two Films at 3:00 – 5:00 PM
* Joseph Killian aka A Person to Be Supported (1963) Czech with English subtitles, 38 min. Directed by Pavel Juracek

* A Report on Party and Guests (1968) Czech with English subtitles, 71 min. Directed by Jan Nemec

Two Films at 6:30 – 9:00 PM
* The Uninvited Guest (1969) Czech with English subtitles, 22 min. Directed by Vlastimil Venclik

* And the Beggar’s Opera Again (1996) Czech with English subtitles, 60 min. Directed by Olga Summerova

Monday, November 17

Film -- Havel Film Festival
6:30 pm - 9:00 pm
Frick Fine Arts Auditorium
Center for Russian and East European Studies, International Week, Nationality Rooms
Gina Peirce

Two films will be screened:
* Who Is Vaclav Havel? (1977) Czech with English subtitles, 11 min.
* The Power of the Powerless (2009) English, 78 min.

A panel discussion will follow the films. Panelists include:
* John Allison, Sunday Editor of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
* Dr. Jay Ball, Assistant Professor of Theatre at Central Washington University
* Dr. Steven E. Sokol, President of the World Affairs Council of Pittsburgh

Tuesday, November 18

Lecture -- Israel-Palestine in the Print News Media: Conflict and Representation in the Middle East
Luke Peterson
(All day)
Lower Lounge, William Pitt Union
Global Studies Center
Veronica Dristas

Dr. Luke Peterson will discuss his newly published book Palestine-Israel in the Print News Media: Contending Discourses in which he argues for the existence of national perspectives conditioning international events which are constructed, distributed, and reinforced in the print news media. Dr. Peterson will connect his research on representations of Palestine-Israel in recent conflict events with the ongoing news media portrayals of the Islamic State and American intervention in the Middle East throughout the course of the twenty-first century.

Wednesday, November 19

Presentation -- Panoramas Latin American Roundtable
Marisol Wandiga (Global Links)
12:00 pm
4130 Posvar Hall
Center for Latin American Studies
Luz Amanda Hank

January 12, 2015 will mark 5 years since the massive earthquake hit Haiti. Join Global Links for a discussion on the challenges that still remain to help rebuild Haiti's Healthcare System and learn about extraordinary projects, some led by Pittsburghers that are changing the face of healthcare in Haiti.

"Wòch nan dlo pa konn doulè wòch nan soley. The stone in the water does not know the pain of the stone in the sun.

Marisol Wandiga Valentin is the Program Officer for the Caribbean Region for Global Links, a medical relief and development organization dedicated since 1989 to environmental stewardship and improving health in Latin America and the Caribbean. She is responsible for Global Links’ health projects in Cuba, the Dominican Republic, Haiti, Jamaica, and Guyana.

Marisol holds a B.S. in International Business from Duquesne University. She has 18 years of experience in marketing, international communications, and project management. Marisol also holds a strong background in database management, event planning, workforce development, community leadership and non-profit management.

In addition to her role at Global Links, Marisol serves on the board of Directors of the Society of Contemporary Crafts, and sits on the Advisory Board of the Latin American Cultural Union and the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust Education & Community Engagement Department.

Marisol is half Kenyan and half Puerto Rican. She has worked in Germany, France, Mexico, United Kingdom and the United States. Her passions are predictive marketing, social justice, non-traditional career pathways, cultural exchanges and folkloric dancing.

Lunch will be provided.

Friday, November 21

Lecture -- Making Mosques in America and Japan; or, How Islam Went Truly Global
Nile Green, University of California, Los Angeles
12:00 pm
3703 Posvar Hall
Asian Studies Center
Humanities Center
World History Center

In the early 1920s and 30s, the first purpose-built mosques were established in the United States and Japan. Despite being on the far sides of the planet in Detroit and Kobe, their foundation reflected the ability of South Asian Muslim "religious entrepreneurs" to operate on what was by the 1920s a truly global scale. In tracing the commonalities between this first institutional emergence of Islam in two new world regions, the lecture identifies the global processes of religious competition and exchange and the reasons why Indian Muslims emerged at the forefront of them.

Lecture -- Does Performance Matter? Evaluating the Institution of Political Selection along the Chinese Administrative Ladder
Dr. Pierre Landry
4:00 pm - 5:30 pm
4130 Posvar Hall, University of Pittsburgh
Asian Studies Center
Dr. Katherine Carlitz

The determinants behind the political selection of officials in China have been the subject of great debate. Although factions and political connections play an important role, China’s stellar economic performance since 1978 suggests that the Communist Party’s cadre management system is still able to select and promote at least some competent individuals to hold important government positions. This paper evaluates the extent to which the Party uses economic performance, namely the growth of local fiscal revenues and GDP, as the indicators of competence when promoting local politicians. We argue that economic performance plays a greater role in promotion at the lower administrative level of government than higher level officials in China. This strategy allows the ruling elite to balance between loyalty and competence among subordinates in order to maintain political survival.

