Bearing Witness 70 Years after the Liberation of Auschwitz

Date: 01/26/2015

Time: 5:00 PM - 8:00 PM

Location: Riverview Gallery Weisman Art Museum

Cost: Free


The Center for Holocaust & Genocide Studies and its campus and community partners invite you to a special evening of events to mark the 70th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz. CHGS will unveil the eight Minnesotan portraits of the forty overall paintings done for the "Portraits & Conversations with Survivors of the Shoah" project we coordinated with Spanish artist Felix de la Concha. The evening will also include a reception, a talk from Auschwitz survivor Dora Zaidenweber, and an interview and Q&A with Felix de la Concha.

"Portraits & Conversations" was conceived by de la Concha in 2007 when he began to paint portraits of Holocaust survivors from all over the world. While posing, the survivors talked about their lives and shared their testimonies of survival. These intimate sessions were recorded so that we could see the transformation from a blank canvas to a finished piece. In February of 2013 eight Holocaust survivors who reside in Minnesota participated in the project. There are now 40 completed portraits available to view in the virtual museum on the CHGS website. In addition to the paintings, CHGS also has the video and audio recordings of the sessions, which are on our YouTube channel.

The event is free and open to the public; however, reservations are required. Click here to reserve tickets, follow this link or call the reservation line after December 20, 2014 at 612-424-3624.

This project was made possible in part with the support of Rimon: The Minnesota Jewish Arts Council, an initiative of the Minneapolis Federation, as well as the sponsors below.

A talk by Matthias Falter
Saturday, May 17
383 Michigan St., St. Paul

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Francisco Ferrandiz, Spanish National Research Council (CSIC)
Reframing Mass Violence: Human Rights and Social Memory in Latin America and Southern Europe.
Thursday, May 8
3:00 PM - 4:30 PM
1-109 Herbert M Hanson, Jr Hall

Since 2000, the exhumation of mass graves from the Spanish Civil War and the Post-War years, mostly involving the largely abandoned graves of civilians killed in the Francoist rearguard by paramilitary groups, has become a central element in contemporary social and political debates in the country about the nature of the armed conflict and the dictatorial regime following it. Although exhumations have become a crucial tool for symbolic reparation and have triggered claims for justice for the crimes committed and now unearthed, the social process unleashed by their opening is way larger, and relates to the emergence of a fragmented and heterogeneous political culture focused on the memory of the defeated in the war.

In this talk, the complexity and dynamism of this process is analyzed, including from political and legal initiatives of great social and media impact to local actions on the ground, at times failed, ephemeral or almost imperceptible, but no less crucial. Regional differences, associated to uneven public memory policies, will also be considered.
Organized by the IAS Reframing Mass Violence Research Collaborative. Cosponsored by the Human Rights Program,the Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies and the European Studies Consortium.

"Folklore and Culture in Modern Romania"

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A lecture by Romanian Composer, Sorin Lerescu
Wednesday, April 30
Room 614 Social Sciences

Please join the Institute for Global Studies, Modern Greek Studies Program and the European Studies Consortium for a lecture entitled "Folklore and Culture in Modern Romania" presented by Sorin Lerescu.

Sorin Lerescu was born in Craiova, Romania, on November 14, 1953. He studied composition at the National University of Music in Bucharest with Tiberiu Olah and Anatol Vieru. He earned his Ph.D. at the "Gheorghe Dima" Academy of Music in Cluj-Napoca in 1999 with Ede Terényi.

Lescu's work includes: five symphonies, five concertos, two cantatas, instrumental and vocal-instrumental music, electronic music and opera URMUZICA.

He currently teaches counterpoint and composition at the Faculty of Arts of the Spiru Haret University in Bucharest.

Wednesday, April 23
American Swedish Institute
2600 Park Ave.
Free. Registration recommended; call 612-871-4907

Join European experts and policy makers at the American Swedish Institute to discuss the 2014 European Union Parliament elections, the current status of the EU, the role of the parliament in the EU, and key European and national issues facing voters across the pond. The evening is part lecture, part expert round table, and part Q&A, so come prepared to participate.

European Parliamentary Election Panelists:

Panelists include;
Jean-Luc Robert of the European Parliament Liaison Office with the US Congress will speak about the parliament's role in EU decision-making and about the main issues in the May elections.

Austrian Marshall Plan Foundation Fellow at Johns Hopkins' Center for Transatlantic Relations will examine the role of the radical right in the elections.

Mary T Curtin, the University of Minnesota Humphrey School of Public Policy Diplomat in Residence, will offer an American perspective on the EU and the Parliament.

Sponsored by the Finlandia Foundation-Twin Cities, the Institute for Global Studies and European Studies Consortium at the University of Minnesota and The Minnesota International Center .

Thursday, April 10
St, Anthony Main Theatre
Part of The Film Society of Mpls/St. Paul International Film Festival
Introduction by Alejandro Baer, Director CHGS

For tickets and information please click here.

Inspired by real events that haunt Poland's past, Wladyslaw Pasikowski (who wrote the screenplay for Andrzej Wajda's Katyn) turns in a hard-hitting allegory on the anti-Semitism that still raises its ugly head in his home country. Franek and Jozek are brothers who are reunited after 20 years in order to take care of the family farm. Franek, recently returned from the US, discovers that Jozek has been ostracized from the community for threatening to uncover a dark secret. As Franek and Jozek struggle to rebuild their relationship, they are drawn into a horrifying gothic tale. Upon its release in Poland, Aftermath received acclaim, but also generated intense controversy.


