Center for German and European Studies

Center for German and European Studies

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Faculty, students and Bay Area community members united by their shared interests in German and European Studies convened in 2017 for several stimulating lectures, conferences and events organized by CGES at UC Berkeley. We continued our exciting German History Lecture Series featuring important thinkers reflecting on questions pertinent to scholars and contemporary commentators. Speakers explored the role of women’s involvement in Weimar democracy; the political economy of porcelain; Eastern Europe and decolonization in Africa; consumer culture and street politics in Berlin; as well as the language of transgression before and after the Holocaust.

Visitors to CGES heard expert perspectives on developing news stories such as the impact of right-wing populism on transatlantic relations by experts such as Ralf Fuecks, President of the Heinrich Böll Foundation, German TV Network Deputy Bureau Chief Jan Philip Burgard andPeter Strohschneider, President of the German Research Foundation (Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft, DFG). Many speakers also offered their informed views on topics such as Germany’s role in the refugee crisis including Cornelia Schu, Managing Director of the Expert Council of German Foundations on Integration and Migration. Other speakers gave important insights into European foreign policy such as the German diplomat Thomas Seidel, and former German Ambassador to the UK, the UN and India, Thomas Matussek.  CGES affiliates also engaged with experts such as Max Gruenig, President of the Ecologic Institute on post carbon cities and sustainable urban planning, with Dr. Patrick Keller, Coordinator of Foreign and Security Policy at the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung on the German election results, and German newspaperDie Zeit publisher Josef Joffe on European integration and identity.

Graduate and undergraduate students affiliated with CGES were especially active and the research workshop series in German and European History, Der Kreis, the graduate conference and seminar co-organized with the Social Science Matrix, “Questioning the Evidence on Immigrant Integration in Europe,” and the Claremont-UC undergraduate conference on the EU highlighted presentations by students in the social sciences and the humanities. 

IES/CGES launched a new partnership with the German Historical Institute and is honored to house GHI-West, the Pacific regional office of the German Historical Institute in Washington DC. In November, the inauguration celebration of GHI-West took place at the Magnes Collection of Jewish Art and Life in downtown Berkeley and featured a lecture by Professor Armin Nassehi, Professor of Sociology at LMU Munich and editor of Kursbuch, one of Germany’s leading intellectual magazines. 

The CGES calendar in 2017 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 year CGES/IES hosted Margaret Anderson, Emeritus Professor of History at UC Berkeley who gave a talk on the Armenian genocide and the problem of humanitarian intervention.

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 2018. CGES at UC Berkeley has a leading role in organizing the biannual World Conference for DAAD Centers for German European Studies to take place in Berlin, Germany in December. At Berkeley,the upcoming agenda includes events addressing important themes such as green industrial policy in Germany and Europe, the moral economies of modern societies, the dual system in Germany and discourses of multiculturalism in the comparative context. 

We look forward to engaging with you in 2018.

Akasemi Newsome

Institute of European Studies
207 Moses Hall, #2316
University of California
Berkeley, CA  94720-2316

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