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2021 Campus Weeks — Time to Act | Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany
2021 Campus Weeks — Time to Act is an initiative of the Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany. Funding university campus events across the US, the initiative invites a closer look at aspects of Germany’s past, present, and future, as well as the US’ connections to Germany. At UNC-CH, three events are bringing our community closer to the study of Germany. We welcome students, faculty, staff, and community members already interested in Germany — as well as those who would like an introduction to the politics, history, and culture of Europe’s biggest economy and a driving force of European integration. Several UNC faculty are contributing expert analysis — scroll for speaker bios. Our panel discussions are all virtual events (RSVPs below), and our Film Screening will be held in the Nelson Mandela Auditorium at the FedEx Global Education Center.

Bubbles floating over a crowd in front of the Berliner Tor

Germany, the EU, and the Energiewende; toward a more just and sustainable Europe

Friday, September 24 | 12:00pm EDT
Virtual panel featuring UNC Professors Jonathan Lepofsky and Greg Gangi

Europe continues to lead the way in mitigating global climate change through decarbonization, transitions to renewable energy, and related shifts towards sustainability.  From the EU-level European Green Deal, to the vast array of policies and practices within individual municipalities across Europe, European leaders and residents are reimagining a sustainable future at multiple levels of governance and civil society.  This has only increased as stakeholders across the private and public sectors work to recover from the coronavirus pandemic.  Additionally, the focus on Europe’s environmental sustainability in the midst of a global climate crisis increasingly includes a stress on making Europe more socially inclusive and expanding economic opportunity for all.  Indeed, documents such as the European Commission’s Cohesion Policy and the New Leipzig Charter (adopted at the recent Informal Ministerial Meeting on Urban Matters) highlight, Europe’s sustainable development should be built upon a foundation of cities and regions which are not just green and blue, but also productive and just.  However, despite significant innovations and progress towards environmentally sustainable development, such efforts have not always lead to greater environmental justice or equity for all Europeans (sometimes even exacerbating already existing disparities).  This panel will examine the examples, opportunities, and challenges emerging from Europe’s on-going efforts to mitigate climate change and foster a more green, productive, and just Europe.

RSVP for September 24

Poster for event "Germany, the EU, and the Energiewende"

The German Elections 2021 and the End of the Merkel Era: What´s Next?

Friday, October 8 | 12:00pm EDT
Virtual panel with Professors Christiane Lemke, Dominic Nyhuis, Helga Welsh, and Konrad Jarausch along with a special guest speaker from the German Embassy – Markus Teglas

The 2021 German elections will have far-reaching consequences for domestic politics as well as for the future of Europe. The weakness of traditional mainstream parties, including the Social Democrats but also the CDU, the rise of the Greens and the challenge from the far-right leave prospects for the next coalition government uncertain. The following questions will be addressed: How do we explain the decline of major parties? What is behind the rise of the Greens and which role will they play in the future? What is the most likely government coalition and which direction will the new government follow? What is the impact of the elections on Europe and the European Union? What is left from Angela Merkel´s legacy?

RSVP for October 8

Poster for event "The German Elections 2021 and the End of the Merkel Era"

Film Screening: Climate Refugees

Wednesday, November 3 | 5:30pm EDT
Nelson Mandela Auditorium | FedEx Global Education Center

Film screening and discussion from Program Director for Environmental and Energy Policy Nora Löhle of the Heinrich Böll Foundation, TransAtlantic Masters student Neil Doughty, and EURO major Cassandra Alvariño.

About the Film

Climate Refugees highlights the human plight of climate change with a focus on the intersection of overpopulation and lack of resources.
Climate Refugees is a 2010 film directed by Michael P. Nash, winner of the Social Change Global Institute Filmmaker of the Year Award. Climate Refugees was screened at the U.S. Senate and House, The Pentagon, The Vatican, and the United Nations COP15 climate summit in December 2009 in Copenhagen. Learn more about the film here .


Movie poster for film "Climate Refugees" 2001

Speaker Bios

Greg Gangi

Greg Gangi is the associate director for education and serves as a clinical assistant professor at the UNC Institute for the Environment. He is also a senior lecturer in the curriculum in environment and ecology. Experiential education is something Gangi believes is crucial for students’ development. He has led various trips that has provided students with experiential education opportunities, including to the Sierra Nevada Mountains, the Galapagos Islands, Siberia, St. John, Germany, Denmark and Sweden. In addition to leading trips for students, in collaboration with the Center for Sustainable Enterprise at the UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School, he coordinates the UNC Clean Tech Summit, which brings together professionals in business, policy and academia from across the state and region for discussions, workshops, mentoring and networking to foster leadership and growth in the southeast’s clean tech industry. Gangi is concerned with the broad scope of the relationship between the environment and society. By training, he is a tropical ecologist with a strong interest in conservation and sustainable development. He is also interested in public policy and international studies and has taught a number of courses in these fields. Gangi also holds a membership with the Ecological Society of America.

