Thirteenth Annual EU Day Announced

The European Union Center is pleased to announce the Thirteenth Annual EU Day event on March 12, 2015.

Videos of Previous Lectures

Missed an EUC-hosted lecture? Our blog's video tag has archived previous EUC-sponsored lectures.

Studying the EU at a Distance

MAEUS students Ilias Boralis and Simone Kaiser and EUC Senior Associate Director Matt Rosenstein talk about the benefits of studying the EU from afar.

Five Illinois Scholars Awarded NEH Fellowships

EUC affiliated faculty member Antoinette Burton was one of five Illinois scholars to be awarded the National Endowment for the Humanities scholarship for 2015.

Five Illinois Faculty Members Named CIC-ALP Fellows

EUC-affiliated faculty member George Czapar was one of five Illinois faculty members to be awarded the Committee on Institutional Cooperation’s Academic Leadership Program Fellowship.

"Dispatches from Europe" Blog Contest Winners

The two winners for the 2014 Blog Contest have been announced!

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Time at Home: Material Realities and Russian Longing at the Fin de Siècle

This blog was originally posted on the REEEC blog on February 10, 2015.

Prof. Rebecca Friedman giving the
EU Centers of Excellence Director’s Lecture
Dr. Rebecca Friedman, professor of Russian history and director of the European Studies Program at Florida International University in Miami, presented a lecture on January 30th entitled “Time at Home: Material Realities and Russian Longing at the Fin de Siècle.” Co-sponsored by the EU Center and REEEC, Dr. Friedman’s lecture addressed the transitioning conceptions of time in Russia and how the space of the home reflected these temporal notions during the turbulent final decades of the Russian Empire during the Fin de Siècle. Her current project, Time at Home, explores the interplay between modernity and domestic space in Russia and focuses on three primary examples: the gentry estates of the 1890s, the urban private apartments of the early twentieth century, and the Soviet communal apartments of the 1930s.

Dr. Friedman’s lecture concentrated on the middle point in Russia’s evolution of domestic space with the new apartments in cities that began to be popular around the turn of the century. These urban homes serve as evidence of temporal transitions, both inside and out. Externally, the apartments demonstrated the Russian Empire’s efforts to modernize with the economic change to industrialization and its consequential rural-to-urban demographic shift. Internally, the types of furniture, knick-knacks, and the rooms themselves indicated that people regarded time in different, complex, and even contradictory ways. Friedman explained that the emphasis on hygiene and efficiency in the apartment expressed the Russian people’s desire to be modern and opposed to the regressive ways of the past. Women’s magazines and domestic columns in newspapers advised housewives to use new gadgets for cleaner homes in less time, to buy furniture that would not collect dust, and even how to organize each room of the apartment properly.

Dr. Friedman contends that, despite the stress on modern tools and efficient use of domestic space, people actually layered historical styles within the urban apartment of the early twentieth century. Nostalgia for the items and customs of the past as a way to retain their “Russian identity” caused many people to decorate their apartments with peasant handicrafts and artwork that portrayed idyllic scenes of the Russian countryside. The attempts to buy linear, modern furniture and to organize the home correctly as advised in magazines and journals exemplified people’s desire to be modern and reaching toward the future. Friedman asserts that the true Russian domestic aesthetic of temporal pastiche contradicted the modern periodical press’ advice to use efficiency to create an ideal domestic space because the people still felt nostalgic about the past. The overlapping influence from different eras (including past, present, and future) in the Russian urban apartment creates a muddled picture of how these apartments actually looked during the early twentieth century. According to Friedman’s lecture, the images of modern domestic space presented in the periodicals of the time cannot be trusted as true depictions of the apartment due to the influence of nostalgia on people’s choices. Perhaps in her finished work, Time at Home, she will include more specific examples of how these domestic spaces truly appeared and functioned in Russia at the Fin de Siècle.

Emily Lipira is an M.A. student in Russian, East European, and Eurasian Studies, with a primary focus on Russian history and Russian language. Her research interests include modernity, identity, and culture in early twentieth-century Russia in the decades around the 1917 revolutions. She received a B.A. in history from Northwest Missouri State University in 2008 and a M.A. in Modern European History from Saint Louis University in 2010.
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Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Time at Home: Material Realities and Russian Longing at the Fin de Siècle


On January 30, 2015, Rebecca Friedman, Director of the European Studies Program at Florida International University, gave a lecture entitled "Time at Home: Material Realities and Russian Longing at the Fin de Siècle" as part of the EUCE Director Lecture series.

