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Thank you so much for your interest in this conference! We hope you will decide to get involved in future iterations of this event.

New Call for Proposals!

The Center for European Studies at UNC-CH invites presentation proposals for the second annual “Europe – Consider it all!” conference. This event will take place on March 11 and 12th, 2023.


We are interested in hearing from students, recent graduates, academics and practitioners about under-considered topics and career paths relevant to contemporary Europe. What goes unexamined and under studied in this field? What are some relevant professional opportunities students of contemporary Europe seldom consider? Your 10-15 minute presentation may take the shape of a paper or multimedia exploration.


Possible topics include but are not limited to:

  • Expanding Knowledge of Relevant Careers
  • Beyond the Borders: Geographic Identities
  • Omitted Histories/Underexplored Histories/History Uncovered
  • What is European Identity?


In March 2023, the conference will again engage students and graduates, as well as academics and practitioners, in the US and Europe and will involve an in-person component for some participants based at UNC-CH.


Tentative panels include:

  • The Whole Truth: Curriculum Reflecting Reality
    • This panel will be about curriculum and why it is important for it to reflect the full picture of Europe by including all narratives (ex: women; the presence and history of racial and ethnic groups like Romani, Black, Asian, Jewish, etc; LGBT community.) How can coursework expand to become more inclusive? What has been left out and how can we best rectify these omissions?
  • At Home: Belongingness and Retention
    • This panel will discuss strategies for and the importance of promoting retention and belonging in various settings – academic, workplace, community.
  • Expanding Knowledge of Relevant Careers
    • This session will allow participants to share opportunities and resources (e: mentoring, fellowships, career planning, etc.) and to reflect on ways to use European Studies degrees in the workplace.


Schedule of important deadlines/dates:

November 1st, 2022 One-page Presentation Proposals due
December 1st, 2022 Notifications about proposals
January 15th, 2023 Presentations due
March 11th-12th, 2023 Conference dates


Please send questions to:


Please upload proposals here and indicate which time zone you will be in for the March 11-12 conference. Your time-zone information will help us to schedule the panels.

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


2022 Program

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.

11:15am EST

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.

Noon EST

Session 3: Under-Considered Careers

Lunchtime Session

Moderator: Sarah Hutchison, TAM Associate Director

Keynote Address: Lauren Gaillard ’17

Presentation 1: Tobin Williamson ’13

Please watch a recording of this session here.

1pm EST

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.


2:15pm EST

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.

3pm EST

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.

4pm EST

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 watch the recording of this session here.

Concluding Remarks

Please send questions to:

Keynote Speakers

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 Bonner

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 Kofman

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).

Will Morton

Will is a rising Junior at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He is double majoring in Peace War and Defense and Global Studies focusing Russia.

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 Sougli

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.

Conference Organizers


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.



Conference Affiliates

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.


Headshot of Cameren Lofton.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.



Staff Facilitator:

Sarah Hutchison PhD, TAM Associate Director, has worked with students at the Center for European Studies since 2002. She completed her degrees at Columbia College, Columbia University and at UNC-CH.





Relevant, External Resources:

Please note – these resources are external in nature and do not necessarily represent the views the conference-sponsoring universities.


Art Exhibitions

Other Resources

Fiertés de femme noire: Entretiens / Mémoires de Paulette Nardal– book (in French)