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Portuguese "retornados" on their way from Africa to Portugal. ©Fundaçăo Mário Soares

Post-Imperialism: The Legacy of Europe’s Colonial Repatriates

An international conference organized by Jeroen Dewulf (UC Berkeley) and Christoph Kalter (FU Berlin), with Pamela Ballinger (Univ. of Michigan), Claire Eldridge (Univ. of Leeds) and Jordanna Bailkin (Univ. of Washington)

Institute of European Studies, 201 Moses Hall
University of California, Berkeley
Thursday, March 17, 2016
For the conference program, please click here.

Call for Papers

A Multidisciplinary Graduate Conference supported by the UC Berkeley Institute of European Studies and the Social Science Matrix.

Abstract Deadline--Friday, February 5, 2016 For questions and to email abstracts, contact:

IES News

Designated Emphasis in European Studies: Open for Applications
Graduate Students can now submit applications for the new Designated Emphasis in European Studies. For more information on the requirements for admission and designation, go to or contact the graduate student coordinator Noga Wizansky (, 204 Moses Hall. Click here for further reading.

Former IES Grant Recipient Publishes New Book
Stephen G. Gross, IES grant recipient and former student of Prof. Gerald Feldman, just published his new book Export Empire: German Soft Power in Southeastern Europe, 1890–1945 with Cambridge University Press. You can read more here.


October 26, 2015: Visit Michael D. Higgins, President of Ireland

President Higgins with IES Director Jeroen Dewulf and Eric Falci, Director of IES' Irish Studies Program

On October 26, IES organized the visit of Michael D. Higgins, President of Ireland, to the Berkeley campus. During his keynote address President Higgins encouraged students to take responsibility to share the lessons and skills they learn at one of the world’s top public research universities to tackle the worsening human rights problems of world hunger and poverty. “There is so much you can change,” Higgins encouraged his listeners at the Chevron Auditorium in I-House. He commended UC Berkeley public policy professor and economist Robert Reich’s work on income inequality, which Higgins said is integral to his own and others’ fight for economic, ethnical and environmental equality. In Higgins’ introduction, Anthony Cascardi, Berkeley’s dean of arts and humanities, noted that two earlier presidents of Ireland visited the campus over the years, and that Nobel Prize-winning Irish poet Seamus Heaney spent time as a visiting lecturer at Berkeley, “an institution that has a bit of Irish in its blood.” It also has more than a bit of Irish in its collections at The Bancroft Library, where Higgins stopped by to inspect an exhibit containing a 1970 notebook of Heaney’s; a privately printed copy of W.B. Yeats’ poem Easter, as well as a letters from him to one of his mistresses; and a rare, signed, first-edition copy of James Joyce’s Ulysses. Also on display was the diary of Patrick Breen, a member of the ill-fated Donner Party that died crossing the Sierra; and a unique fragment of a satyr play by Sophocles from the Bancroft’s Center for the Tebtunis Papyri that underscored the long ties between Berkeley and papyrologists from Trinity College in Dublin. While at the Bancroft, Higgins and his wife, Sabina Coyne, signed the original guest book of Hubert Howe Bancroft, a bookseller, entrepreneur, publisher and historian whose collections were purchased by the University of California in 1906. Higgins’ final campus stop was the Morrison Library, where he was welcomed by IES Director Jeroen Dewulf and Edward Stack, lecturer in Modern Irish at Berkeley’s prestigious Celtic Studies Program. During his speech, President Higgins announced that the Irish government is providing $40,000 in seed money for an Irish Studies program at IES that will become operational in the 2016-17 academic year. It will be directed by Eric Falci, an associate professor of English whose expertise includes contemporary Irish poetry. Higgins said he hopes the grant will enable students, faculty and alumni from Berkeley campus to commit themselves to the investigation of society, culture, science and economic relations in and with Ireland. “Whether in the arts or in science, the goal of educators is to inspire in the next generation of minds the passion and discipline to study and to imagine, in an effort to make sense of the world around us,” he said. “Whether with the lyrical pen wielded by poets such as Seamus Heaney or equations and observations of a physicist,” Higgins continued, “their shared goal is to find a certain truth and gain a greater appreciation of the worlds we inhabit and to bring us closer to those we imagine.” He said the deepening ties between Berkeley and Ireland also will manifest in the program’s hosting of events and debates on contemporary issues of mutual concern and interest. Falci echoed Higgins’ remarks: “We intend to reach out to the large and active Irish-American community in the San Francisco Bay Area, and to devise programs and activities that attract attention on and beyond the campus as we bring together and foster an intellectual community around shared interests in Ireland and Irish-America.” 

For more information on President Higgins' visit to the Bay Area, please click here.

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