Europe: Consider it all!
Thank you so much for your interest in this conference! We hope you will decide to get involved in future iterations of this event.
The 2022 conference focused on under-considered topics and career paths relevant to contemporary Europe. What goes unexamined and under studied in this field? What are some professional opportunities students of contemporary Europe seldom consider? We were especially interested in student or recent-graduate perspectives on these topics. Presentations took the shape of papers or multimedia explorations.
Our 2022 conference program is below.
Conference date: Saturday, March 5th, 2022 – virtual
10:00am EST: Welcome Remarks – Tracy Ridley
Session I: Germany Today
Moderator – Katie Shanahan Lindner, Executive Director and Interim Director of CES
Keynote Address: Professor Priscilla Layne
Presentation 1: Discussion Around Anti-Black Racism in Germany Post-George Floyd – Tracy Ridley
Presentation 2: Seen Not Heard: African Students in East German Newspapers 1965-1975 – Sylvia Nagy Roper
Please watch the recording of this session here.
Session 2: Terminology and its Pitfalls – Moderator: Tracy Ridley
Presentation I: The Term “Transatlantic studies” – Jalyn McNeal
Presentation 2: Whitelash Behavior in Europe – Kellan Robinson
Presentation 3: Digital Technology and Human Rights in the EU – Emma Sougli
Please watch the recording of Session 2 here.
Session 3: Under-Considered Careers
Moderator: Sarah Hutchison, TAM Associate Director
Keynote Address: Lauren Gaillard ’17
Presentation 1: Tobin Williamson ’13
Session 4: Religion in Contemporary Europe – Moderator: Kellan Robinson
Presentation I: Re-Considering Church-State Relations in Europe – Stephanie N. Shady
Presentation 2: The Unreligious Religious Rhetoric of Islamophobia in Europe – Arciène Bonner
Presentation 3: Religion and democratic regime of Greek cities under Ottoman rule – Maria Karadimitri Stapelfeld
Please watch a recording of this session here.
Session 5: Eastern & Central Europe – Moderator – Mackenzie Hansen
Presentation 1: Museums in Poland – Venues of Memory Wars? – Sarah Maria Pech
Presentation 2: Holocaust Denial and Historical Revisionism in Croatian Nationalism – Will Morton
Please watch a recording of this session here.
Session 6: Legacies of Colonialism – Moderator – Jalyn McNeal
Keynote Address: Akasemi Newsome
Presentation 1: Consider Colonialism – Siobhan Cuffe ’23, Neil Doughty ’23, and Mia Spizman’23
Please watch the recording of this session here.
Session 7: Identity and Humanity in Europe – Moderator – Sarah Hutchison
Presentation 1: Chi Sono: An Exploration of Jewish Food in Italy with a Dash of Personal Identity – Chloe Kofman
Please send questions to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Professor Priscilla Layne – Associate Professor of German; Adjunct Associate Professor of African and Afro-American Studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Dr. Akasemi Newsome ’04 – Associate Director of the Institute of European Studies at the University of California, Berkeley
Lauren Gaillard ’17 – Techstart Program Coordinator at CODE University of Applied Sciences
Panelist Biographies and Abstracts
Arciéne is a UNC freshman, from Charlotte, North Carolina. She is a UNC-NUS Double Degree Student, majoring in Global Studies, with Asia as her World Area and Global Health and Environment as her Thematic Area. She is double minoring in Medical Anthropology and Conflict Management and is on the Pre-med track. She wishes to pursue a career that will allow her to both engage in medicine and humanitarian work, looking at becoming an Anesthesiologist who works for Médecins Sans Frontières / Doctors Without Borders. She seeks to focus on assisting marginalized peoples both nationally and internationallyby shedding light on the physical, symbolic, and/or structural violence to which said peoples are subjected. In that pursuit, she enjoys engaging in discourses around the factors that contribute to such disenfranchisement.