Photo of Dr. Greg Gangi

Jon Lepofsky

Jon Lepofsky is a Teaching Assistant Professor in the Department of Geography at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He earned his BA in Metropolitan Studies from New York University and his PhD in Geography at UNC, along with a Graduate Certificate in Cultural Studies. His empirical and theoretical work on urban economic geography and community development has been published in a range of journals, including Community Development Journal, Ethics, Place & Environment, Health & Place, Journal of Environmental Studies & Sciences, Urban Affairs Review, and Urban Studies. He has also authored entries for the Encyclopedia of Human Geography and the Encyclopedia of Geography. Such work has examined urban citizenship and the politics of community.  His current courses focus on geographies of globalization as well as environmental justice in urban Europe.

Photo of Dr. Jon Lepofsky

Konrad Jarausch

Konrad H. Jarausch is the Lurcy Professor of European Civilization in the Department of History at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Professor Jarausch has written or edited about forty books in modern German and European history. Starting with Hitler’s seizure of power and the First World War, his research interests have moved to the social history of German students and professions German unification in 1989/90, with historiography under the Communist GDR, the nature of the East German dictatorship, as well as the debate about historians and the Third Reich. More recently, he has been concerned with the problem of interpreting twentieth-century German history in general, the learning processes after 1945, the issue of cultural democratization, and the relationship between Honecker and Breshnew. Some notable publications include: Out of Ashes: A New History of Europe in the Twentieth Century (Princeton University Press, 2015), Reluctant Accomplice: A Wehrmacht Soldier’s Letters from the Eastern Front (Princeton University Press, 2011), “Das stille Sterben…”: Feldpostbriefe von Konrad Jarausch aus Polen und Russland (Paderborn: Schöningh, 2008), Gebrochene Wissenschaftskulturen: Universität und Politik im 20. Jahrhundert (Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 2010), and Shattered Past: Reconstructing German Histories (Princeton University Press, 2002). Professor Jarausch is co-founder of the UNC Center for European Studies as well as the Leibniz-Zentrum für Zeithistorische Forschung Potsdam (ZZF).

Headshot of Konrad Jarausch.

Christiane Lemke

Christiane Lemke is Professor of Political Science and Director of International Relations and European Studies at the Institute of Political Science at Leibniz University Hannover. Professor Lemke has been very involved in Center for European Studies teaching, research, and conferences for many years. She has been teaching in UNC-Chapel Hill’s Transatlantic Masters (TAM) program for over a decade and has been a recurring DAAD Visiting Scholar to UNC since 1988. In addition to her current position, Christiane Lemke, from 2010-14, held the Max Weber Chair at New York University. Professor Lemke received her Ph.D. from the Faculty of Philosophy and Social Sciences at the Free University in Berlin and went on to earn her Habilitation Venia legendi in Political Science from the same institution. Professor Lemke has been a visiting scholar at a number of US institutions over the years as she has maintained her permanent faculty positions in Germany. She has taught courses at UNC-Chapel Hill, Stanford University, Harvard University, and Suffolk University. In addition, while on a leave from the University of Hannover from 2006 to 2007, Professor Lemke served as the Director of State Parliament, Lower Saxony. Professor Lemke’s academic areas of expertise include: European Politics, Democracy and Governance in the EU, Transatlantic Relations, Comparative Politics and Political Theory, and American Politics. She is the author/editor of numerous books and articles, including: Internationale Beziehungen: Grundkonzepte, Theorien und Problemfelder, 4th ed. (International Relations: Concepts, Theories, and Key Issues, 2018); Germany Today. Politics and Policies in a Changing World, 2018; Europäische Außen- und Sicherheitspolitik (European Foreign and Security Policy, 2010), Menschenrechte und Migration (Human Rights and Migration, 2009).

Headshot of Christiane Lemke.

Nora Löhle

Nora Löhle is the Program Director for Energy and Environment at the Heinrich Böll Foundation North America, which fosters transatlantic dialogue in support of a low carbon economy agenda, with a particular focus on renewable energies. She is particularly interested in ecological and just transition processes and the role that digitalization and new technologies can play as a catalyst for ecological transformation.

