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March 2017

‘Hail, Shtirlits!’: The Making and Meanings of a Soviet Spy Hero Fantasy • Tarik Amar (Columbia University)

March 2 @ 6:30 pm - 8:00 pm

In the Soviet Union and post-Soviet Russia, no spy, real or fictitious, has been more famous than Max Otto von Stierlitz (aka Maksim Maksimovich Isaiev aka Vsevolod Vladimirovich Vladimirov), usually known simply as “Shtirlits.” This talk addresses the making of Shtirlits as a persistent icon of popular culture through the enormously successful television miniseries Seventeen Moments of Spring, which emerged at the intersection of several important processes in Soviet history after both Stalinism and the limited and inconsistent yet crucial liberalization of the Khrushchev…

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Central Europe Film Series Screening: White God (Fehér isten)

March 6 @ 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm

When young Lili is forced to give up her beloved dog Hagen because its mixed-breed heritage is deemed “unfit” by the State, she and the dog begin a dangerous journey back towards each other. At the same time, all the unwanted and so-called “unfit” dogs rise up under a new leader, Hagen, who has learned all too well from his “Masters” in his journey through the streets and animal control centers of Budapest that man is not always dog’s best friend.…

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What Past is Prologue?: The Ukraine Crisis in Historical Perspective • Serhii Plokhii (Harvard University)

March 24 @ 3:00 pm - 4:30 pm

Dr. Serhii Plokhii's talk will be based off his 2015 book, The Gates of Europe: A History of Ukraine, which details the complex history of Ukraine in light of the current crisis in the country. It specifically examines the history of Ukraine’s search for its identity through the lives of Prince Yaroslav the Wise of Kyiv, whose daughter Anna became queen of France; the Cossack ruler Ivan Mazepa, who was immortalized in the poems of Byron and Pushkin; Nikita Khrushchev…

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April 2017

Russia and Turkey: Between Cooperation and Discord • Dimitar Bechev (CSEEES Fellow)

April 3 @ 3:30 pm - 5:00 pm

Drawing on his forthcoming book entitled Rival Power: Russia in Southeast Europe (Yale University Press), CSEEES Fellow Dimitar Bechev will explore the complex political, security, and economic ties between Russia and Turkey. Starting from the early 1990s, the two former imperial rivals have developed a pragmatic relationship based on growing levels of interdependence in the area of energy as well as on converging foreign policy preferences. They have sought to minimize conflicts and frictions in the Black Sea region, the Balkans, and…

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A Permanent Revolution?: How Poland Joined the Democratic Camp, and Why it Has Left • Padraic Kenney (Indiana University)

April 11 @ 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
Nelson Mandela Auditorium, Global Education Center, 301 Pittsboro St
Chapel Hill , 27516 United States
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Poland’s decisive move to democracy beginning in the mid-1970s ranks as the most important political transformation in Europe since the democratization of post-war Germany. Its turn away from democracy over the last two years is, correspondingly, a crucial case of democratic de-consolidation. In this talk, Dr. Kenney will trace the main causes of democratic revolution in the 1980s, and make the case that by the early 2000s Poland was not only a successful democracy but a regional leader in the…

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Central European Cities in Transition: The Case of Prague • Petr Roubal (Czech Academy of Sciences, Prague)

April 21 @ 3:30 pm - 5:00 pm

This talk will examine the deep and often troubling change of Central European cities after the fall of state socialism by using Prague as its case. It will look specifically at following transformations: a collapse of traditional Prague-based manufacturing and relocation of labour force, the lack of socially affordable housing, the massive increase in automobile transport to the detriment of public transport, the radical change in the patterns of consumption and leisure activities, and the change in discourse about the…

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Boldness of Spirit, Submission to Necessity: Russian State and Society during the First Cholera Pandemic, 1829-1832

April 27 @ 6:30 pm - 8:00 pm

Over fifty years ago, Asa Briggs encouraged scholars to consider the history of cholera and how it might contribute to a better understanding of the relationship between state and society. The first cholera pandemic originated in Bengal in 1817, with Russia the first European state to be affected by cholera, with a limited incidence in 1823 followed by a much more significant outbreak beginning in 1829. Russia would experience the first six pandemics, and these repeated outbreaks provide an opportunity…

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