I examine the disturbing intersectionality of the weaponization of reclaiming Christianity as part of national identities in Western Europe in an active attempt to further the “us against them” fight that surrounds the increase in nationalism in the face of the increased presence of Islam, due in part to the refugee crisis. To better understand this, I explore the history of Christianity in Western Europe relating to national identity and citizenship, focusing on France.
Siobhan Cuffe ’23
Siobhan is currently pursuing her M.A. through the Transatlantic Masters Program, studying at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and Humboldt University in Berlin. Her research interests include Asylum and Integration policy, particularly intersectional discrimination and it’s affects on migration policy and migrants themselves. Siobhan will present alongside Neil Doughty and Mia Spizman on the lack of content focused on colonialism and its far-reaching effects in European Studies curricula.
Neil Doughty ’23
Born and raised in Houston, Texas, Neil studied German, Economics, and Psychology at the University of Texas at Austin. After graduating in 2017, he lived in Germany for nearly four years before starting TAM last fall. His research interests include transnational social movements and environmental policy transfer. He will complete my second year in Berlin.
Neil will present along side two other TAM students, Siobhan Cuffe and Mia Spizman. Their presentation addresses the lack of colonial history in European Studies. They present a brief history of “Eurafrica” to dispel the postcolonial myth of European integration, discuss EU historiography and the importance of teaching colonial history, and propose a path forward for future European Studies curricula.
Chloe is currently a senior at the University of New Hampshire with majors in Religious Studies and ItalianSstudies. She has recently been accepted to the TAM program at UNC and can’t wait to start next fall. Her research interests are varied, but include psychology, geography, and Italian studies; there’s always something new to discover!
This presentation is a bite-size version of my senior thesis which counts for both my majors. The thesis focuses on the intersection between the identities of “Italian” and “Jewish” by way of food, as well as on my personal connections to the topic.
Jalyn McNeal ’22
An MA candidate in Political Science at UNC Chapel Hill, Jalyn is in the second year of the TransAtlantic Masters (TAM) program. Prior to the TAM program, Jalyn attended UNC for undergrad and served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Morocco. Within the TAM program, Jalyn has been awarded the FLAS fellowship and has obtained the graduate certificate in Middle East Studies jointly offered between UNC & Duke University. Currently, Jalyn is living in France where he is writing his thesis to conclude his graduate studies.
The current usage of the term “transatlantic studies” inaccurately represents what the field entails. It primarily focuses on US-EU relations and is exclusionary of other transatlantic actors (ex. Latin American, Caribbean, and African countries located in/along the Atlantic ocean and their relationships with one another).
This project goes over the history of the Holocaust in Croatia and the role that historical revisionism of the Holocaust plays in some aspects of modern day Croatian Nationalism. A digital scrapbook uplifting survivor testimonies to help dispel Holocaust denial serves as an integral part of this presentation.
Sarah Maria Pech
As a recent graduate of the international master program “Euromasters/ Contemporary European Studies: Politics, Policy & Society” at the University of Bath and the Humboldt University of Berlin, Sarah attained advanced knowledge on EU foreign affairs and action within the human rights and development nexus. Her main research interest, however, is the rise of populism in Europe and the current state of democracy in relation to memory and history. Her MA thesis investigated Polish politics of memory and its complicated intra-European relations and was recently graded with distinction. She is currently applying for PhD positions in Europe.
Ever since the Law and Justice (Prawo i Sprawiedliwość, PiS) party emerged as the majority governing party in the Polish parliamentary elections in October 2015, critical inquiry of the Polish past has been articulated as unwelcome and seen as the major opponent to the party’s historical policy. To implement this polityka historyczna, PiS tries to control, suppress, and even silence other memory approaches to create a national identity of proud Poles. Other features of this political agenda are to establish the Polish Righteous (PiS refers to it as “lost heritage”) as an “icon of the selective and apologetic Holocaust commemoration” (Heinemann 2020: 6) and with that delegitimize further critical inquiry into Polish-Jewish relations throughout history. Due to Poland’s museum boom over the last two decades, museums as spaces for identity formation and memory narratives of the past are becoming more and more acknowledged research-wise. Such crucial spaces have caught the eye of PiS and are instrumentalized in various ways which complicate intra-European relations.
