Photos and Videos from Recent Lectures and Workshops

War photography and avant-garde performance in Kurosawa Akira’s 'The Lower Depths (1957)'

Speaker: Professor Olga Solovieva

November 19, 2015

For event flyer, click here.

If you missed her lecture or would like to view, you can find it by clicking here.

Europe and the World: World War I as Crisis of Universalism

December 4-7, 2014

For more information, visit Website.

While World War I initiated an era of conflict that reverberated across the globe, its enduring significance remains a key question a hundred years later. While the rise of nationalism motivated many of the conflicts that sparked the war, the ideological claims on all sides also invoked universalist ideals about civilization and culture. A reevaluation of World War I thus immediately raises questions about the conflicts between nationalism and cosmopolitanism that have continued to frame inner-European relations in the last century. At the same time, 1914 marked the beginning of a fundamental shift in the relationship of Europe to the world. The goal of this conference will be to evaluate the significance of World War I as a defining moment in the relationship of Europe to the rest of the world, both politically and culturally. The two main focuses will be the conflicts between nationalism and cosmopolitanism within Europe and between imperial politics and universal ideals outside of it that have defined World War I as the transition point to new structures of global relations and alternative understandings of cultural identity.

Frank Biess: "World War I and the History of 20th Century Violence"
David Pan: World War I and the Transformation of Sovereignty
Emily Rosenberg "World War I, Wilsonianism, Anti-imperial Challenges
in US Empire"
Nikolay Yudin Russia's "Union Sacrée at the Beginning of the First World War and Russian Nationalism"
Ekaterina Romanova "The Collapse of the European Concert: Great Power Politics in the Balkans prior to the First World War"
Sergei Plekhanov "Unlikely Allies: Lenin, Wilson, and the First Steps toward a New World Order"


Not a Zero-Sum Game: US-Russian Relations in a Multipolar World

Speaker: Dr. Sergei Plekhanov

April 7, 2014

For event flyer, click here. It is a common stereotype to describe relations between the US and Russia as a zero-sum game between erstwhile rivals, in which one side’s gain is inevitably the other side’s loss, and vice versa. Indeed, on a growing number of international issues, from Syria to gay rights to Ukraine, the two countries now find themselves at odds, which remind us that tensions and conflicts have been a regular feature of the US-Russian relationship for over a century. But the really important part of the record of the history of their relations – including the period of the Cold War - is their demonstrated ability to work together, in spite of their differences, in the face of major threats and challenges to world peace and security. In the 21st century, deeper and more productive US-Russian cooperation is in the best interests of both nations and of the world as a whole – a world which has gone far beyond the bipolar model of the Cold War. Developing such cooperation is a realistic goal which should be steadfastly pursued by both sides.

In his native Russia, Dr. Sergei Plekhanov’s job was to explain America to Russians. As a Moscow academic expert on US-Russian relations, he took part in the development of ideas for the historic reforms undertaken by Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev, which helped bring the Cold War to an end. Today, as a scholar, consultant, lecturer, media commentator and peace advocate, he is known for his unique ability to explain Russia to Americans. Professor Plekhanov teaches international and comparative politics at York University in Toronto, Canada. He has also taught at UC Irvine and Occidental College in Los Angeles.

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