Preview of paper by Pierre Landry, Xiaobo Lu, and Haiyan Duan available at:

Monday, December 1

Lecture -- Excrement as a commodity?
David Howell
12:00 pm
4130 Posvar Hall
Asian Studies Center
Department of History, Japan Iron and Steel Federation Endowment

Excrement was a hot commodity in the cities of nineteenth-century Japan. The widespread use of night soil as an organic fertilizer meant that residents of big cities such as Edo (Tokyo) and Osaka could sell their waste rather than dispose of it themselves. Thanks to this trade, early modern Japanese cities enjoy a reputation as remarkably green spaces, in which residents lived in salubrious harmony with nature.  Let us put poop into the modernizing city. Night soil remained an important fertilizer until after World War II, but poop’s place in the urban landscape changed a great deal in the decades after the Meiji Restoration of 1868. City officials worried that night soil haulers might offend the sensibilities of Western visitors to the city. They also feared cholera, a disease new to Japan. By 1920, the rapid growth of Tokyo had completely disrupted the market for night soil and other organic refuse. 

Tuesday, December 2

Workshop -- High School Model EU
8:30 am - 4:30 pm
European Studies Center, European Union Center of Excellence

The EUCE/ESC will be hosting the 2014 High School Model EU, which allows students the opportunity to participate in a simulation of a recent European Council meeting. For more information, please contact EUCE/ESC Assistant Director for External Affairs, Kate Bowersox, at

Sunday, December 7

Cultural Event -- Nationality Rooms Open House
E. Maxine Bruhns
12:00 pm - 4:00 pm
Cathedral of Learning Commons Room; Nationality Rooms
Nationality Rooms
Nationality Rooms Committees
Free to attend
Cristina Lagnese

The Annual Nationality Rooms Open House will occur on December 7th, 2014 and it will feature Nationality Rooms Committees selling food and cultural objects to benefit the Nationality Rooms Scholarship Program. The Rooms will be open and costumed Quo Vadis guides will continuously present in each Room information pertinent to the Room and its wintertime holiday traditions. Musical and dance performances will occur every fifteen minutes.
The performers scheduled to attend are:
Pittsburgh Taiko Drummers
Slippery Rock Afro-Colombian Dance Ensemble
Ljeljo Folk Ensemble
Shona Sharif African Drum and Dance Ensemble
Poltava Ukrainian Dance Company
Amun Raqs Band
Balmoral Pipes and Drums Band
Sanskruti School of Dance
Isartaler Pittsburgh

In addition to the performances and Committee vendors, Quo Vadis guides will be selling beverages to benefit their club's activity fund and the Nationality Rooms Information and Gift Center will be open for sales of fine souvenirs and publications.

Thursday, February 12

Lecture -- Let's Talk Africa!- Alejandro Trelles
Alejandro Trelles, PhD candidate in political science at the University of Pittsburgh
1:00 pm - 3:00 pm
4130 WWPH
African Studies Program
Eric Swetts

Electoral Management Bodies (EMBs) regulate access to power in most countries by organizing and implementing elections. His research aims to answer the following questions: a) When do political elites decide to create formally and informally autonomous electoral institutions to regulate elections? And b) when (if ever) do autonomous electoral institutions aid in stabilizing or building democracy?

Friday, March 27

Conference -- Graduate Student Conference: Still United? The EU through Enlargement, Crisis, and Transformation
8:30 am - 4:30 pm
European Studies Center, European Union Center of Excellence

In 2005 Mark Leonard postulated, "Why Europe Will Run the 21st Century.” Ten years later, the EU has seen the rejection of European Treaty, stalled enlargement, the inability of European soft power to affect the Arab spring, a weak response to Russian dismantling of Georgia and Ukraine, and the Eurozone crisis. The rise of nationalist parties threatens the very integrity of the Union. In contrast, the ECB has responded to the crisis with concerted action, Croatia joined the Union as the 28th member, and the final institutional changes of the Lisbon Treaty are taking effect. After such a tumultuous decade, is there still cause for optimism regarding the European project? The Organizing Committee of the Tenth Annual Graduate Student Conference on the European Union welcomes submissions from all disciplines and topics including, but not limited to, EU politics, governance, economics, history, security studies, institutions and behavior studies, as well as policy, enlargement, immigration, development, trade, and foreign policy. Papers addressing the theme of the conference will receive special consideration.


Abstracts should be 250-300 words in length. Preference will be given to abstracts that clearly specify the research design of the paper, including its theoretical approach and methods. Abstracts must be submitted on-line at Please also upload a current CV with your submission. Participation is limited to authors enrolled in degree-granting graduate or professional programs at the time of the conference. Housing is provided for accepted conference participants

The University Library System at the University of Pittsburgh houses one of the largest and most complete archives of primary and secondary documents on the European Union, dating back to the beginnings of the European Coal and Steel Community. Conference presenters are given access to the archive for research during their stay.

Thursday, April 2

Lecture -- Pittsburgh Contemporary Writers' Series: Peter Hessler
Peter Heslsler, 2014/15 William Block Sr. Award Winner
8:30 pm
Frick Fine Arts Auditorium
Asian Studies Center
Pittsburgh Contemporary Writers Series, University Store on Fifth

Peter Hessler has received the 2008 National Magazine Award for Excellence in Reporting, a 2011 Macarthur Fellowship, and the 2001 Kiriyama Prize. He is the author of River Town: Two Years on the Yangtze; Country Driving: A Chinese Road Trip; Strange Stones: Dispatches from East and West; and Oracle Bones: A Journey through Time in China, a finalist for the 2006 National Book Award. He is a contributing writer for National Geographic and a staff writer at The New Yorker, for which he has served as the Beijing, China correspondent from 2000 to 2007 and currently covers Egypt.