Sylvia Nagy Roper
Sylvia is a graduate student with the Global History joint program with Free and Humboldt universities in Berlin. The presentation is composed of the primary findings from her Master’s thesis. Before starting the Master’s program in 2019, she worked as an English as a Second Language teacher in rural eastern Hungary and was a Program Assistant for Dr. Robert Jenkins’ summer Burch Field Research Seminar. In 2018, she graduated from UNC Chapel Hill with Highest Distinction and a Bachelor’s of Arts’ degree in Political Science and Contemporary European Studies.
In a means to legitimize itself on the global stage, the German Democratic Republic viewed and presented itself as an antiracist, anti-imperialist nation; from 1951 until 1989, students from around the world studied there. Many scholars have found that the state’s rhetoric often conflicted with the experiences of these students. This presentation considers the depiction of African students in East German newspapers and argues that these portrayals contributed to an “Othering” narrative, which would have serious consequences once the Berlin Wall fell.
Stephanie N. Shady
Stephanie is a Ph.D. candidate in Comparative Politics at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. A native of St. Louis, Missouri, she completed her B.S. in Political Science and her B.A. in Spanish and Hispanic Studies at Texas Christian University. Her research and teaching focus broadly on social identities and political behavior. In particular, she is interested in national identity, religion, migration, and the European Union. Stephanie’s dissertation, ‘Heaven Is a Place on Earth: Religion and the Politics of Territorial Identity,’ examines the varied ways that individuals use religion to conceptualize boundaries of community in Europe and the U.S. using survey data and comparative historical analysis. The first article from this project is published in West European Politics.
I argue that despite so-called secularization, religion continues to be an important socio-political force across Europe. By examining how local governments have distinguished themselves from broad, national-level church-state relations, we improve our understanding of the historical and contemporary relationship between religion and politics in Europe.
Emma is a Law Student at Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Youth Fellow at International Youth Think Tank (IYTT) of Univeristy of Gothenburg, Board Consultant at Centre for Energy Environment and Climate Change (CENEC) and Research Assistant at European Constitutionalism. In a nutshell, she is a human-rights and political-sciences enthusiast and a debate and public-speaking lover.
Universally, the latest trend in the never-ending Technological Revolution is Artificial Intelligence and especially Facial Recognition systems. This is constantly challenging our ethics jeopardizing liberal democracy or even leading to the development of an autonomous intelligence escaping human control. Can we handle that?
Mia Spizman ’23
Mia is currently attending the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill’s Transatlantic Masters Program on the German-Turkish track. Her areas of interest are identity politics and immigration. She is originally from Northern California and is spending the next semester at the Middle Eastern Technical University in Ankara, Turkey.
Our presentation addresses the lack of colonial history in European Studies. We present a brief history of “Eurafrica” to dispel the postcolonial myth of European integration, discuss EU historiography and the importance of teaching colonial history, and propose a path forward for future European Studies curricula.
Maria Karadimitri Stapelfeld
Maria was born in Greece, in Athens, and she graduated in Political Science and History at the Panteion University in Athens. During her studies, she had the opportunity to spend two semesters in Valencia, Spain, with the student exchange program Erasmus. After completing her studies she did an internship in Rotterdam, the Netherlands and since 2013 she has been living, working and studying in Berlin. She is currently completing her master’s degree in political science at the Free University of Berlin.
In 1354 the Ottomans crossed into Europe and, with the conquest of the Balkans, transformed their empire into an intercontinental one. The Ottomans’ flexible sociopolitical organization and religious tolerance allowed Greek cities to develop democratic self-governance. The presentation is illustrated with photographs and paintings depicting life in the cities of the Eastern Mediterranean under the Ottoman Empire.
Tobin Williamson ’13
Tobin is the Advocacy Manager with the Maine Immigrants’ Rights Coalition, and part of the Aspen Institute’s Rising Leaders Program. He has previously worked in a couple of U.S. Congressional Offices and Consulates General, with international relations playing a prominent role in his prior roles. He loves living in New England but is always happy to connect with TAM graduates, students, and potential students.
