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The Europe Center April 2017

 

Event Recap: First Minister of Scotland, Nicola Sturgeon, Visits Stanford

 

Sturgeon imageIn her April visit to Stanford University, Nicola Sturgeon, First Minister of Scotland and leader of the Scottish National Party (SNP), spoke to over 300 members of the Stanford community about Scotland's place in the world. An additional 4475 people viewed the talk remotely via live stream. With many Scottish voters choosing to remain a part of the United Kingdom in order to ensure continued membership in the European Union, Sturgeon argued that the June 2016 Brexit vote posed a "fundamental question for Scotland" and that the Scottish populace had a right to decide whether to pursue independence in order to continue to be a part of the European Union. Furthermore, Sturgeon argued that Scottish priorities of inclusivity, equality, openness, fairness, climate protection, and economic prosperity are at odds with a decision to prioritize "immigration curbs above all else." She contrasted the 2014 independence referendum with the 2016 Brexit vote: "[The independence referendum] was a debate that had a high level of understanding about the issues at stake. The EU referendum by contrast had none of that. The information that people had was reduced to a lie on the side of double decker bus." Adding, however, "I fervently hope for the independence of my country. I wouldn't want it to be won on the basis of a campaign that was as dishonest as the EU referendum campaign." Sturgeon stated that she is "fairly certain" that there will be a second referendum on Scottish independence.

Voted into the Scottish Parliament in 1999, Nicola Sturgeon became the First Minister of Scotland in 2014 and is the first female to hold the position. She led her party to success in the Westminster and Holyrood elections, with the SNP becoming the first party in Scotland to secure a third term in government. Following the Brexit vote in the United Kingdom, the First Minister has been a leading voice arguing for a continuing relationship between Scotland and the European Union and an open and welcoming approach to immigration. She was ranked as the 50th most powerful woman in the world in 2016 and 2nd in the United Kingdom by Forbes magazine.


Featured Faculty Research: Walter Scheidel

 

We would like to introduce you to some of The Europe Center’s faculty affiliates and the projects on which they are working. Our featured faculty member this month is Walter Scheidel. Walter is the Dickason Professor in the Humanities and Professor of Classics and History. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Vienna in 1993 and completed his Habilitation at the University of Graz in 1998 and joined the faculty at Stanford in 2003.

Photo of Walter ScheidelWalter's research focuses on ancient social and economic history, with particular emphasis on historical demography, labor, and state formation. In his recent book, The Great Leveler: Violence and the History of Inequality from the Stone Age to the Twenty-First Century, Walter explores each of these themes. In this book, Walter examines evidence from the Stone Age to the present time in order to understand the factors that lead to a substantial decrease in inequality. Walter shows that inequality never dies peacefully. Periods of increased equality are usually born of carnage and disaster and are generally short-lived, disappearing with the return of peace and stability. Specifically, he demonstrates that "Four Horsemen" — mass-mobilization warfare, transformative revolutions, state collapse, and catastrophic plagues — have repeatedly destroyed the fortunes of the rich, a finding that casts serious doubt on the prospects for a more equal future.

Scheidel, Walter. 2017. The Great Leveler: Violence and the History of Inequality from the Stone Age to the Twenty-First Century. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.


Featured Graduate Student Research: Jessi Piggott

 

We would like to introduce you to some of the graduate students that we support and the projects on which they are working. Our featured graduate student this month is Jessi Piggott (Theater and Performance Studies). Jessi is a Ph.D. candidate in Theater and Performance Studies at Stanford University.

Jessi Piggott imageIn her dissertation, Playing to the Point: Weimar-Era Agitprop and the Aesthetics of Progressive Popular Performance, Jessi examines political street theater. Throughout the dissertation, she first focuses on Weimar-era "agitprop" and then uses the findings from the first part to rethink standard assumptions about contemporary forms of activist street theater.