Having worked at the Foundation’s headquarters in Berlin, its regional office in Baden-Württemberg, and the EU office in Brussels, Nora has profound experience in green political work. Prior to joining the Foundation’s North America office, Nora spent three years in the German parliament. As an advisor for a Green party MP, she worked on economy, energy and digital policies. Before, she worked for a consultancy in Berlin, advising ministries and companies on energy issues.

Nora holds an M.A. in Political Science, Public Law and Criminal Law from Eberhard Karls University Tübingen. She also studied at the Universities of Konstanz, Antwerp and Mannheim.

Headshot of Nora Löhle

Dominic Nyhuis

Dominic Nyhuis is Visiting DAAD Professor of Political Science at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Professor Nyhuis received his PhD from the University of Mannheim for a project on the link between district preferences and candidate communication in German elections. His research on European and German politics focuses on party politics, legislatures, and subnational politics. With a background in quantitative methods, he is particularly interested in how the digital transformation changes research practices in the social sciences. To this end, he has worked on the automated collection of large-scale web data, as well as tools for the analysis of text and video data. Professor Nyhuis currently teaches undergraduate European Studies and Political Science majors as well as students in the TransAtlantic Masters Program.

Headshot of Dominic Nyhuis.


Markus Teglas

Markus Teglas serves since August 2021 as Minister Counselor in the Political Department at the German Embassy in Washington, DC. His responsibilities include transatlantic relations and U.S. domestic policy. Prior to that, he was Chief of Staff for the Minister of State for Europe in the Federal Foreign Office. He joined the Federal Foreign Service in 2013. From 2008 to 2013 he worked as Chief of Staff in the German Bundestag.

Markus Teglas holds a M.A. degree in European Studies (M.E.S.) from the Viadrina-University in Frankfurt/Oder and a M.A. degree in Philosophy and Musicology from the Free University Berlin. He has also worked as editor in various German publishing houses.

Helga A. Welsh

Helga A. Welsh is Professor of Politics and International Affairs at Wake Forest University. Her publications have focused on the history and politics of the former East Germany, German unification, transitional justice, the reform of higher education in Germany, and democratization processes in Central and Eastern Europe. She has published a book on denazification in the former East Germany and co-edited a book on German unification. Her most recent book (co-authored with Christiane Lemke) is Germany Today. German Politics and Policies in a Changing World (Rowman and Littlefield, 2018). Her articles have appeared in journals such as Comparative Politics, European Journal of Education, Europe-Asia Studies, German Politics, German Politics and Society, and West European politics. She is one of the editors of “German History in Documents and Images,” a project administered by the German Historical Institute in Washington, DC. She served as co-editor of German Politics from 2014-2018.

Headshot of Helga Welsh



Photo of the German Federal Council in Berlin.

The 2021 German Elections

Election Results | Deutsche Welle

Poll Tracker | The Guardian

Election Coverage | Deutsche Welle

Election Coverage | The Economist

How do German Elections Work? | Handbook Germany

Political Campaigning in Germany | Brandon Bohrn, Bertelsmann Foundation

“The Evolution of Germany’s Political Spectrum” on YouTube | Brandon Bohrn, Bertelsmann Foundation

“How to Build a Governing Coalition in Germany” on YouTube | Brandon Bohrn, Bertelsmann Foundation


Climate Change & Die Energiewende

Photo of solar panels and a blue sky with white fluffy clouds.Graphics Explaining Climate Finance | HEINRICH-BÖLL-STIFTUNG

Climate Action Tracker | New Climate Institute

The German Energiewende | Federal Foreign Office

Energiewende | Deutsche Welle

Climate Impacts Germany | Umwelt Besamt

National Climate Policy | Federal Minstry for Environment, Nature Conservancy and Nuclear Safety

Germany & Challenges of Decarbonization | Brookings Institute


Sophie Scholl & the White Rose

Image of Sophie Scholl, Photographer Unknown | Source: 1938: Robert M. Zoske: Sophie Scholl. Es reut mich nichts. Porträt einer Widerständigen. Propyläen, Berlin 2020, ISBN 978-3-549-10018-9, p. 224
Photographer Unknown | Source: 1938: Robert M. Zoske: Sophie Scholl. Es reut mich nichts. Porträt einer Widerständigen. Propyläen, Berlin 2020, ISBN 978-3-549-10018-9, p. 224

Profile on Sophie Scholl | National WWII Museum

Sophie Scholl | Jenny Hill, BBC

The White Rose Opposition movement | US Holocaust Memorial Museum

Holocaust Resistance: The White Rose – A Lesson in Dissent | Jacob G. Hornberger

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