Many TAM alumni end up in DC or Brussels… but many don’t! This talk will describe some of the job opportunities that are available elsewhere and how you can find them.
Kellan Robinson graduated from UNC-CH in May 2020. Here, she double majored in Contemporary European Studies and Global Studies (focus on Africa and International Politics) and minored in French and African American and Diaspora Studies. During her collegiate career, Kellan spent a semester in Paris studying French and volunteering, served as an agent for social change, and became a published author in Spring 2020 with an article about women’s rights in Tunisia.
Shortly after graduating from UNC with distinction and as an inductee of The Phi Beta Kappa Society, Kellan joined Cincinnati City Councilmember Jan-Michele Lemon Kearney’s office as an intern and later served as the Councilmember’s Assistant Legislative Director.
Jalyn McNeal is a TransAtlantic Masters (TAM) student who is now in Grenoble, France in the Transatlantic Studies track. He graduated from UNC Chapel Hill in 2017 with a B.A. in Global Studies and minors in French and Arabic. During his time in undergrad, he studied abroad in Morocco, France, and Jordan. After graduation, he did two years of youth development work as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Morocco. His research interests include immigration into the EU from Africa and the Middle East, the Mediterranean and Syrian refugee crises, social and education policies, multilingualism, and anti-trafficking efforts for missing and exploited children.
Tracy Ridley is a third-year student in the EURO-TAM excel program at Carolina. He is double-majoring in Contemporary European Studies and Political Science, with a minor in German. Last year, he studied overseas in South Korea and Germany. In the future, he hopes to use his education, skills, and background to help those in need and make an impact on as many people as possible worldwide.
Lauren Gaillard ’17 is a TransAtlantic Masters (TAM) graduate. She now serves as Techstart Program Coordinator at CODE University of Applied Sciences where she supports people with a forced migration or migrant background to find an entry-level position in the field of digital product development. She manages the academic structure and curriculum development of the program and is responsible for all aspects of the program from admissions to integrating migrants into the tech scene in Berlin.
In addition to this, she chairs the research commission where she wrote and published the research concept and ethical research policy for the university. Due to her passion for cultural development and exchange, she also sits on the diversity, equity, and inclusion committee and speaks at conferences and universities on topics related to identity politics, migration and integration, and Blackness in Europe.
She holds an M.A. in Transatlantic relations in political science and a B.A. in sports administration with a minor in music from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Cameren Lofton is a Project Manager on the Program Design & Implementation Team at Algorex Health in Boston, MA. She graduated from UNC–Chapel Hill in spring 2020 with a double major in Political Science and Contemporary European Studies. On campus, she was involved in WRESL (Working Group for Refugees, Europe, and Service-Learning), The Bridge online magazine, and the Black Arts Theatre Company. She also served as Program Assistant for a partnership between the Center for European Studies and The Exodus Institute, a non-profit in DC with a focus on addressing the crisis of forced migration.
Relevant, External Resources:
Please note – these resources are external in nature and do not necessarily represent the views the conference-sponsoring universities.
