In This Issue: April 2014
Euro Challenge 2014
Book Publication
Curriculum Development Grant
Euro Challenge 2014


Congratulations to teacher Joshua Hill and the team from Elkins High School from Missouri City, Texas on winning the Texas regional round of the 2014 Euro Challenge.


Participating 9th and 10th graders from high schools throughout Texas travelled to Austin on March 24th to make presentations on the euro and a specific problem facing one of the eurozone countries. Although all of the teams this year were fantastic, the Elkins team's presentation on slow growth in Portugal was declared the winner. The team will now travel to New York on April 30th to compete in the semi-final rounds against high school students from other participating EU Centers in the U.S. 

Book Publication


We're delighted to announce that Palgrave Macmillan has just published Dr. John Higley's new book, Political Elites in the Transatlantic Crisis, which was a direct outgrowth of the conference he organized and hosted with CES in April 2012 on "Elites and the Transatlantic Crisis."


Our thanks to all the contributors to and co-sponsors of this well-attended conference.


And our warm congratulations to Dr. Higley on his continued success.


Curriculum Development Grant

Know a Texas High School teacher who might be interested? CES is offering a $400 grant for a teacher to develop a curriculum unit over the summer of 2014 on a European topic. Units may be used for World Geography, World History, or other classes where a focus on Europe is included.
All Texas high school teachers may apply. Application deadline is April 18, 2014. The chosen teacher will submit updates throughout the summer with the final unit due by August 10th.
Click here to apply or contact Sally Dickson at CES for more information.
Please view the individual webpages prior to events as times and locations may change.
The World at War 1914-1918
Harry Ransom Center

The Harry Ransom Center's current exhibition (February 11-August 3, 2014) draws on its collection and "illuminates the experience of the war from the point of view of participants and observers preserved for a twenty-first-century generation through letters, drafts, and diaries, memoirs and novels, photographs and drawings by battlefield artists, and propaganda posters."


In addition to the exhibit, the HRC is also hosting a number of events to help celebrate the exhibition.

Wednesday, April 2, 7:00 - 9:00 p.m.

Student Reception: Students of the College of Liberal Arts are invited to a private viewing of the current exhibition. Enjoy light refreshments and music from the era. Please rsvp at


Tuesday, April 8, 7:00 PM

Lecture: "World War I: An Inconsistent Memory?"

Pulitzer Prize-winning art and architecture critic Philip Kennicott presents "World War I: An Inconsistent Memory?" for the Amon Carter Lecture.


Thursday, April 24, 7:00 p.m.

Lecture: Award-winning poet, biographer, and poetry editor Matthew Hollis speaks about the friendship between poets Robert Frost and Edward Thomas and its fatal consequences in the midst of the Great War.


For more information about the exhibition and events, please visit the HRC website.


French Film Series: J'Accuse (1919)
April 5, 2014   3:00 PM
Harry Ransom Center
Prothro Theater 


Silent film, directed by Abel Gance. 


At once a denunciation of the Great War and a monument to those who fought in it, Abel Gance's 1919 epic J'accuse explores the cataclysmic changes brought about by this conflict-from the age-old traditions of life before the war, to the unifying patriotism experienced at its outbreak, and finally to the immeasurable scope of its destruction. Combing a fictional narrative with authentic footage from the front, Gance's silent masterpiece remains as troubling today as it did almost 100 years ago.

Introduced by University of Texas Assistant Professor Herve Picherit.


Runtime 166 minutes.


This screening is made possible by the French Embassy's Centers of Excellence grant, in partnership with the Center for European Studies, the Harry Ransom Center, and the Department of French and Italian. 


For more information about the exhibition and events, please visit the CES website.


Comparing European & North American
Approaches to Human Rights
A Six-Part Speaker Series


The Bernard and Audre Rapoport Center for Human Rights and Justice at The University of Texas School of Law announces the start to its Spring 2014 colloquium on "Comparing European and North American Approaches to Human Rights." The six-part speaker series begins Monday, Feb. 3, with talks on counter-terrorism by law professors Fionnuala Ní Aoláin, from the University of Minnesota Law School and University of Ulster, and Aziz Rana, from Cornell Law School.  

poster for Comparing European and North American Approaches to Human Rights 


Each of the six events this spring will feature two speakers, one from Europe and one from North America. They will examine the way in which both regions engage with some of today's most pressing human rights issues.


