On 21 November 2014, I attended the conference "Democracies in Europe under threat” organized by the Open Society Foundations and the Erste Stiftung (Vienna). I spoke in a panel on "Beyond protest: How could the disappointed democrats and reluctant radicals get interested in politics again?” The other panelists and I discussed potential routes for re-engagement of disillusioned and apathetic voters. Questions addressed included: What would make people interested again in finding common solutions rather than apportioning blame to marginalised minority groups? How can seemingly mainstream minority groups feel less marginalised? What would change how voters think about politics and democracy these days?
I'm participating at the conference "Trans-ethnic Coalition-Building within and across States", which is held from 7 to 9 January 2015 at Uppsala University, with a keynote lecture on "Presence and Representation: Roma interest and group formation on the European level." The conference seeks to analyse the factors that drive mobilisation and interaction across ethnic boundaries and the practices and outcomes that derive from such cooperation. The conference is organised and hosted by the Uppsala Centre for Russian and Eurasian Studies (UCRS) at Uppsala University, collaboration with a number of co-organizers.
On 19 November 2014 I'm talking with four (of the thirteen) winners of the EU Prize for Literature 2014 at a literary evening in Brussels: Marente de Moor (NL), Milen Ruskov (Bulgaria), Jan Němec (Czech Republic) and Birgül Oğuz (Turkey). These writers will also read from their work. The evening begins at 8pm at the Passa Porta International Literature house (A. Dansaertstraat 49, 1000 Brussels) and reservations can be made through this website.
The University of Edinburgh publishes a new academic webmagazine on cities. It's called The New Metropolitan and focuses on cultures of urban citizenship. So it's about, as the magazine says:
Currently The New Metropolitan's main page contains stories about divided cities as Skopje, Belfast, and Mitrovica, some book reviews and interviews. I've contributed a short piece about the Brussels-based European Constitution in Verse. More will follow soon. If you like what you read, and would like to contribute, then you should contact the editors through the site.
I’m presenting a paper on ‘Conflicting Frames of Reconciliation: The Politics of Peacebuilding in the Former Yugoslavia (co-authored with Heleen Touquet) at the CES (Council for European Studies) Conference, Washington, D.C., USA • March 14-16, 2014. Click here for more information, or just read more below.
Europe’s changing lessons from the past – transnational perspectives
Saturday, March 15, 2014: 11:00 AM-12:45 PM
Senate (Omni Shoreham)
In the wake of crisis in Europe, bits and pieces of the past are being resurrected as a means of understanding the present and imagining the future. References to historical experiences and lessons from the past have started to reappear in public and private discourse. Most allusions go back to the first half of last century and the experience of war, oppression and dictatorship that have marked the beginning of European cooperation within a fixed institutional framework. ‘Lessons from the past’ have always played a considerable role in EU integration history. But how has their meaning changed over time? Which role do references to WWII, Nazism and Fascism, Civil War and the Holocaust still play in today’s debates on further integration? How is their relevance to the present disputed? What is the process through which they are revived and reanimated in contemporary debates? This panel is part of a mini-symposium that brings together researchers who concentrate on the way ‘lessons from the past’ have been framed in different national contexts. This particular panel focuses on South Eastern European countries.
Chair: Aline Sierp
Discussant: Philippe Perchoc
Conflicting Frames of Reconciliation: The Politics of Peacebuilding in the Former Yugoslavia
Heleen Touquet, University of Leuven; Peter Vermeersch, University of Leuven
Austria: Encore. The relationship between learning through literature and the collective repression of the past
Anne Dippel, Humboldt-University Berlin
“Lessons from the Past”: A Discussion of Politics of Memory in Contemporary Turkey
Duygu Gul Kaya, York University Toronto
The First World War as public memory in Bosnia, Croatia, and Serbia: From Yugoslav to national narratives and beyond
Tea Sindbæk, University of Copenhagen
On February 27, 2014, from 2 to 5pm, Leuven International and European Studies (LINES) presents the symposium Human Rights after Sochi.
The Sochi 2014 Olympics put the spotlight on human rights violations in Russia. At this symposium we want to take stock of the situation after Sochi. Have the international organizations, the European Union, the United States and other countries managed to influence the human rights situation in Russia in any way? Or are changes purely cosmetic? What will be the legacy of Sochi?
Photographer Rob Hornstra and journalist Arnold Van Bruggen from the legendary Sochi Project will present some of their work and will talk about their experiences in Sochi since 2009. They are joined in debate by professor Aude Merlin (ULB), Arnout Geeraert (LINES) and Karen Moeskops, director of Amnesty International in Flanders. Jan Balliauw, Russia specialist at VRT will moderate.
Radiohuis, Boekhandelstraat 2, 3000 Leuven
Please register for this event by sending an e-mail to Marijke.Vermeulen@soc.kuleuven.be
I'm participating at the upcoming OSCE's Supplementary Human Dimension Meeting, which focuses on the implementation of the OSCE's action plan on Roma and Sinti. The event is organized at the occasion of the 10th Anniversary of the adoption of the 2003 OSCE Action Plan on Roma and Sinti. The meeting takes place in Vienna on 7 and 8 November 2013. On the 8th I'm moderating a session on the integration of Roma and Sinti with a particular focus on women, youth and children. More information and the programme of the event can be found here.
Register for Borders to Cross, a two-day conference on democratic innovation and civic driven change in Amsterdam, 29-31 October 2013. The conference ends with the symposium Renewing Democracy, Thursday, 31 October 2013, 14:00-17:15 at de Brakke Grond. Main speakers at the symposium include Maarten Hajer, David Van Reybrouck, Carsten Berg and Ségolène Pruvot. The symposium is jointly organized by the Department of Political Science at the University of Amsterdam, Network Democracy, Leuven International and European Studies (LINES), and the G1000.
For more information about the conference go to http://www.borderstocross.com.
Check the programme of the symposium here.
This month McSweeney's publishes my essay "Passion Pieces". The essay is partly memoir and partly a reflection on recent history in Poland, and it appears in a symposium edited and curated by Rachel Cohen in tribute to the wonderful work of Lawrence Weschler, author of Mr. Wilson's Cabinet of Wonder, and Seeing is Forgetting the Name of the Thing That One Sees. The symposium is called "You have to see this", and the magazine describes it as: "an all-hands-on-deck appraisal of one of the most keen-eyed cultural commentators of our time. With contributions from Errol Morris, William Finnegan, Lauren Redniss, Bill McKibben, Ben Katchor, Wendy Lesser, Geoff Dyer, Bill Morrison, Riva Lehrer, David Hockney, Jonathan Lethem, Peter Vermeersch, Andrei Codrescu, Baynard Woods, Ricky Jay, and Walter Murch."
See (and purchase) the issue at the McSweeney's Store.