- European Network Against Racism
- Black Trans Alliance – Black queer and trans led non-profit organization in London
- Disability Pride Network – group advocates for the rights and inclusion of people with disabilities; website is in Italian
- Black Cultural Archives – heritage centre dedicated to collecting, preserving, and celebrating the histories of African and Caribbean people in Britain
- Association des jeunes chinois de France – Association of Young Chinese in France
- Black History Month UK – magazine with articles about current news as well as historical information regarding history, art, and culture in the UK
- European Roma Rights Centre – Roma-led international public interest law organisation working to combat anti-Romani racism and human rights abuse
- Afro Fashion Milan – volunteer-driven non-profit for the transformation of fashion and art, as well as cross-cultural exchange
- Kiffe ta race – French podcast
- Black History Month Florence – a cross-institutional network engaged in the promotion and production of research and content dedicated to Blackness in the Italian context
- Roma and Travellers Team – work by the Council of Europe
- Black Europe Summer School – course explores the contemporary circumstances of the African Diaspora and other people of color in Europe
- Initiative Schwarze Menschen in Deutschland – The Initiative of Black People in Germany; website in German
- Sécurité pour Tous – Safety for All brings together 46 Asian organizations in France; page in French
- The Black and Asian Studies Association – research and advocacy group in Britain
- African Lisbon Tour – Lisbon
- The Black Curriculum – social enterprise that aims to deliver Black British history across the UK
- Recognize – a community based social enterprise providing a bridge to the African Caribbean community
- The Black Archives – Amsterdam
- Black Heritage Tours – Amsterdam
- On Being Present at the Uffizi Galleries (Italy) – online art gallery
- Le modèle noir de Géricault à Matisse (Paris) & Posing Modernity: The Black Model from Manet and Matisse to Today (New York City)
- Black is beautiful : Rubens to Dumas – catalog for the 2008 exhibit held at Nieuwe Kerk (Amsterdam)
- Independent website of one of the exhibit’s curator, Esther Schreuder
- Balthazar: A Black African King in Medieval and Renaissance Art – 2020 exhibit at the Getty Center (Los Angeles)
- Material published to coincide with the exhibit
- Person, Object, and Aesthetic: Black Africans in European Art, 1300-1700 – digital exhibit of images of Black Africans by white European artists
- Painting Our Past: The African Diaspora in England – commissioned by English Heritage
- HERE: Black in Rembrandt’s Time & HERE: Black Artists Now (Rembrandt House Amsterdam) – video about the art exhibit, in Dutch with English subtitles available
- Black Central Europe – research and teaching resource with over 1000 years of Black history in Central Europe
- A History of Disability: from 1050 to the Present Day – research by Historic England
- Switching the Lens – Rediscovering Londoners of African, Caribbean, Asian and Indigenous Heritage 1561 to 1840 – dataset by the London Metropolitan Archives highlights the diverse lived experiences of Londoners
- Germany and the Black Diaspora: Points of Contact, 1250-1914 – book
- Black Tudors: The Untold Story – online course
- Fascination and Hatred: The Roma in European Culture – article
- People of Color in European Art History Blog
- Black Presence: Asian and Black History in Britain– exhibition covers Black and Asian history in Britain from 1500 to 1850
- LGBTQ+ Art and Artists – research by the Royal Collection Trust
- Miranda Kaufmann’s Blog – houses contributions the historian has made regarding Africans in Britain
- Black and British: A Forgotten History – BBC programming celebrating the achievements of Black people in the UK
- Becoming secular? Making Islam French, 1916–1982 – dissertation
- Black to Life – BBC online series
- Czech Republic: Must try harder – Ethnic discrimination of Romani children in Czech schools – Amnesty International report
- The Image of the Black in Western Art – 10 volumes
- Black and Asian History and Victorian Britain – research by the Royal Collection Trust
- Telling Our Stories, Finding Our Roots – a community heritage and oral history project focused on diverse and multicultural histories in Devon (UK)
- Migrants, Refugees, and Expats: How Humanity Comes in Waves – article
- Diversity Built Britain – teachers’ notes compiled by The Royal Mint
- Black France / France Noire – book
- Exploring Surrey’s Past, Cultures and Communities – platform highlights the county’s local history, including with archives and archaeology
- Communities include: LGBTQ+, Romani, Muslim, Jewish, Polish, Refugees, and Black
- LGBTQ Histories – collection by the British Library
- The Fashion and Race Database – resource that showcases under-examined histories and discusses racism throughout the fashion system world-wide
- Black British History on Record – documents relating to Black British history within The National Archives’ collections
- Black Europeans – online gallery curated for the British Library Online Gallery
- Pride of Place: England’s LGBTQ Heritage – research by Historic England
Fiertés de femme noire: Entretiens / Mémoires de Paulette Nardal– book (in French)