From Dr. Friedman's abstract:
Professor Friedman will reveal how domestic space embodies modern concepts of time. In particular, she will highlight how, in a period of tremendous upheaval, Russians embraced notions of the home that contained new ideas about the flow of historical time. Domestic aesthetics – whether in texts or objects – reflected overlapping understandings of past, present and future as many in the modern age embraced a new time consciousness.  Private time – domestic time – included ideas about efficiency, hygiene, and as the century moved on, utopian communalism. By peering into the windows of urban apartments, this talk traces modern temporality and its reverberations within representations of domestic spaces and objects during the first few decades of the twentieth century.

A video of the lecture is available to view in the EUC's video library or below:

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Friday, February 6, 2015

Ten Undergraduates Awarded Gilman Scholarships to Study Abroad

This post was originally published on the Illinois News Bureau on January 12, 2015.

by David Schug

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — Ten University of Illinois undergraduates have been awarded Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarships to study abroad in the spring semester. Illinois ranks sixth in the nation in the number of Gilman Scholarships for the upcoming semester.

“The Illinois recipients are motivated and accomplished students representing five different colleges across campus,” said Richelle Bernazzoli of the University of Illinois National and International Scholarships Program. “They will expand the reach of our university to diverse destinations on four different continents.”

The nationally competitive Gilman Scholarship application process is coordinated cooperatively at Illinois, with the Office of Student Financial Aid and various campus study abroad offices advertising the scholarship and the National and International Scholarships Program offering reviews of student materials and feedback to Illinois applicants.

The U. of I. recipients are among the 800 U.S. undergraduates awarded scholarships from a pool of 2,500 applicants. To be eligible for the award, students must demonstrate financial need by receiving a federal Pell Grant for their current studies. Scholars receive up to $5,000 to apply toward their study abroad program costs. A limited number of Critical Need Language Scholarships are given each year that provide $8,000.

The Gilman Scholarship Program is sponsored by the U.S. Department of State Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs to diversify the kinds of students who study abroad and their destinations. Over the past decade, Gilman recipients have studied in 140 nations. Applications for summer or fall 2015 Gilman study abroad scholarships are due by March 3.

The Gilman Scholarship program honors U.S. Rep. Benjamin A. Gilman, of New York, a former chair of the House Foreign Relations Committee who retired in 2002 after serving 30 years in the House of Representatives.

The national list of students who have been selected as Gilman Scholars, including students’ home state, university, and country of study, is available online.

“Just as this group of Illinois Gilman Scholars no doubt found inspiration in the experiences of the scholars who preceded them, the newest Gilman Scholars will motivate their peers to explore study abroad options,” said David Schug, director of National and International Scholarships. “We look forward to working with the next group of applicants as a means of providing them access to this incredible experience.”

GILMAN SCHOLARSHIP RECIPIENTS

CHICAGO – Hei Chan, a sophomore in integrative biology, University of Melbourne, Australia; Yan Chen, a junior in agricultural and consumer economics, Alliance Shanghai, China; Ladonte Prince, senior in chemistry, CEA Shanghai, China
LOVES PARK – Grace Procopio, sophomore in interdisciplinary health sciences,
CIEE Khon Kaen, Thailand
MOUNT PROSPECT – Luis Garay, junior in civil engineering, Engineering in Denmark - Copenhagen
OLYMPIA FIELDS – Tatiana Smith, junior in psychology and communication,
SAO Exchange: Stockholm University, Sweden
ROSCOE – Alejandra Reyes Pena, junior in broadcast journalism, CIEE Liberal Arts in Salvador, Brazil
SCHAUMBURG – Jessica Mattick, junior in biochemistry, SAO Exchange: Stockholm University, Sweden
MARCO ISLAND, FLORIDA – Vanessa Grisko, junior in communication and in earth, society and environmental sustainability, International Sustainable Development Studies Institute, Thailand
NEW YORK, NEW YORK – James Buckland, junior in mechanical engineering, Engineering in Sweden - Stockholm
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Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner honored with the Amicus Poloniae Award

This post was originally published on the Consulate General of the Republic of Poland in Chicago's webpage on February 3, 2015.

Polish Consul General Paulina Kapuścińska presents Illinois Bruce Rauner with the Amicus Poloniae Award.

Polish Consul General in Chicago Paulina Kapuścińska presented Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner with the Amicus Poloniae Award on behalf of the Polish Ambassador in Washington in recognition of Governor Rauner’s very good cooperation with the Polish-American community of Illinois.

The Amicus Poloniae Award was established in 1996 by the Ambassador of the Republic of Poland in Washington D.C. The honor is conferred annually upon citizens of the United States of America for their contributions to the advancement of the Polish-U.S. relations. The Latin phrase Amicus Poloniae denotes a ‘Friend of Poland’ whose understanding of the communities helps to advance relations between people.

The award ceremony took place during the Annual Gala of the Polish American Medical Society - 65th Physicians' Ball, at the Ritz-Carlton in Chicago on January 31, 2015 . The event was attended by 500 guests, mostly Polish American medical doctors, medical students and their families.
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