Funded by The Europe Center, Jessi spent August and September 2016 in Berlin, Germany conducting archival and site-specific research for her dissertation. While in Germany, Jessi's research centered on the agitprop troupes of Weimar-era Germany. Agitprop was a popular form of live entertainment that was generally both created and performed by amateur artists from Germany’s working classes. Today, the texts are generally unavailable in published form and are primarily available in the Agit-Prop-Sammlung at the Akademie der Künste Archiv in Berlin. Moreover, as Jessi learned from the head of the archive’s Performing Arts division, with the exception of a single volume from 1961, little of the material has been referred to in academic work. Jessi notes that the materials in this collection are extraordinarily diverse, and have allowed her to begin to reconstruct aspects of this fascinating theatrical tradition that have largely escaped the attention of performance scholars. An important part of this research focuses on the Bildsprache, or iconography, developed by agitprop troupes throughout the 1920s. Jessi argues that contrary to popular thought, the “heavy-handedness” and simplicity of these performances paradoxically helped to constitute a space for critical reflection, dialogue, and dissensus among spectators and performers alike.

Jessi has been awarded a DAAD Research Grant and will therefore be returning to Berlin for the 2017-2018 academic year. During that time she will conduct additional archival research and will embark upon an ethnographic exploration of contemporary performances. At this time, Jessi intends to return to Stanford for the 2018-2019 academic year in order to complete and defend her dissertation.

Please visit our website for more information about our Graduate Student Grant program.


Graduate Student Grant Competition: Accepting Applications April 3, 2017 - April 21, 2017

 

The Europe Center invites applications from graduate and professional students at Stanford University whose research or work focuses on Europe. Funds are available for Ph.D. candidates across a wide range of disciplines in the humanities and social sciences to prepare for dissertation research and to conduct research on approved dissertation projects. The Europe Center also supports early graduate students who wish to determine the feasibility of a dissertation topic or acquire training relevant for that topic. Additionally, funds are available for professional students whose interests focus on some aspect of European politics, economics, history, or culture; the latter may be used to support an internship or a research project. For more information please visit our website.


The Europe Center Undergraduate Internship Program in Europe

 

Please join us in congratulating the students selected to participate in The Europe Center’s summer 2017 Undergraduate Internship Program in Europe:

The Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe (ALDE) 
Ben Gardner-Gill
Michael Rover

Bruegel
Emma Abdullah 
Nicholas Branigan 
Lloyd Lyall

Carnegie Europe
Sima Bondi

For more information about The Europe Center’s Undergraduate Internship Program in Europe, please visit our website.


Call for Applications: The Europe Center's Undergraduate Internship Program

 

Application Deadline: April 15, 2017

In addition to the positions listed above, The Europe Center is currently accepting applications to fill the following position:

  • The Centre for European Policy Studies (CEPS) Brussels, Belgium
    CEPS is a policy think-tank providing research and activities on economic and international policy matters.
    Positions Available: 1
    Program Dates: 6 consecutive weeks between June 19, 2017 and September 15, 2017 (start and end dates to be determined by the host and the student)

Applications for this position will be accepted through April 15, 2017 and are being reviewed as received.

We invite applications from Stanford University undergraduate students interested in this exciting opportunity. For more information on The Europe Center's Undergraduate Internship Program, please visit our website.


The Europe Center Sponsored Events

 

April 6, 2017 
12:00PM - 1:30PM 
Damian Collins, Member of Parliament, United Kingdom
Book Event: Sir Philip Sassoon - England's Gatsby, and the Jewish Leaders of Political Society Between the World Wars 
Room 307, Lane History Corner (Building 200) 
No RSVP required. 
This book event is co-sponsored by The Europe Center, the Taube Center for Jewish Studies, and the Department of History.

April 6, 2017 
4:15PM - 5:45PM 
Damian Collins, Member of Parliament, United Kingdom
Britain and Brexit 
Room 302, Lane History Corner (Building 200) 
No RSVP required. 
This event is co-sponsored by The Europe Center, the Taube Center for Jewish Studies, and the Department of History.

April 11, 2017 
12:00PM - 1:30PM 
Philippe Van Parijs, University of Louvain
Europe's Destiny: A View from Brussels 
CISAC Central Conference Room, Encina Hall, 2nd Floor 
Due to overwhelming response, this event is now full and we are no longer able to take further RSVPs.