April 7: "Approaches to Universal Jurisdiction"

  • Juan Garcés, Spanish Attorney, Lead Counsel in criminal case against Augusto Pinochet in Spain
  • Michael Tigar, Emeritus Professor of the Practice of Law, Duke Law School, and Professor Emeritus of Law, Washington College of Law, American University

April 21: "Approaches to Labor Rights"

  • Mitchel Lasser, Jack G. Clarke Professor of Law and Director of Graduate Studies, Cornell Law School
  • Kerry Rittich, Professor, Faculty of Law and the Women's and Gender Studies Institute, University of Toronto

The colloquium is organized by the Rapoport Center with the support of the Center for European Studies and other co-sponsors, and is funded in part by a grant from the European Union. All talks are free and open to the public and light refreshments will be served. Details can be found on the Rapoprt Center's website. Presentations take place at 3:45 p.m. in the law school's Sheffield Room (TNH 2.111) unless noted otherwise.


For more information contact, William Chandler, Rapoport Center, at 512-232-4857 or

European Public Sphere: Understanding the Role of Mass Media and Interpersonal Discussion in Shaping Today's European Citizenship


April 10-11, 2014

Belo Media Center (BMC) 5.102


The conference is free and open to the public but registration is greatly appreciated.

Click here to register.


This conference seeks to advance the understanding of today's European citizenship. And it does so in a particular way as it takes up the challenge to explore the role of the mass media and people's interpersonal discussion habits about politics in explaining civic and political participatory behaviors that foster a European citizenship.  


For years researchers have inquired about the mechanisms that elicit today's European Union. There seems to be a consensus in the academic community that points to certain aspects as being central for the advancement of the European Union. Social identity features, cultural traits, a strong and deliberative public sphere, and sociopolitical elements have all been theorized to provide a healthier, more cohesive, and more participatory European Union.


Nevertheless, how Europeans participate and get involved in the political process is largely mediated, and it has been somewhat overlooked. That is, the ways in which European citizens engage in civic and political activities greatly depend on the effects of the mass media and the ways in which citizens discuss important public issues among themselves. Hence, the importance of studying the role of the mass media and how people discuss relevant issues for public life, perhaps generating a European public sphere.


Drawing from the expertise provided by academics, professionals, and media experts from the USA, the European Union, and Latin America, this conference aims to shed light over all these processes as they shape today's European Citizenship.


For a full schedule and list of presenters, please visit the CES website.

Lessons from the Northern Ireland Peace Process 
A Talk with Dr. Timothy White, Xavier University
Joined by Dr. Bob Snyder, Southwestern University   
April 10, 2014 7:00 PM PAI 4.42


Northern Ireland was the site of bitter conflict between those struggling for reunification with the rest of Ireland and those wanting to remain a part of the United Kingdom. After years of strenuous negotiations, nationalists and unionists came together in 1998 to sign the Good Friday Agreement. Northern Ireland's peace process has been deemed largely successful. Yet remarkably little has been done to assess in a comprehensive fashion what can be learned from it.


Lessons from the Northern Ireland Peace Process incorporates recent research that emphasizes the need for civil society and a grassroots approach to peacebuilding while taking into account a variety of perspectives. The contributions, which include the reflections of those involved in the negotiation and implementation of the Good Friday Agreement, also provide policy prescriptions for modern conflicts.


Sponsored by International Relations and Global Studies, the Robert S. Strauss Center for International Security and Law, the UT Department of Government, and the Center for European Studies/EU Center of Excellence
¡No nos representan!: Performative Documentary as Militant Film, the 15M archive 
With Dr. Steven Marsh
April 10, 2014 4:00 - 5:00 PM BEN 2.104


The May 15th movement of 2011 has inspired a spate of recent films made by both Spaniards and non-Spaniards, established filmmakers and video activists alike. These films, while sympathetic to the movement, hinge on an apparent paradox: they are cultural representations that purport to offer a critique of political representation. This paper turns on the performative implications of that paradox and seeks to establish an argument regarding "performance" as the key element that links and interrogates political representation, cultural representation, the changes in the technologies of filmmaking, and militant politics.  


