The University of Iowa

Spring 2010 Events

"Imagining Integration: Why Fictional, Inter-Ethnic Marriages Matter"

My premise is that works by and about migrants in Germany take on a cultural task similar to that performed by eighteenth-century drama. However, rather than making the middle class the subject of tragedy and therefore viable members of the public sphere, contemporary novels, films and television programs stage inter-ethnic marriages in order to normalize such unions for Germans and migrants alike.

Date: Monday, February 8, 2010
Time: 4:00 pm
Location: UCC 2520D
Presenter: Brent Peterson, German Department, Lawrence University
Invited: European Studies Group; Co-sponsor: German

"Paris, from Caesar to Sarko: 2000 Years of Urbanism"

Date: Friday, February 19, 2010
Time: 12:00-1:00 pm
Location: UCC 2390-Exec
Presenter: Lucie Laurian, Urban and Regional Planning, University of Iowa

Organizational Meeting

Date: Friday, February 19, 2010
Time: 1:00-2:00 pm
Location: UCC 2390-Exec

"If the axle breaks what is left of their bodies? Construction Traffic in Ancient Rome"

Date: Monday, March 1, 2010
Time: 6:00 p.m.
Location: 1505 Seamans Center
Presenter: Diane Favro, Department of Architecture and Urban Design, UC LA; Ida Beam Visiting Professorship Program
Invited: Classics; co-sponsors: Anthropology, Art History, European Studies Group, Urban and Regional Planning

Student Discussion Session

Date: Tuesday, March 2, 2010
Time: 4:30 pm
Location: 302 Schaeffer Hall
Invited: Classics; co-sponsors: Anthropology, Art History, European Studies Group, Urban and Regional Planning

"A L'udskost' Supreme: Emancipatory Love and Education for Democracy in Post-Socialist Slovakia"

Date: Friday, March 5, 2010
Time: 4:00 pm
Location: 40 Schaeffer Hall
Presenter: Jonathan Larson, Visiting Assistant Professor of Anthropology; Obermann Scholar in Residence, University of Iowa

"Empire by Land or Sea? Germany’s Imperial Imaginary, 1871-1945"

Date: Monday, March 8, 2010
Time: 4:30 pm
Location: IP International Commons 1117
Presenter: Geoffrey Eley, Department of History, University of Michigan
Invited: European Studies Group; Co-sponsor: German

"On the Making of Exile and the Fatwa: a Documentary about the Resiliency, Power, and Dangers of Literature in the Post-Rushdie World"

Date: Monday, April 19, 2010
Time: 4:30 pm
Location: 315 Phillips Hall
Presenter: James Le Sueur, Department of History, University of Nebraska-Lincoln
Invited: European Studies Group; Co-sponsors: History, Political Science, French and Italian

The primary focus of the film, which is the first of a series, is on the relationship of exile to the artistic, cultural, and literary critiques of political and radical Islam.  The film, which I am calling "Exile and the Fatwa," is based on a few dozen oral histories filmed throughout the past 6 years with some of Europe's most important exiled and immigrant writers.  The film focuses on the effect and role of violence and death threats (fatwas specifically) on art and on the everyday experiences of exile in a growing disapora of persecuted intellectuals from Muslim-majority countries. The primary host country I consider is France.  As such, the documentary is a reassessment of the role of the artist vis-a-vis issues of religious diversity and intolerance in the post-Rushdie era.

"Paris, Exile, and Art: Imagining Resistance and Living the Politics of Contemporary Diasporic Literature"

Date: Tuesday, April 20, 2010
Time: 5:00 pm
Location: IP International Commons 1117
Presenter: James Le Sueur, Department of History, University of Nebraska-Lincoln
Invited: European Studies Group; Co-sponsors: History, Political Science; French and Italian

James LeSueur’s next book is on writers from Muslim-majority countries and their struggles with radical Islamists.  The talk is on writers in exile. A key author LeSueur is looking at is Salman Rushdie. He explores ways in which the fatwa against Salman Rushdie commenced a debate over art for subsequent writers.  The talk also includes material on Algerian writers in exile, as well as others. Watch a video of this talk.

