Upcoming Events

The Catalan Challenge to the Spanish Regime One Year After

Joan Ramon Resina
Stanford University

January 28, 2019, 12:15-1:15 pm
Hampton Room, Scripps College

The Catalan referendum of independence of October 1st, 2017 put Spanish democracy to a test 40 years into its existence. The referendum and declaration of independence posed the question of legitimacy by invoking the right of self-determination. The reaction of the central government to dismiss the Catalan Parliament and to persecute elected officials with prison and judicial action, although allegedly based on the constitutional charter, has been described as rule-bending and contrary to justice. Spain is today the only member of the European Union that holds people in prison for their political beliefs. The ultimate, although non-binding, legal determination will come from the European Court of Human Rights. But it will be years before the case reaches that court. In the meantime Spain will keep them in prison, buying time in the hope of eradicating the independence movement through fear and repression. The trials political trials are scheduled to begin later this month.

Joan Ramon Resina is Professor in the Department of Iberian and Latin American Cultures and the Department of Comparative Literature at Stanford University, where he directs the Iberian Studies Program at the Europe Center. He holds a Ph.D. in Comparative Literature by U.C. Berkeley and a Ph.D. in English by the University of Barcelona. He has been visiting Professor at the Humboldt University in Berlin, Universidad Iberoamericana in Mexico D.F., Universidad de Murcia, Universitat de València, the CUNY Graduate Center, and Columbia University. Awards include the Donald Andrews Whittier Fellowship at the Stanford Humanities Center, the Fulbright fellowship, the Alexander-von-Humboldt fellowship, a Wien International Scholarship, a DAAD grant, fellowships at the Simon Dubnow Institute in Leipzig and at the Internationales Kolleg Morphomata in Cologne, the Serra d’Or prize for literary criticism, the Omnium Cultural award (Ex Aequo with the TV channel Arte), and the Literary Criticism Award of the Institució de les Lletres Catalanes. He has published over one hundred and fifty essays in professional journals and collective volumes. Between 1998 and 2004 he was general editor of the journal Diacritics. Select books include: The Ghost in the Constitution: Historical Memory and Denial in Spanish Society (Liverpool UP, 2017), Josep Pla: The World Seen in the Form of Articles (Toronto UP, 2017), Barcelona’s Vocation of Modernity: Rise and Decline of an Urban Image (Stanford UP, 2008), Del Hispanismo a los Estudios Ibéricos. Una propuesta federativa para el ámbito cultural (2009), El postnacionalisme en el mapa global (Angle Editorial, 2005), El cadáver en la cocina: La novela policiaca en la cultura del desencanto (Anthropos, 1997), Los usos del clásico (Anthropos, 1991), Un sueño de piedra: Ensayos sobre la literatura del modernismo europeo (Anthropos, 1990). In addition, he has edited eleven collections of essays on different topics.


Can the EU Survive Today’s Illiberal Onslaught?

Michael Carpenter
University of Pennsylvania

February 7, 2019, 12:15-1:15 pm
Humanities Museum, Scripps College

The EU is currently being torn apart by illiberal forces. Nationalist-populist demagogues across the continent are being supported by outside powers with an interest in undermining the European project. These demagogues have latched onto concerns over migration and globalization to attack the core tenets on which the EU was founded: pooled sovereignty, minority rights, and rule of law. Fighting back against this illiberal onslaught requires tackling the central weakness of the European system: entrenched corruption and patronage.

Dr. Michael Carpenter is Senior Director of the Penn Biden Center for Diplomacy and Global Engagement and a nonresident Senior Fellow at the Atlantic Council.  He also serves on the board of directors of the Jamestown Foundation and on the advisory board of Lithuania’s National Defense Foundation.  Dr. Carpenter served in the Pentagon as Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense with responsibility for Russia, Eurasia, the Balkans, and Conventional Arms Control.  He served in the White House as a foreign policy advisor to Vice President Joe Biden as well as on the National Security Council as Director for Russia.  Prior to that, Dr. Carpenter was a career Foreign Service Officer with the State Department.  He holds an M.A. and Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of California at Berkeley and a B.A. in International Relations from Stanford University.  Carpenter received fellowships for his academic work from the MacArthur Foundation, IREX, the American Council of Learned Societies, and the Fulbright Foundation. Dr. Carpenter regularly appears as a commentator on foreign affairs for MSNBC, BBC, CNN, ABC, NBC, Bloomberg, and Voice of America.  


