Resources on Europe

Focus on the MediterraneanCharting the Mediterranean Across the Disciplines

Few world regions concentrate in themselves so many of today's most pressing geopolitical issues as the Mediterranean. Long studied in a fragmented way, the Mediterranean is now being reinterpreted as a space of connections, exchanges, and contacts made possible by the sea, and as the stage for the possible emergence of new collective identities. During winter semester of 2011, the Center for European Studies-European Union Center held a series of events highlighting the changing political and cultural landscape taking shape along the Mediterranean's shores. This program featured: speaker series, film series, the Mediterranean Topographies Interdisciplinary Workshop, and the Maps division of Hatcher Graduate Library exhibitions on the Mediterranean. Part of the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts’ Winter 2011 Theme Semester on Water. Speakers in the series included: Gazmend Kapllani, Peregrine Horden, Emine Fetvaci, Marco Jacquemet, Liliana Suàrez Navaz, and U-M's specialists Dario Gaggio, Karla Mallette, Maria Hadjipolycarpou, and Amr Kamal.

 

The series will continue during  the 2011-12 academic year.

Focus on SpainSpain’s transition to democracy: memory and justice in an integrating Europe

In conjunction with the Spanish presidency of the European Union, the University of Michigan's Center for European Studies-European Union Center (CES-EUC), in collaboration with the Weiser Center for Emerging Democracies (WCED), devoted the winter semester of 2010 to exploring recent debates about the meanings of transition and memory in democratic Spain.

Since Francisco Franco's death in 1975, Spain's transition from dictatorship to democracy, culminating in the country's full integration in the European Union, has been hailed in some quarters as a model transition for the countries of Eastern Europe and Latin America. The political, juridical, and cultural composition of Spain's transition, still up for debate 35 years after its inception, has attracted the interest of the Spanish public and scholars of history, political science, and cultural studies. CES-EUC's Conversations on Europe series attempted to place Spain’s experience in a broad conceptual and comparative framework and to explore how the transition to democracy has affected both the construction of historical discourses and the experience of the present. Included in the discussions are the historical, political, and cultural tensions underlying the controversial laws of historical memory, recently approved by the Spanish parliament; the juridical and political status of "the disappeared"; and  the language of disagreement between "Left" and "Right" in contemporary Spain. Speakers in the series included Jo Labanyi, director of the King Juan Carlos I of Spain Center at New York University; Joan Ramon Resina, director of the Institute for Iberian Studies, Stanford University; Gema Pérez-Sánchez, associate professor of Spanish, University of Miami; Konstantinos Kornetis, visiting assistant professor of modern Greek and Balkan history, Brown University; and Sebastiaan Faber, professor and chair of Hispanic studies,Oberlin College. To view complete series go to CES-EUC YouTube Playlist

Lectures

"Dealing with the Legacy of Political Violence: Memory Debates and the Role of the Audiovisual Media in Spain." Jo Labanyi, professor of Spanish and Portuguese and director, King Juan Carlos I of Spain Center, New York University.
 
"The Spanish Transition to Democracy as Postwar Times." Joan Ramon Resina, professor of Iberian and Latin American cultures and director, Institute for Iberian Studies, Stanford University.
 
"The Unfinished Business of the Spanish Transition to Democracy." Gema Pérez-Sánchez, associate professor of Spanish, University of Miami.
 
"Past (Im)perfect or Present Continuous? The Greek and Spanish Democratic Transitions in Retrospect." Konstantinos Kornetis, visiting assistant professor of modern Greek and Balkan history, Brown University. Co-sponsor: Modern Greek Program.
 
"History, Memory, Fiction: The Struggle over Discursive Hegemony in the Representation of Spain’s Violent Past." Sebastiaan Faber, professor and chair of Hispanic studies,Oberlin College.

Read article in the LSA WIRE: "Breaking the Silence." May 4, 2010.

History of 1989

“Freedom without Walls” series commemorated 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall

From November 12-20, 2009 the Weiser Center for Europe and Eurasia, along with other partnering units at the University of Michigan, featured a mini-series titled “Freedom without Walls,” a special tribute to events surrounding the fall of the Berlin Wall. Between February 7 and Christmas Day 1989, Poland, Hungary, East Germany, Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia, and Romania each experienced a revolution that would signal the end of communist rule. In August 1989 the border between Austria and Hungary was opened, starting a crack in the so-called “iron curtain” that culminated with the celebratory collapse of the Berlin Wall on November 9.

