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>  News Releases >   2000 >   September

New institute to consider Europe's changing economy, culture

Posted 09/15/00

A new institute opening at Dartmouth this fall will give students and faculty more opportunities to explore the form and impact of the new Europe.

The Institute for European Studies will be headed by Lawrence Kritzman, the Ted and Helen Geisel Third Century Professor in Humanities and Professor of French, Italian and Comparative Literature. He studied European history and politics at the Institute of Political Science in Paris, and he is editor of European Perspectives, a series in social thought and cultural criticism.

"Europe has become one of the world's most interesting places, and Professor Kritzman has emerged as a true luminary, both in France specifically and in the European world of public intellectuals in general. His scholarly work and efforts to promote French culture to our campus bring great distinction to Dartmouth," said Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences Ed Berger. "I have been working with Professor Krtizman on this project for over three years and I was delighted by his interest in transforming that vision into a reality."

"The Institute will be a bridge between the social sciences, sciences and humanities," with interdisciplinary workshops and programs focusing most particularly on the members of the European Union and the former Soviet bloc countries, according to Kritzman. In the future the Institute also hopes to produce working papers, offer lectures and seminars and to develop a student fellowship program which will fund undergraduates' culminating experience involving research in Europe, said Kritzman.

Of particular interest to the Institute will be issues of globalization, which, with the formation of the European Union, have blurred national boundaries.

"Physical borders have dissolved as information technology enables news and capital to travel at the speed of light, and when the EU formed, migration from Asia and Africa began to accelerate, making the entire issue of national identity even more complex," said Berger.

"Each year there will be a particular topic for examination. For 2000-01 the topic will be 'Is a European Culture Possible?' Kritzman said. As part of this topic, there will be two conferences this fall, on Oct. 25 and Nov. 15. Kritzman also has arranged for events that will bring several famous chefs to campus as part of an examination of culinary tradition and how changes in policy by the European Commission impact this aspect of culture. Among the chefs scheduled to be on campus is Jacques Pepin. Another event will focus on how globalization has influenced the fashion industry.

Future topics include "Architecture and Urban Space: The European City in the New Millenium" and "Revisiting the Welfare State: Liberalism and Left Traditions."

"The Institute has a multidisciplinary perspective and is engaging all of Dartmouth's departments, programs and divisions. These activities are completely in line with President Wright's stated goals for the College," added Berger.

The European Studies Institute is the most recent example of the College's commitment to providing a diverse range of academic opportunities for its students, he said.

"Dartmouth's ability to plug into the rapidly changing world of globalization requires that we create structures and programs that transcend departments and disciplines. Our students will benefit directly from this initiative, through course work, visiting scholars, and research opportunities that enable them to work directly with faculty engaged in understanding the impact of what is happening in Europe," said Berger.

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