2018 gathered faculty, students and Bay area community members over their shared interests in German and European Studies for several 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. We continued our exciting German History Lecture Series featuring important thinkers reflecting on questions pertinent to scholars and contemporary commentators. Speakers explored the environmental impact of the iron curtain; the influence of Nazi media on sexuality; transatlantic consumer culture; the American influence on post-war Germany; as well as anti-Utopianism in post-war Germany.
Visitors to CGES/IES attended a diverse selection of programs such as a lecture by Professor Céline Teney of the University of Bremen, Germany on immigrant healthcare workers in Germany and IES/CGES Visiting Scholar from the Université de Poitiers in France, Professor Hélène Yèche, on Sorbian cultural revival in an age of globalization. IES/CGES offered a rich array of policy-oriented events featuring for example, a meeting for graduate students and faculty on EU austerity with two distinguished members of the European Commission’s Department of Economic and Financial Affairs, Minister Counselor Moreno Bertoldi and Senior Advisor Antoine Begasse, as well as an event with Peter Dabrock, Chair of the German Ethics Council for a lecture addressing freedom and ethics in the era of big data. IES/CGES deepened its link to the Berkeley Goldman School of Public Policy by organizing a panel discussion on recent policy innovations European cities have adopted in response to climate change. Mayors from Heidelberg, Idanha-a-Nova, Oslo, Paris and Warsaw, who were in San Francisco to participate in California Governor Jerry Brown’s 2018 Global Climate Summit, discussed the work that their cities are doing to combat climate change and promote sustainability. I also moderated a discussion on Global Careers in the EU at the World Affairs Council in San Francisco among panelists Dana Beldiman (Honorary Consul General of Romania), Felipe Costa (Portuguese Trade and Investment Commissioner), Maria João Lopes Cardoso (Consul General of Portugal), Emmanuel Lebrun-Damiens (Consul General of France), and Hans-Ulrich Suedbeck (Consul General of the Federal Republic of Germany).
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, the graduate conference and seminar co-organized with the Social Science Matrix on “Fake News and the Crisis of Europe,” and the Claremont-UC undergraduate conference on the EU highlighted presentations by BA students in the social sciences and the humanities.
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 DC. IES/CGES co-sponsored a number of events with GHI-West including a lecture on the integration of refugees in German institutions of higher education by Bernd Fischer, Deputy Head of Division at the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research. IES/CGES and GHI West also welcomed David Miliband, former UK Foreign Secretary and current President and CEO of the International Rescue Committee, to the Berkeley campus for the Annual Bucerius Lecture, “What is in a Category? Telling Political Refugees and Economic Migrants Apart,”moderated by Jutta Allmendinger, President of the WZB Berlin Social Science Center.
The IES/CGES calendar in 2018 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 IES/CGES hosted Yuri Slezkine, Professor of History at UC Berkeley who gave a talk on the mythical nature of Bolshevik ideology, family ties and the Russian Revolution.
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 2019. The upcoming agenda includes events addressing important themes such as river management and restoration in Germany and Europe, refugee integration in Germany, Greece and Europe, Germany and the globalization of the #metoo movement, and a graduate workshop on comparative perspectives of urban gentrification in Germany and the US.
Akasemi Newsome, PhD, Executive Director, CGES
Professor Jeroen Dewulf, Chair