 “The Power of the Powerless.” Cory Taylor, director. Documentary film about communist Czechoslovakia narrated by Jeremy Irons (78 min., 2009). Educators DVD available at the U-M Library.

Making the History of 1989

New website on the collapse of Communism in Eastern Europe in 1989. The site, Making the History of 1989, offers students, teachers, and scholars access to hundreds of primary sources on or related to the events of 1989 and the end of the Cold War in Europe, interviews with prominent historians, and a series of resources for teachers at both the high school and college level. As with all resources created by our Center, all the resources contained in Making the History of 1989 are and will remain free and open access. If you have questions about this project, please contact the project's Executive Producer, T. Mills Kelly (tkelly7@gmu.edu). This project has been made possible by the generous support of the National Endowment for the Humanities and the German Historical Institute (Washington, D.C.).

1989-2009: 20 years of Liberty!

Poland


20th Anniversary of democratic change in Central and Eastern Europe

The Berlin Wall - to the rest of the world - is the symbol of the division of Europe.

Thank You! Dziekuje!

The clip produced by the European Commission Representation in Poland celebrates the 20th anniversary of the Fall of the Iron Curtain from a Polish perspective. It is about the birthday of a Polish girl Marta who was born on the 4th of June 1989, i.e. exactly on the day of the first half-free elections in the Central-East Europe which took place in Poland and which paved the way for the democratic change in this part of Europe. A mix of scenes show key events for Poland, such as the Solidarnosc movement with its leader Lech Walesa, Polish Round Table Talks, integration with NATO and the EU.

 

World War II: "The Rape of Europa" Story of theft, destruction and miraculous survival of Europe’s art treasures.

The Rape of Europa

THE RAPE OF EUROPA tells the epic story of the systematic theft, deliberate destruction and miraculous survival of Europe’s art treasures during the Third Reich and World War II. In a journey through seven countries, the film takes viewers into the violent whirlwind of fanaticism, greed, and warfare that threatened to wipe out the artistic heritage of Europe. For twelve long years, the Nazis looted and destroyed art on a scale unprecedented in history. But heroic young art historians and curators from America and across Europe fought back with an extraordinary campaign to rescue and return the millions of lost, hidden and stolen treasures. Now, more than sixty years later, the legacy of this tragic history continues to play out as families of looted collectors recover major works of art, conservators repair battle damage, and nations fight over the fate of ill-gotten spoils of war. Joan Allen narrates this breathtaking chronicle about the battle over the very survival of centuries of western culture. Please see PBS web page on the subject at http://www.pbs.org/therapeofeuropa/?campaign=features_t

The United States and the NetherlandsDutch migration to, and settlement in, North America

Four hundred years ago Henry Hudson explored the region around what is today New York City on behalf of the Dutch East India Company, laying the ground for Dutch migration to, and settlement in, North America. Four centuries later, both the United States and the Netherlands are still debating the implications of cultural and ethnic diversity. For more information see http://www.ny400.org/

Former Dutch Minister  for Europe Frans Timmermans spoke about the history and values shared by the Dutch and American peoples and reflected on their common challenges and opportunities during a visit at CES-EUC. Conversations on Europe. "From the Netherlands in the Golden Age to European co-operation and a global world." H.E. Frans Timmermans, Minister for European Affairs of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. Wed, Apr 8, 2009. (audio

Culture

European Capitals of Culture

Each year, cities chosen as European Capitals of Culture provide living proof of the richness and diversity of European cultures. Started in 1985, the initiative has become one of the most prestigious and high-profile cultural events in Europe.

Focus on Poland

University of Michigan Chopin Project

Focus on Hungary

In 2011, the music world around the globe is commemorating the 200th anniversary of the birth of Franz Liszt, one of the greatest, most famous Hungarian composers of his era.

