University of Pittsburgh
March 24, 2004

Where is Europe? Pitt's Department of History to Host Conference April 9 and 10

Conference to explore the changing and ambiguous meanings of Europe from an historical perspective
Contact:  412-624-4147

PITTSBURGH—The University of Pittsburgh Department of History will host a research conference titled Where is Europe? April 9, from 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., and April 10, from 10 a.m. to 3:45 p.m., in the Lower Lounge of the William Pitt Union, 3959 Fifth Ave., Oakland. The conference is free and open to the public.

"With the unforeseen success of European integration in the last decades, the term 'Europe' has become more ubiquitous than ever," said William Chase, chair of Pitt's Department of History and a member of the conference organizing committee. "The more we use the term, the less we know what Europe means, geographically, culturally, or historically."

Chase will welcome participants at 9:30 a.m. April 9, followed by opening remarks from Alberta Sbragia, professor in Pitt's Department of Political Science and director of Pitt's Center for West European Studies and European Union Center.

Conference speakers, including Pitt faculty and invited guests, will explore and discuss the changing and ambiguous meanings of Europe from an historical perspective in four topical sessions and a student colloquium. The first day will feature "European Spaces," "The Idea of Europe," and "The Future of European Studies," a graduate student colloquium. Day two includes "Europe and the World" and "Why Europe?"

Irina Livezeanu, associate professor in Pitt's history department, will chair the first session, "European Spaces." Speakers for this session are Maria Todorova, professor in the University of Illinois's Department of History, and Jane Schneider, professor in the City University of New York's (CUNY) Department of Anthropology. Robert Hayden, professor in Pitt's anthropology department and director of the Center for Russian and East European Studies, will provide commentary.

Gregor Thum, Deutscher Akademischer Austausch Dienst (German Academic Exchange Service) Visiting Professor in Pitt's history department, will chair the second session, "The Idea of Europe." Geoff Eley, professor in the University of Michigan's Department of History, will speak, and Daniel Thomas, associate professor in Pitt's political science department, will provide commentary.

Donna Gabaccia, Mellon Professor of History at Pitt, will chair the student colloquium, "The Future of European Studies." Pitt Ph.D. student participants are Tania Boster, Eric Kimball, Marina Maccari, Christopher Magra, Jill Martin, and David Miller. Discussants for the colloquium are R.I. Moore, professor in the Department of History at the University of Newcastle, U.K., and CUNY's Schneider.

The April 10 schedule begins with the roundtable discussion "Europe and the World." Chase will chair this session with participants Gabaccia, University Professor Seymour Drescher, and Professor Peter Karsten, all in Pitt's history department, and Roberta Hatcher, assistant professor in Pitt's Department of French and Italian Languages and Literatures.

Bruce Venarde, associate professor in Pitt's history department, will chair the final session, "Why Europe?" Moore, from the U.K, will speak, and Jonathan Scott, Amundson Professor in Pitt's history department, will provide commentary.

The conference is sponsored by Pitt's School of Arts & Sciences, the University Center for International Studies, and the Center for West European Studies. For more information, call 412-648-7451, or visit