Arctic Arms Race? Russia, NATO, and Securitization of the High North

Robert English
University of Southern California

February 26, 2019, 12:15-1:15 pm
Hampton Room, Scripps College

Mainstream US media and foreign policy pundits proclaim Russia’s growing threat to the Arctic. Yet the actual military balance in the region is lopsided in favor of the US and NATO. A narrative of looming conflict risks becoming a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Professor Robert D. English is Deputy Director of the School of International Relations at the University of Southern California. At USC since 2001, he previously taught at the Johns Hopkins University’s School of Advanced International Studies (1998-2001) and, prior to that, worked as a policy analyst in the U.S. Department of Defense and Committee for National Security (1982-1987). He holds both a Masters of Public Affairs and a Doctorate in Politics from Princeton University (1982, 1995) and a Bachelors degree in History and Slavic Studies from the University of California, Berkeley (1980). He is currently studying trends in media coverage of Russia, and completing a biography of Mikhail Gorbachev. English specializes in Russian and post-Soviet international relations, and also teaches courses on political economy and nationalism in East-Central Europe.


From Triumph to Crisis: Creating Capitalism after Communism

Hilary Appel
Claremont McKenna College

March 12, 2019, 12:15-1:15 pm
Humanities Museum, Scripps College

The surprising strength and endurance of neoliberal capitalist reforms remain the great unexplained mystery of post-Communist transition. Neoliberal reforms survived leftist returns to power, persisted across multiple governments, took place in successive reform pushes and, in their extent and endurance, defied scholars’ expectations. Newfound political freedoms were seldom used to reverse capitalist reforms and cultural norms did not force governments to abandon them. Instead, neoliberal reforms prevailed in these nascent polities for nearly two decades. This book presentation will argue that post-Communist transition was driven by a process of “competitive signaling” motivated by these countries’ desperate need for capital, their sudden opening up to the global economy, and the ideological dominance of neoliberal ideas. These factors set off a competition between post-Communist countries to signal their attractiveness to investors by quickly adopting neoliberal capitalist reforms. After the global financial crisis hit and capital flows to the region suddenly stopped, governments began to retreat from the neoliberal agenda. Moreover, support for alternative models of economic nationalism by opposition parties and mass groups began to take hold in several leading reformist countries.

Hilary Appel is the Podlich Family Professor of Government and George R. Roberts Fellow at Claremont McKenna College. Professor Appel’s research examines the politics behind post-Communist economic reforms, the role of EU and NATO in Eastern Europe, and issues of identity and politics in the post-Communist world. In addition to publishing multiple books, including most recently From Triumph to Crisis: Neoliberal Economic Reform in Postcommunist Countries, co-authored with Mitchell Orenstein (Cambridge University Press 2018), she has authored numerous articles in leading scholarly journals like World Politics, Comparative Politics, Comparative Political Studies, Review of International Political Economy, Post-Soviet Affairs, East European Politics and Societies, and others. She has been awarded national fellowships from the Social Science Research Council, American Council of Learned Societies, Fulbright Foundation, National Council for Eurasian and East European Research, Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, the Harriman Institute at Columbia University, and the Institute for the Study of World Politics. Last year Professor Appel received the G. David Huntoon Sr. Teaching Award at Claremont McKenna College.


