2019 gathered Berkeley faculty, international experts, undergraduate, professional, and graduate students, and Bay area community members around their shared interests in German and European Studies, which included stimulating lectures, conferences, and events organized by the Center for German and European Studies (CGES) in partnership with the Institute of European Studies (IES) at UC Berkeley.
Visitors to CGES/IES engaged with a diverse range of experts. We continued our exciting German History Lecture Series featuring important thinkers reflecting on questions pertinent to scholars and contemporary commentators. Speakers such as Professor Sven Reichardt examined global fascisms in the 1930s and 40s, Professor Nina Verheyen (Institute for Advanced Study in the Humanties-KWI) discussed the importance of work performance and culture in 19th century Germany, and Professor Kira Thurman (University of Michigan) interrogated the universality of classical music and ideas of racial ideology in who is seen as a talented performer.
CGES/IES also offered a rich array of policy-oriented events. In May, Berkeley Law Professor David Oppenheimer brought together more than 60 leaders from around the world for a conference on resisting sexual harassment and violence. Experts gathered to share insights on developing new tools to redress these injustices. In December, legal experts from the U.S. and abroad gathered for a two-day workshop focused on refugee and migration law organized by Professor Katerina Linos. Topics ranged from a presentation by Tendayi Achiume (UCLA School of Law) on racial borders, T. Alexander Aleinikoff (Zolberg Institute on Migration and Mobility, The New School for Social Research) on reforming the international refugee regime, to Violeta Moreno-Lax's (Queen Mary University of London) discussion of intersectionality and forced migration. In an exciting collaboration organized by Professor Matthew Kondolf, experts from U.S. and German universities, non-profit leaders, and a representative from the California Department of Water Resources joined for the event "Innovations in River Management, Germany and USA: Integrating Ecosystem Restoration Into Flood Risk Management," which included a day-long field trip to the Sacramento Valley.
In July, two UC Berkeley undergraduate students joined other international students and experts at the Georg-August University of Göttingen for a two-week summer school dedicated to the theme of "Globalization and Diversity," an interdisciplinary examination of these intersecting themes and the role that academia can play within them. Professor Astrid Biele Mefebue and Professor Andrea Bührmann organized the important event, which also included myself and faculty such as University of Vienna’s Professor Sabine Grenz and University of Tokyo’s Professor Shinji Kajitani. On campus, graduate and undergraduate students affiliated with CGES were especially active and convened for the bimonthly research workshop series in German and European History Der Kreis.
IES/CGES continues its successful partnership with the German Historical Institute and is honored to house GHI-West, the Pacific regional office of the German Historical Institute in Washington, D.C. IES/CGES co-sponsored a number of events with GHI-West, including a lecture from Professor Kiran Klaus Patel of Maastricht University, who drew from his new book, Project Europe: A New History of the European Union, to analyze the major dynamics in the history of European integration, from World War II through Brexit.
The CGES/IES calendar in 2019 was capped by the highly anticipated Gerald D. and Norma Feldman Lecture, held each November to honor the life and work of the former director of CGES and IES—Professor Gerald D. Feldman. This past year, CGES/IES hosted Christopher Clark, Regius Professor of History at the University of Cambridge, who examined the case study of Prussia as a window into how the exercise of power depends on its historical and cultural context--as well the implications of these insights for our world today.
Thanks to the continued support of the DAAD and our generous donors, preparations are underway for more innovative programming highlighting the research and scholarship at CGES in 2020.
Akasemi Newsome, PhD, Executive Director, CGES
Professor Jeroen Dewulf, Chair