City of Dreams. Concert season and cultural enrichment project about Vienna 1900-1935.
“In the Vienna of the early 20th century, encounters across disciplines were crucially formative, as the city was home to innovators in many spheres – not only composers such as Mahler, Schoenberg and Berg, and the pioneering Freud, but artists like Klimt and Kokoschka, the designers of the Wiener Werkstätte, and the philosopher Wittgenstein.” Source: ft.com

Promoting Europe's rich cultural heritage

Austrian Press and Information Service, Embassy of Austria, Washington DC: www.austria.org

Programs offered by the Cultural Services of the French Embassy in the United States www.frenchculture.org

The French Educational Portal in the United States www.frenchresources.info

The French Government, through their Cultural Services in U.S., offers 3 week grants to France for qualified Primary and Secondary School French Teachers interested in improving their language skills and enhancing their knowledge of French culture. Apply online.

The French Language Initiative. For more information please visit www.TheWorldSpeaksFrench.org

France Synergies created in partnership with the University of Wisconsin at Madison, is an online resource center for French and Francophone educational communities.

Educational and Cultural Audiovisual Resources for French Teachers.Go to www.espacefrancophone.org or www.frenchmedia.org and download, free of charge, the entire content of the programs offered by the Bureau Audiovisuel in New Orleans: teaching methods, French music videos, portraits on French civilization, shows and audio CDs on a variety of subjects.

Kids Euro Festival, Washington DC, Oct-Nov, 20011

Resources on European Studies, University of Michigan Libraries


Science

The 2009 is a centenary year of Galileo and for the history of astronomy, because it was in 1609 that Galileo, the Tuscan mathematician first peered through the telescope and wrote down his observations.  The University of Michigan library owns a first draft of a letter Galileo wrote about the telescope containing sketches of what he saw through it from August, 1609.

Read more about "The EU and Space: Reaping the Benefits of Space Exploration and Technology" in EU Focus, June 2009 issue.

The centennial of Charles Darwin:  In February 2009, the world celebrated the 200th birthday of Charles Darwin and November 2009 marks the 150th anniversary of his book “The Origin of Species.”

PhysicsQuest 2008: Nikola Tesla and the White City

The American Physical Society, parent group of physics teachers, is sponsoring a learning contest for all middle school students in grades six through nine this year. The focus is on the Serbian born American scientist Nikola Tesla “whose discoveries in the field of alternating electrical current advanced the United States and the rest of the World into the modern industrial era.”(From the commemorative plaque – Hotel New Yorker, NY)
Teachers can obtain free materials at www.physicscentral.com/physicsquest.

Why the name "TESLA"? (TESLA Motors, Inc.)
“Were we to seize and eliminate from our industrial world the result of Mr. Tesla‘s work, the wheels of industry would cease to turn, our electric cars and trains would stop, our towns would be dark, and our mills would be idle and dead. His name marks an epoch in the advance of electrical science.”

— B. Behrend, Vice President of the Institute of Electrical Engineers

Nikola Tesla Museum, Belgrade, Serbia.

EducationInformation aimed at scholars and teachers

Goethe-Institut Transatlantic Outreach Program - The TOP Project

The Transatlantic Outreach Program (TOP) aims to enhance the quality of classroom teaching about Germany today by developing and disseminating teaching materials about modern Germany to K-12 social studies educators and social studies methods professors at the university level and by organizing study/travel tours to Germany. The participants of the study tours are expected to contribute lesson plans to the Program and to offer in-service training to other educators about Teaching Modern Germany.

European Higher Education Area - The Bologna Process

Study in Europe

The International Studies Schools Association (ISSA) is a national network of K-12 schools dedicated to improving students' understanding of the world. 
The European Union
Published by the European Commission Delegation of the European Commission to the USA.

The EU for Young People
This is a web page from the European Commission in the US web site. It includes links to teaching materials and general information on the European Union, as well as, links to pages on traveling and studying in European Union countries.

EU Youth Portal

The European Union at a Glance
Basic information about the European Union and links to more detailed information.

Teaching the European Union
Information aimed at scholars and teachers.

Questia
The world's largest online library. Site includes selected European Union resources.

EURO School
Site created by the European Central Bank to familiarize audience with the euro banknotes and coins. Includes games and other activities.