"The invention of a people: Aimé Césaire between politics and poetry"

Date: Tuesday, April 20, 2010
Time: 3:30 pm
Location: 315 Phillips Hall
Presenter: Françoise Naudillon, Department of French Studies; Concordia University, Montréal
Co-sponsored: Caribbean, Diaspora and Atlantic Studies Program, the UI French and Italian Department, the European Studies Group and the African Studies Program

Françoise Naudillon is a specialist in Francophone literatures and their reception. She works especially on crime fiction and popular literature. Among her recent publications include Tristes  Tropismes (1998), Les masques de Yasmina (2002), De l'art du langage à l'art des mots (2004) and L'Afrique fait son cinéma (2006).

Fall 2010

This year, the theme of our Lecture Series and our Second Annual European Studies Conference is broadly defined as the Environment and will explore such diverse issues as water, energy, conservation, food, cities and climate.

December 3-4, 2010
315 Phillips Hall

The conference of panels features scholars from the region and graduate students and faculty from The University of Iowa. Co-sponsors for the conference are European Studies Group, the UI Department of French and Italian, UI Department of German and International Programs.

Keynote address: "Red List Blues: The Politics of Extinction” - Ursula Heise (Stanford University)

All events are free and open to the public

Friday, December 3

12:00-1:00 Catered Lunch

1:00 Downing Thomas, Opening of the Conference

1:15-3:30 Session #1 Water and Mills
Chair: Roland Racevskis, French and Italian.

Heather Wacha, History. “Casting Aspersions: Environmental Awareness in the Middle Ages”
Constance Berman, History. “Medieval French Water-mills, food production, and changes in women’s work”
Laura Rigal, English and American Studies. “Fear of the Water: Hydro-power and Biopower in the Newtonian Public Sphere”

4:00-5:00 Session #2 Green Cities of Europe: Paris, Rome
Chair: Waltraud Maierhofer, German.

Brenda Longfellow, Art History, “Green Spaces in Ancient Rome”
Lucie Laurian, Urban and Regional Planning. "The Greening of Paris: Creating New Parkland in a Compact City"

Saturday, December 4

9:00-11:00 Session #3 Nature, the Arts and Literature
Chair: Constance Berman, History

Roland Racevskis, French and Italian. “Abundance and Waste in Scarron’s Le roman comique
Rachel Horner Brackett, Anthropology. “Eat it to Save it: Producing and Consuming the Cinta Senese Hog”
Julie Hochstrasser, Art and Art History. “Behind the Silver Platters of the Dutch Golden Age”

Keynote address presented by: Professor Ursula Heise, Department of English, Stanford University
When: 11:30 a.m. Dec. 4
Topic: “Red List Blues: The Politics of Extinction”

Summary: Humankind is currently confronted with a loss of biodiversity that may eliminate up to 50% of existing species by the end of the century, with unknown consequences for human well-being and natural ecosystems. "Red List Blues" explores how different countries have engaged with this crisis culturally and politically: through narrative and visual representations of endangered species, as well as through scientific classifications and legal regulations and treaties concerning them. The cultural politics of extinction that emerges through these various engagements connects biodiversity loss with stories and histories of modernization that shape current and future conceptions of the human in relation to other species.

Bionote: Ursula K. Heise is Professor of English and Director of the Program in Modern Thought & Literature at Stanford University. She is also affiliated with the Woods Institute for the Environment and the Program in Science, Technology & Society. Her major academic interests focus on environmental culture, literature and art in the Americas, Western Europe and Japan, and on theories of modernization, postmodernization and globalization. Other areas of interest include media theory, literature and science, science fiction, and narrative theory. Her book Chronoschisms: Time, Narrative, and Postmodernism appeared from Cambridge University Press in 1997, and Sense of Place and Sense of Planet: The Environmental Imagination of the Global from Oxford University Press in 2008. Nach der Natur: Das Artensterben und die moderne Kultur (After Nature: Species Extinction and Modern Culture) is in press with the German publisher Suhrkamp. She is also working on a book provisionally entitled The Avantgarde and the Forms of Nature.


Our Friday Luncheon Lectures Series is what makes ESG a friendly place for the university community of students and faculty to test their research projects. This feature of our program is particularly important as it creates a platform for communication and fruitful collaboration between departments, and faculty and students.

We think that this year’s theme is particularly conducive to interaction across disciplines and we encourage you to participate, or to propose colleagues and students. Please contact Michel Laronde for information and scheduling as soon as possible.

Luncheon Lectures Series presentations are on Friday from 12:30-2:00 p.m. Dates and room information will be posted when available.