Drawing on Derrida's theoretization of the performative this paper argues that the filmic texts analyzed - among them, Libre te quiero(Basilio Martín Patino 2012), Vers Madrid, The Burning Bright (Sylvain George 2012), Banderas falsas and Falsos horizontes (Carlos Serrano Azcona 2012), and Flavio G. Garcia's "Video Derives"  - constitute political acts in their own right; that is, rather than "representations" they perform their own politics. Accordingly, it posits a relation between formal abstraction (as antinomic of representation) and militant politics.   


While locating these recent productions within a counter-tradition of political cinema of the Spanish state, this paper also seeks to complicate their historical antecedents and their supposedly national affiliation.


Steven Marsh is Associate Professor of Spanish film and Director of Graduate Studies in the Department of Hispanic & Italian Studies at the University of Illinois at Chicago. He is joint editor of Gender and Spanish Cinema(Berg 2004) and the author of Popular Spanish Film Under Franco: Comedy and the Weakening of the State (Palgrave 2006). He is the editor of the forthcoming special issue of the Journal of Spanish Cultural Studies on spectrality and Spanish film and he is in the process of finalizing a new monograph provisionally titled Spanish Cinema, A Counterhistory:  Cosmopolitanism, Experimentation, Militancy.

Sponsored by the Department of Spanish and Portuguese.
For more information:
French Film Series: Trois Soldats Allemands (2001)
April 12, 2014   3:00 PM
Harry Ransom Center
Prothro Theater 

Directed in 2001 by François Caillat, Trois soldats allemands is a documentary that explores the identity of the Lorraine region through the destiny of both civilians and soldiers living in Sarrebourg at the time of the three Franco-German wars. Starting from Le Haut-G'hor estate where the corpse of a German soldier was exhumed in 1951, Trois soldats allemands traces the link between characters who were tied to the house and whose lives were torn between France and Germany.


Introduced by University of Texas Assistant Instructor of French, Clemence Ozel.


Runtime 75 minutes. 


This screening is made possible by the French Embassy's Centers of Excellence grant, in partnership with the Center for European Studies, the Harry Ransom Center, and the Department of French and Italian. 


For more information about the exhibition and events, please visit the  CES website.


Reflexivity in Iberian Documentary Film
With Dr. Samuel Amago
April 17, 2014 4:00 - 5:00 PM BEN 2.104



In his influential Introduction to Documentary (2001), Bill Nichols outlines six documentary modes of representation "that function something like sub-genres of the documentary film genre itself: poetic, expository, participatory, observational, reflexive, performative" (99). These categories are useful starting points for classification, but from the beginning documentary film has always mixed modes of address, styles and forms. Indeed, the genre's beginnings lie in the efforts of its first practitioners to explore the limits of the cinema itself, as they worked to discover "new possibilities and untried forms" (Nichols 82). Early filmmakers' experimentation with cinematic techniques accordingly "blurred boundaries between fiction and non-fiction, documenting reality and experimenting with form, showing and telling, narrative and rhetoric" (Nichols 83).     


This talk will analyze how contemporary Iberian documentary filmmakers have continued this tradition, melding modes of representation in order to critique, observe or otherwise erode traditional boundaries between reality and fiction, showing and telling, narrative and testimony, realism and formalism in their films. The lecture will analyze three works emerging from three different corners of Iberia that in one way or another question the "rhetorics of authenticity" upon which traditional documentary films have relied: from Catalonia, Todos vós sodes capitáns (Oliver Laxe, 2010), a poetic film about globalism and social issues that also problematizes the ability of European cameras to document the social reality of non-European Others; from Portugal, Aquele Querido Mês de Agosto (Miguel Gomes, 2008), an observational film about Portuguese regional identities that also contains within itself a parallel narrative about the making of a "fictional" film-within-the-film; and, emerging from and engaging parodically with a variety of Castilian cultural traditions, Cámara lúcida (Carlos Cañeque, 2013), a reflexive, participatory postmodern documentary exploring the uncertain boundaries between reality and fiction, tradition and innovation, audiovisual and literary culture in contemporary Spain.


Samuel Amago, Associate Professor of Spanish & Associate Chair, Department of Romance Languages, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Sponsored by the Department of Spanish and Portuguese.