Past Events: Fall 2018

 


From the Margins to the Metropole:
The Libyan Migration Crisis and EU Policy Formation

Kyle Liston
U.S. Foreign Service

Thursday, October 4, 12:15 pm
Humanities Museum, Scripps College

Kyle Liston recently concluded his third tour as a U.S. Department of State Foreign Service Officer at the Libya External Office (LEO) in Tunis, Tunisia. As a Political Officer covering primarily Libyan internal affairs, Kyle specialized in migration issues, the electoral process, the constitution, and civil society. Prior to working on Libya, Kyle served a year in Baghdad as a Consular Officer, where he had the chance to serve four weeks at U.S. Consulate Basra working in the Economic section on energy issues. Kyle completed his first tour at Embassy Rabat as an Economic Officer covering Trade and development in Morocco.

Before joining the State Department in 2013, Kyle was completing a PhD in Modern Middle Eastern and European History at Indiana University—Bloomington where he focused on Tunisia, Libya, and Italy during the colonial period. As a Fulbright Hays and Boren Fellow, Kyle completed his dissertation research in Tunisia from 2009-2012. He holds two Masters Degrees, one in North African Affairs, and the other in European History. Kyle completed his BA in History at the University of Akron.

Kyle speaks Arabic, including Tunisian and Moroccan dialects, French, and Italian.


AfroItalia
Rhymes and Images from the Black Mediterranean 

Alessandra Di Maio
University of Palermo (Italy)

Tuesday, September 25, 12:15 pm
Hampton Room, Scripps College

The arrival in Italy of migrants and refugees from Africa, while sparking controversy and igniting a heated debate on migration to the EU, has urged Italians to reconsider their historical connections with the African continent and assess new cultural relationships. Among the first communities who crossed the Mediterranean and found a new home in Italy are Nigerians. In the newly-published poetry anthology Migrazioni/Migrations, renowned Italian and Nigerian poets headed by Nobel laureate Wole Soyinka tell the choral story of how Africa and Italy have always been united by a common sea and a shared experience of migration. Photographers from both sides of the pond offer their views to the verses.

Alessandra Di Maio is a professor in the Department of Humanities at the University of Palermo, Italy, and divides her time between Italy and the US, where she taught at several academic institutions (UCLA, CUNY Brooklyn College, Columbia, Smith College). She obtained a Ph.D. in Comparative Literature from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, and an Italian Doctorate in Literary and Social Sciences from the Universities of Pavia and Bari in Italy. Her area of specialization includes black, diasporic, migratory, and gender studies, with a particular attention to the formation of transnational cultural identities. This event is free and open to the public. Seating is on a first-come, first-served basis. Please feel free to bring your own lunch. If you wish to purchase a lunch, the Malott Commons Dining Hall opens at 11:15 A.M. Doors open to the Hampton Room at Noon


The Rise of National Populism in Europe:
The Italian Case

Marla Stone
Occidental College, Los Angeles

Thursday, September 20, 12:15 pm
Humanities Museum

This talk addresses the widespread appeal of populist/nationalist parties in contemporary Europe, with special attention to Italy, since the March 2018 election brought two populist parties, the Five Star Movement and the League, to power. How does the League’s anti-immigrant, anti-European Union platform, and anti-liberal platform compare to similar parties and governments in other parts of Europe?  What aspects of Italy’s turn to the right and turn away from democracy are tied to international trends and what is the product of national histories and policies?

Marla Stone is Professor of History and History Department Chair at Occidental College. She is a historian of twentieth century Europe and focuses on fascism, authoritarianism, and genocide. Professor Stone is the author and editor of a number of books, including The Patron State: Culture and Politics in Fascist Italy (Princeton University Press, 1998), When the Wall Came Down (Routledge, 1993), and The Fascist Revolution (Bedford- St. Martin’s, 2012). Her current book project, The Enemy: The Politics and Propaganda of Anti-communism in Italy, analyzes anti-communism in Italy from Fascism through Christian Democracy, its impact upon Italian politics and the implications for democracy of a mobilization of fear and hatred toward an internal and external political enemy. This event is free and open to the public. Seating is on a first-come, first-served basis.