“Postcolonial Audacity: The Political Iconography of the 2009 Strike in Guadeloupe”

When: Monday, Oct. 11, time 5:30-7 p.m.
Where: Room 1117 of the University Capitol Centre
Who: Yarimar Bonilla of the Department of Anthropology at the University of Virginia

On January 20, 2009, as the first black president of the United States was sworn into office, the island of Guadeloupe witnessed the launching of the biggest general strike in the island’s history. Over 50 cultural and civic organizations came together with the island’s leading labor unions in order to form a coalition “kont pwofitasyon” ¬ that is, against profiteering, exploitation, and the expensive life (la vie chère) that characterizes the French Caribbean. Armed with a list of 120 claims that spanned the terrain of disability rights, environmental policies, cultural nationalism, syndical freedom and economic gains (and sporting their recently acquired Obamat-shirts) Guadeloupean militants took to the streets, declaring their own version of the “Yes we Can” motto. With their chants of Guadeloupe is ours, not theirs, they effectively asserted that they had the right to shape the course of their social, economic, and political futures -- despite their colonial relationship with France. This presentation will examine the political icons of the 2009 mass strike and how the Obama political esthetic was deployed within a particularly Guadeloupean form of postcolonial audacity.

Yarimar Bonilla is an assistant professor of cultural anthropology at the University of Virginia. She teaches and writes about Caribbean historical memory, colonial and postcolonial politics, and contemporary social movements. She is currently completing her first book manuscript which examines contemporary labor activism in the French Caribbean island of Guadeloupe as a site of emerging postcolonial politics.

Sponsorship for the event is provided by the Caribbean, Diaspora and Atlantic Studies Program (CDA); European Studies Group (ESG); International Programs; and the UI Department of French and Italian, part of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

The Holocaust in History: A Series of Events with Doris Bergen

An Ida Beam lecture presented by Doris Bergen

When: October 13‐15 2010

Sponsors: UI Office of the Provost; European Studies Group; UI Center for Human Rights; International Programs; and the UI departments of German, History, Religious Studies, and Gender, Women’s and Sexuality Studies, in CLAS.

Wednesday, October 13

Graduate workshop: Thinking about Gender & the Holocaust

5:30 – 7:30 p.m., 113 MLH

Thursday, October 14

Neighbors: Polish Gentiles and Polish Jews in the Holocaust

9:30 – 10:45 a.m., Adler Journalism Building, E126

Faculty/grad seminar: Studying the Holocaust: Is History Commemoration?

12:00 – 1:30 p.m., SH 273 (lunch provided) Doris will provide a paper for pre‐circulation; those interested in reading it should contact elizabeth‐

Public Lecture: Antisemitism and the Holocaust: Rethinking Old Questions

4:30 – 6 p.m., ICPL meeting room A (Reception at 4:00 p.m.)

Friday, October 15

Discussion with Holocaust Historian Doris Bergen

12 – 1:30 p.m., Hillel House (lunch provided)

Mothers & Daughters in the Holocaust

8:30 – 9:30 p.m., Agudas Achim Congregation

DORIS L. BERGEN is the Chancellor Rose and Ray Wolfe Professor of Holocaust Studies at the University of Toronto. Her research focuses on issues of religion, gender, and ethnicity in the Holocaust and World War II and comparatively in other cases of extreme violence. Her books include Twisted Cross: The German Christian Movement in the Third Reich (1996); War and Genocide: A Concise History of the Holocaust (2003); The Sword of the Lord: Military Chaplains from the First to the Twenty‐First Centuries (edited, 2004); and Lessons and Legacies VIII (edited, 2008). She has held grants and fellowships from the SSHRC, the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, the German Marshall Fund of the United States, the DAAD, and the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, and she has taught at the Universities of Warsaw, Pristina, Tuzla, Notre Dame, and Vermont. Her current projects include a book on Germany military chaplains in the Nazi era and a study of definitions of Germanness as revealed in the Volksdeutschen/ethnic Germans of Eastern Europe during World War II and the Holocaust. Bergen is a member of the Academic Advisory Committee of the Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies at the U. S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C.

"Green urbanism: The new face of Paris in the 21st century"

When: Friday, Oct. 29, 2010 at 12:30 p.m.
Where: 1117 UCC
Presenter: Lucie Laurian, Urban and Regional Planning, University of Iowa

View a video of this presentation.

Bio: Lucie Laurian is Associate Professor in Urban and Regional Planning. Her research focuses on environmental planning, from the management of toxic sites to public participation in environmental decisions. She has recently published the first studies of Environmental Justice in France, and is currently writing about the urban transformations of Paris in the last decade.