For more information:
"The European Civil War"
With Dr. Enzo Traverso
April 18, 2014 4:00PM
Harry Ransom Center 
Prothro Theater


Nineteen fourteen marked the beginning of a new Thirty Years' War in Europe. The meaning of modernity changed: it no longer designated material and human progress but industrial killing and anonymous mass death. Between 1914 and 1945, "hot," extreme, passionate and uncontrolled violence merged with the "cold" and rationally planned violence of modernity, carried on by technological and industrial means. Both literature and visual arts mirrored this peculiar disruptive tension. Distinguished scholar and Cornell University professor Enzo Traverso reassesses the concept of "European civil war," discussing its virtues and limits, its uses and abuses. 

Enzo Traverso received his M.A. from the University of Genoa, Italy (1982), and his Ph.D. from the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales, Paris (1989). He specializes in contemporary Europe, focusing on intellectual history and the political ideas of the first half of the twentieth century, in a comparative and transnational perspective. Before coming to Cornell, he has been a professor of political science at the University Jules Verne of Picardy, France, and a member of the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS). He has been visiting professor at several European as well as Latin American Universities. His publications, all translated in different languages, include more than ten authored and other edited books. Several of his works investigate the impact of political and mass violence on the European culture. He is currently preparing a book on the representations of the Jewish intellectual in Germany, France and Italy at the turn of the XXth Century.

Sponsored by the Center for European Studies/European Union Center of Excellence, the Cultural Service at the Consulate General of France in Houston, the Department of History, the Institute for Historical Studies, the France-UT Institute, the Harry Ransom Center, and, above all, the French Embassy in Washington DC.


For more information, please visit the CES website.  

French Film Series: La France (2007)
April 19, 2014   3:00 PM
Harry Ransom Center
Prothro Theater 

 Directed by Serge Bozon.  


Winner of the Prix Jean Vigo in 2007, Serge Bozon's La France is a film about the search for a new homeland. Camille, dressed as a 17-year- old boy, sets off with a group of vagabond soldiers in her journey to find her husband at the front. A visually stunning example of the recent French pop-art cinema, Bozon highlights the materiality of the film by setting live recorded pop songs amidst the backdrop of the Great War. In this film, Bozon reinvents "the last classical American genre," using Bertohld Brecht's performance device of distancing effect to alienate the spectator and to generate a critically engaged viewer who cannot remain passive in front of the big screen.


Introduced by University of Texas graduate student Meredith Lehman.


Runtime 102 minutes. 


This screening is made possible by the French Embassy's Centers of Excellence grant, in partnership with the Center for European Studies, the Harry Ransom Center, and the Department of French and Italian. 


For more information about the exhibition and events, please visit the  CES website.


 "'Somewhere in Belgium or France it don't 
matter which': What Can the Canadian 
Expeditionary Force Tell Us about Consent and Coercion in the Great War?"

With Dr. Martha Hanna


April 29, 2013

Harry Ransom Center 

In late May, 1916, Laurie Rogers, a soldier in the Canadian Expeditionary Force serving on the Western Front, mused in a melancholy moment that he was "somewhere in France or Belgium it don't matter which."  If Rogers and his compatriots were hard-pressed to distinguish France from Belgium; if the defense of 'la patrie' which was so central to the fighting resolve of French troops on the Western Front was a matter of supreme indifference to most of them; if - in short - they were, fighting in France, but not for France, how did their perceptions of this alien and in many ways inhospitable land influence how they thought about the war?  Did their experiences of France reinforce their resolve to endure unto victory?  Or did their experiences of combat and contact with civilians behind the lines undermine their morale and make them regret their decision to enlist? By examining how Canadian troops perceived France and the war that they were waging there, I will examine from an unexplored angle one of the most debated topics in contemporary scholarship about the war:  did soldiers endure the war because they subscribed to the belief that theirs was the cause of justice, or did they continue to serve, having learned full well the horrors of war, only because they were compelled by coercive force to do so? 
Martha Hanna is a Professor in the Department of History at the University of Colorado, Boulder. She is a specialist in the history of modern France, with a particular interest in the First World War. She is the author of The Mobilization of Intellect: French Scholars and Writers During the Great War, published by Harvard University Press (1996) and several articles on the cultural history of France during the early twentieth century, including "A Republic of Letters: The Epistolary Tradition in World War I France" which appeared in the American Historical Review (December 2003). 


For more information about the exhibition and events, please visit the CES website.


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