Letter from the Director
As the director of the Center for European and Eurasian Studies, I am very pleased to welcome you to our 2012-2013 series of lectures, book talks, panel discussions, conferences, and films.
Each year CEES hosts and cosponsors more events than we can mention here, so we invite you to check the calendar section of our website, which we update regularly, for the dates, times, and locations of all our events. In this challenging economic environment, we remain dedicated to continuing our collaborative efforts with other departments, professional schools, and centers at UCLA, as well as with local cultural institutions and consulates, to bring to the university community and public a rich and diverse program.
The main thematic thread in this year’s calendar of events reflects ongoing major developments in the European Union. Throughout the academic year, a series of talks will explore the implications of the debt crisis in the Eurozone as well as other trends and issues of key significance in the EU and beyond. The series begins on October 18 with a public lecture by Josef Joffe, publisher-editor of the German weekly Die Zeit and Senior Fellow of Stanford University's Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies. Other highlights in this series include a public lecture by UCLA Economics Professor Aaron Tornell and a discussion of Europe in Crisis: Bolt from the Blue?, an upcoming book by UCLA History Professor Ivan Berend.
Our annual book talk series opens on November 1st with a discussion of Cultures of the Erotic in Spain, 1898-1939 by Professor Maite Zubiaurre (UCLA, Spanish and Portuguese). Other talks in this series feature Political Epistemics: The Secret Police, the Opposition, and the End of East German Socialism by Andreas Glaeser (University of Chicago, Sociology); From Enemy to Brother: The Revolution in Catholic Teaching on the Jews, 1933-1965 by John Connelly (UC Berkeley, History); and Bosnia Remade: Ethnic Cleansing and Its Reversal by Gerard Toal (Virginia Tech, Government and International Affairs) and Carl Dahlman (Miami University, Geography).
Besides the aforementioned talks by Professors Berend, Tornell, and Zubiaurre, our affiliated faculty’s contributions to our program of public events include lectures by Professors Thomas Harrison (Italian) and Dominic Thomas (French and Francophone Studies), as well as a screening and discussion of the documentary film Package Tour by Professor Gyula Gazdag (Film and TV).
In addition, we will contribute to conferences and workshops initiated by UCLA faculty and graduate students, and will again participate in the International Institute’s Human Rights Film Series, co-sponsor films at the 2012 AFI International Film Festival, and continue our support for the annual Southeast European Film Festival and business conference.
Many of CEES’ activities point to our role as a Department of Education Title VI National Resource Center (NRC). As part of our NRC mandate, we promote innovative activities that enhance and disseminate knowledge of Europe and Eurasia, and prepare future generations of experts for academia, the private sector, and public service. Each year, we support advanced instruction in several less commonly taught European and Eurasian languages, fund the teaching of new interdisciplinary area studies courses, and organize outreach activities targeting the business, consular, media, and K-12 education communities, as well as the broader public of greater Los Angeles.
In June 2011, however, we learned that funding for all NRCs was being cut by 47%. The cuts came into effect at the beginning of the 2011-12 academic year and, as funding has not been restored to full levels, we will still operate under these budgetary constraints in the current academic year. While we are pleased that our FLAS funding was not affected by the federal budget cuts, this unwelcome development has negatively impacted our NRC-funded programs, particularly in the areas of advanced language instruction, library collection development, K-12 training, and business outreach.
Diminished resources notwithstanding, CEES will continue to offer a diverse – if somewhat reduced –range of academic and outreach activities. In 2012-13, we will support the teaching of advanced Bosnian/Croatian/Serbian, Hungarian, Polish, and Romanian courses and tutorials at UCLA, and maintain our contribution to the UC Distance Learning Initiative, a multi-campus effort ensuring that instruction in less commonly taught languages is available across campuses via videoconferencing. In collaboration with the UCLA Center for World Languages we will continue to sponsor the UCLA Heritage Language Initiative, which enables Los Angeles-area high school students to study their parents’ languages for high school and university extension credit. In addition, we will contribute to the annual “Teachers as Scholars” lecture series and collaborate with other UCLA NRCs to organize the annual Summer Institute for K-12 educators. Our business outreach activities will include co-hosting a conference for the entertainment industry on doing business in Eastern Europe, organized in conjunction with the Southeast European Film Festival.
The backbone of teaching and research at UCLA is the faculty, and an important indicator of the continuing strength of European and Eurasian scholarship is the recognition—here and abroad—of our affiliated faculty’s achievements in teaching and research. CEES-affiliated faculty include ten recipients of distinguished teaching awards, ten members of the Academy of Arts and Sciences, numerous recipients of multiple fellowships (MacArthur, Guggenheim, NEH, NSF, ACLS, NCEEER, IREX, Fulbright, etc.), 15 past presidents of American and other national professional associations, and many members of editorial and fellowship award boards.
We are equally pleased to highlight the academic achievements of our affiliated graduate students. In 2011-12, CEES awarded nine summer pre-dissertation/dissertation research fellowships, three summer language study grants, and 17 graduate student conference travel grants. In addition, our center awarded three graduate and two undergraduate academic year FLAS fellowships, as well as eight graduate and three undergraduate Summer FLAS fellowships. Two undergraduate and four graduate students have been awarded FLAS fellowships for the current academic year. The complete list of recipients is available on the funding section of our website, along with information about upcoming competitions for CEES fellowships and grants.
As the new academic year begins, let me mention CEES’ team, whose work and commitment are so vital to the Center’s mission. The Center’s daily operations are in the excellent hands of our Executive Director, Liana Grancea, and of our Outreach Coordinator, Sanja Lacan, who is also completing her doctorate in the Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures. Professor Daniel Treisman (Political Science) will serve as the Center’s Interim Director while I am on leave during the winter and spring quarters. Professor Lynn Hunt (History) will serve as the new chair of our Faculty Advisory Committee, taking over from Professor Ronald Vroon (Slavic Languages and Literatures). We are grateful to Lynn, Ron, Dan, and all the other members of our FAC and of our various awards committees for their generous service to CEES.
CEES is pleased to be able to offer the variety of public events, courses, and funding opportunities that we do, all of which are aimed at fostering knowledge in an ever interdependent and complex world. Nevertheless, as we face a challenging budgetary climate, we very much welcome your donations, which have become increasingly important to maintaining the quality and diversity of our programming. Please visit the support us section of our website to make a contribution and join the friends of CEES.
We greatly appreciate your interest and support, and look forward to seeing you often!
Welcome! - Gail Kligman, Director
Published: Friday, September 24, 2010