The Last of the Unjust
Sunday, April 13
1 p.m.
St Anthony Main Theatre
Part of The Film Society of Mpls/St. Paul International Film Festival
Introduction by Bruno Chaoaut, Chair, Department of French & Italian, former director CHGS.

For tickets and information please click here.

Claude Lanzmann returns to a series of interviews he made in 1975 with Benjamin Murmelstein, the last President of the Jewish Council in the Theresienstadt ghetto. Murmelstein was largely demonized after the war, accused of collaborating with the Nazis, with his survival being the proof. These interviews, however, tell a different story--one of a pragmatic man who fought not only for his own survival but also the survival of every Jew he could possibly help. A powerful addendum to Lanzmann's masterpiece Shoah, The Last of the Unjust employs an unadorned style for an incredibly complicated historical narrative that continues to be defined today.
Sponsored by the European Studies Consortium, Institute for Global Studies, Center for Austrian Studies, The Center for Jewish Studies, the Department of French & Italian, and The Film Society of Mpls/St. Paul.

Beyond Iberian Colonialism: One Day Conference

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"Beyond Iberian Colonialisms: Spanish Arabs and the Fate of the Western Sahara"
Friday, April 4
9:00 a.m. - 4:00p.m.
Nolte 125
For more info please click here.

Key note speaker: Aminatou Haidar, "Saharawi Women and Peaceful Resistance"
Nolte 125

Film Screening of Sons of the Clouds: The Last Colony (Hijos de las nubes, la última colonia)(2012)
6:15 p.m.
St. Anthony Main Theater
As part of the Mpls/ST. Paul Film Society's International Film Fest
For tickets and more information click here.

K-16 Educator Workshop
Saturday, April 5
9:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m.
125 Nolte
For more information please click here.

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This conference will illuminate and draw together the histories of Iberian colonialisms with the present realities of African immigration and cultural production. International scholars, poets and speakers will explore why contemporary poets from the Western Sahara write poetry in Spanish, what the conflict between contemporary Moroccan policy and human rights of Saharans has to do with Spain's colonial past, and why contemporary Iberian and American artists have rallied behind the Saharan cause.

Key note speaker Aminatou Haidar is a Saharawi human rights activist, an advocate of the independence of Western Sahara, and president of the Collective of Saharawi Human Rights Defenders (CODESA). Known as "Saharawi Gandhi" for her nonviolent protests, she was imprisoned from 1987 to 1991 and from 2005 to 2006 on charges related to her independence advocacy. In 2009, she attracted international attention when she staged a hunger strike after being denied re-entry into Moroccan-occupied Western Sahara. Haidar has won several international human rights awards for her work, including the 2008 Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights Award and the 2009 Civil Courage Prize. In 2012 she was nominated to the Nobel Peace Prize.

Sponsored by: Iberian Studies, the Institute for Global Studies, European Studies Consortium, The Imagine Grant Special Events Fund, Department of Spanish and Portuguese, African Studies Initiative, The Human Rights Program, Gender Women Sexuality Studies.

New deadline for applications April 15, 2014

Funds still available!

The European Studies Consortium is able to provide funds for travel to University of Minnesota Twin Cities Campus faculty. These grants are for projects that further development of new curricular content or the building of partnerships in Western, Central or Eastern Europe. Grants will be made on a competitive basis. Successful applications will receive up to $1000 in travel support. Applicants will be notified of the outcome of the competition by email.

Applications will be judged on the following criteria:

Projects that internationalize or expand opportunities to integrate foreign languages into the curriculum. Funding to be used for the collection of materials to update courses on Europe or European cultures, or for the collection of curricular resources that would allow students to utilize their foreign language skills in area studies courses.

Travel to develop collaborative research and (or) curriculum for sustainable partnerships with European institutions or colleagues.

For application and complete details please click here.

A lecture by Bernt Schnettler
Professor and Chair for Sociology of Culture and Religion, University of Bayreuth, Germany
Tuesday, March 25
Room 710 Social Sciences
Lunch provided by reservation


In the late 1960s, the 'new' sociology of knowledge opened up a path of stimulating academic collaboration between European and American currents of thought. Roughly half a century later, the 'New' Sociology of Knowledge has evolved in different directions. Professor Schnettler will focus on the vibrant debate in Europe. Special attention will be paid to the recent development of three cognate approaches: The Theory of Communicative Genres, the Social Constructionist Approach to Discourse Analysis (SKAD) and Sociological Hermeneutics, now jointly developing a research program under the programmatic title "Communicative Constructionism."

To reserve lunch email

Sponsored by: The European Studies Consortium and the Department of Sociology

Europe in the News

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The European Studies Consortium was founded to promote and support inquiry into Europe related issues, engaging scholars and students across disciplinary and collegiate borders. Based on this inquiry we have established a Europe in the News page on our website. This page will give links to articles from credible international media resources on current events affecting Europe today. From the UK to the Ukraine and all points in between we will be monitoring and posting the latest news on a weekly basis. The page also has links to European news sources to track events by country.

Currently we are watching the situation in the Ukraine very closely and will be featuring articles as events unfold.

To access the page please click here.