April 20-25, 2017 
Romanian Film Festival: "Delimmas, Decisions, Destinies - From the Imaginary to the Real Realm" 
Locations vary by date. 
Please visit our website for more information.
The event is presented by Stanford University's Center for Russian, East European & Eurasian Studies (CREEES) and Special Language Program (SLP); UC Berkeley's Institute of Slavic, East European, and Eurasian Studies; and San Francisco State's Department of Cinema and is co-sponsored by Stanford University's The Europe Center and Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures; the San Francisco Art Institute; UCLA's Department of Slavic, East European and Eurasian Languages and Cultures, Center for European and Eurasian Studies, and Romanian Student Club; the “Nicolae Tonitza” High School (Bucharest, Romania) and Fundatia Semn (Romania).

Save the Date: April 24, 2017 
11:30AM - 1:00PM 
Torun Dewan, London School of Economics
Room 400 (Graham Stuart Lounge), Encina Hall West 
No RSVP required. 
This seminar is part of the Comparative Politics Workshop in the Department of Political Science and is co-sponsored by The Europe Center.

April 26, 2017 
12:00PM - 1:30PM 
Alexander Stubb, Former Prime Minister of Finland and current Member of the Finnish Parliament
Life After Trump and Brexit: Will Europe Be Able to Take the Lead? 
Oksenberg Conference Room, Encina Hall, 3rd Floor 
RSVP by 5:00PM April 21, 2017.

April 26, 2017 
4:00PM - 5:30PM 
Patrick Chamorel, Stanford University Center, Washington, D.C.
The French Elections and the Rising Political Divide 
CISAC Central Conference Room, Encina Hall, 2nd Floor 
RSVP by 5:00PM April 24, 2017.

April 28-29, 2017 
Abbasi Program's 2017 Annual Conference
Understanding Turkey: Vision, Revision, and the Future
Venue information will be provided to the confirmed RSVPs. 
RSVP required. 
This conference is organized by the Abbasi Program and is co-sponsored by The Europe Center, Stanford Mediterranean Studies, CDDRL Arab Reform & Democracy Program, Stanford Global Studies Division, and CDDRL.

May 12-13, 2017 
Iberian Studies Program Conference
Inscribed Identities: Writing as Self Realization
Stanford Humanities Center 
Please visit our website for more information.
This conference is co-sponsored by the Division of Literatures, Cultures, and Languages, the Stanford Humanities Center, and The Europe Center's Iberian Studies Program.

Save the Date: June 5, 2017 
11:30AM - 1:00PM 
Daniel Stegmuller, University of Mannheim
Room 400 (Graham Stuart Lounge), Encina Hall West 
No RSVP required. 
This seminar is part of the Comparative Politics Workshop in the Department of Political Science and is co-sponsored by The Europe Center.

 

European Security Initiative Events

 

April 10, 2017 
12:00PM - 1:15PM 
Ivan Krastev, Center for Liberal Strategies, Sofia, Bulgaria
The Imitation Imperative 
Philippines Conference Room, Encina Hall, 3rd Floor 
Due to overwhelming response, this event is now full and we are no longer able to take further RSVPs.

April 19, 2017 
12:00PM - 1:15PM 
Alina Polyakova, Atlantic Council
The Kremlin's Trojan Horses? Russia and the European Far Right 
Reuben Hills Conference Room, Encina Hall East, 2nd Floor 
RSVP by 5:00PM April 17, 2017.

April 25, 2017 
12:00PM - 1:30PM 
Toomas Hendrik Ilves, Former President of the Republic of Estonia and Visiting Fellow at CISAC
A Panel Discussion - Bits and Pieces: Liberal Democracy in the Digital Era 
CISAC Central Conference Room, Encina Hall, 2nd Floor 
RSVP by 5:00PM April 20, 2017. 
This event is co-sponsored by The European Security Initiative (The Europe Center), CISAC, and the Center for Russian, East European, and Eurasian Studies (CREEES).

Save the Date: May 15, 2017 
12:00PM - 1:15PM 
Ivo Daalder, Former U.S. Permanent Representative to NATO
RSVP by 5:00PM May 10, 2017.

Save the Date: May 22, 2017 
12:00PM - 1:15PM 
Mark Leonard, Director of the European Council on Foreign Relations
RSVP by 5:00PM May 17, 2017.


We welcome you to visit our website for additional details.