History Events

Webcast

Eastern Europe’s Most Difficult Transition: Public Health and Demographic Policy, Two Decades after the Cold War

September 23, 2014 // 9:00am11:00am
Global Europe Program
Dr. Murray Feshbach was one of the first scholars to point out the devastating political and socio-economic effects of state communism’s failure to seriously address decaying public health and environmental conditions. His pioneering work remains relevant. More than two decades after the close of the Cold War, many health and demographic indicators in the former Warsaw-Pact states (including Russia) remain surprisingly inferior to those of the neighboring states of Western and Southern Europe.

Lessons of Iran-Contra: Behind the Scenes of Ronald Reagan's Iran Gambit, 1985-86

September 22, 2014 // 4:00pm5:30pm
History and Public Policy Program
Based on intensive research into once-classified records, as well as interviews and other accounts from Americans, Iranians and Israelis, Malcolm Byrne will revisit the Reagan administration’s controversial initiative toward Iran in 1985-1986. What was its real purpose? Who were the Iranians involved and what did they want? What was Israel’s role? What are the long-term lessons and impact of the operation?

The Archive Thief: Zosa Szajkowski and the Salvaging of French Jewish History

September 15, 2014 // 4:00pm5:30pm
History and Public Policy Program
In the aftermath of the Holocaust, Jewish historian Zosa Szajkowski stole tens of thousands of documents about Jews from French archives and sold them to libraries in the United States. To understand why he did it, Leff takes us into the “backstage” of the archives, and reveals the powerful ideological, economic and scientific forces that made Holocaust-era Jewish scholars care more deeply than ever before about preserving the remnants of their past.
Webcast

World War One: What Were They Thinking? Lessons From the Catastrophe

September 10, 2014 // 12:30pm2:00pm
Why did a small number of European statesmen take the world into the seminal catastrophe of the Great War? The German Chancellor Otto Bismarck had warned in 1880 that “some damned foolish thing in the Balkans” might lead to a terrible war. The shots at Sarajevo did just that a hundred years ago. What have we learned?

The Zhivago Affair: The Kremlin, the CIA, and the Battle Over a Forbidden Book

September 08, 2014 // 4:00pm5:30pm
History and Public Policy Program
In The Zhivago Affair: The Kremlin, the CIA, and the Battle Over a Forbidden Book, Peter Finn and Petra Couvée bring readers intimately close to the charming, passionate, and complex artist that was Boris Pasternak. First to obtain CIA files providing concrete proof of the agency’s involvement, the authors give us a literary thriller that takes us back to a fascinating period of the Cold War—to a time when literature had the power to stir the world.

North Korean War Orphans in Transnational Educational Exchange

August 27, 2014 // 2:00pm3:00pm
North Korea International Documentation Project
More than 100,000 children from both North and South Korea were orphaned during the Korean War. In 1953, the North Korean government dispatched 1,200 orphans to the People’s Republic of Poland to be educated at a boarding school transformed into an orphanage. The orphans were repatriated after six years, at the insistence of the North Korean government, as tensions between Pyongyang and its communist allies began to emerge. NKIDP Intern Intaek Hong examines the complicated process of how the orphans defined their identity based on their experience of interacting with their Polish teachers—who became like foster parents—and deploying their subjectivity in the process.

Symbolic Nation-Building in Croatia from the Homeland War to EU Membership

August 19, 2014 // 12:00pm1:00pm
Global Europe Program
Drawing on a recently published larger volume - Strategies of Symbolic Nation-Building in Southeast Europe – Vjeran Pavlakovic will analyze the nation and state building strategies of the Croatian elite since the country attained independence, following the Homeland War, 1991-1995. In his presentation, Pavlakovic will focus on the role of contested narratives and commemorative practices related to the wars of the 20th century in the political arena. The discussion will also address current attitudes and sentiments in Croatia towards the EU, following the country’s accession to the European Union in July, 2013.

"They Can Live in the Desert but Nowhere Else: A History of the Armenian Genocide"

August 14, 2014 // 3:00pm4:30pm
Kennan Institute
Starting in early 1915, the Ottoman Turks began deporting and killing hundreds of thousands of Armenians in the first major genocide of the twentieth century. By the end of the First World War, the number of Armenians in what would become Turkey had been reduced by ninety percent—more than a million people. A century later, the Armenian Genocide remains controversial but relatively unknown, overshadowed by later slaughters and the chasm separating Turkish and Armenian versions of events. In this definitive narrative history, Ronald Suny cuts through nationalist myths, propaganda, and denial to provide an unmatched account of when, how, and why the atrocities of 1915–1916 were committed.

Russia's Far Right and Far Left Friends in Europe

July 11, 2014 // 4:00pm5:00pm
Global Europe Program
In recent years Russia has shown a growing interest in East European far-right parties. Now Russia, as Political Capital Institute research demonstrates, is increasingly involving itself with far-right and far-left parties of Western Europe as well. At a time of political and economic crisis some European political forces have become particularly receptive to Russia’s new conservative, increasingly nationalist message. PCI Director Peter Kreko will discuss the changing perception of Russia on the political fringes of European politics and the new challenges it poses for Euro-Atlantic integration at both the national and the EU level.
Podcast

Researching the Middle East

June 10, 2014 // 2:00pm4:00pm
Cold War International History Project
This panel will discuss the challenges of researching and writing on recent Middle East history.

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