History professor helped organize St. Petersburg conference on lessons of Russian revolution

SMU NEWS

Originally Posted: July 11, 2016

DALLAS (SMU)One hundred years ago, a world that had long known monarchy, empire, and briefly democracy and a republic, was introduced to a new form of government: Communism, which rose to power with the fall of Tsarist Russia.

On the centennial anniversary of the Russian Revolution, a gathering of the world’s leading historians of Russia met at the European University St. Petersburg, Russia, from June 9-11 for a conference co-organized by Southern Methodist University (SMU) history professor Daniel Orlovsky with colleagues from The EurDaniel-T-Orlovskyopean University and the Institute of History, Russian Academy of Sciences. The international colloquium was titled “The Epoch of War and Revolution, 1914-1922.”

“There’s a new round of confrontation and diplomatic conflict between Russia and the west,” Orlovsky says. “The real question is how official Russia, the government, Putin, the media and the academic establishment in general will treat this centennial, and how this may manifest itself in our sessions among participants or from the audience, which will be large,” Orlovsky adds.

While contemporary interpretations of the centennial may vary, the impact of Russia’s revolution on the past century is undeniable.

“The Russian Revolution was actually two revolutions, the collapse of Tsarism in February and the rise of the Bolsheviks in October,” says Orlovsky, who helped fund the conference with a prestigious grant from the Carnegie Corporation of New York.

“The February revolution is a model of revolutions that collapse authoritarian regimes and attempt to build a liberal or socialist world, but often don’t work and lead to new authoritarian regimes,” Orlovsky adds. “It’s an important question: Why does a regime fall apart, and why do more liberal successors fail?”

The Russian story has been echoed in other idealistic revolutions in the 100 years since – most recently in the color revolutions of Eastern Europe, Central Asia and in the Middle East.

Studying where Russia’s revolution went off the democracy rails is important, says Orlovsky, because in many ways the modern world has similarities to 1916.

“Nationalism is still a big issue, ethnic problems persist, the threat of domestic upheaval and terrorism were there then as they’re here now,” Orlovsky says. “The Russian Revolution itself has endured as a powerful model for people, but outcomes differ. The biggest controversy of the conference will be over the larger questions: What did the revolution means for Russia and the world, what is its significance for today and is it a model for change around the world?”

Spirited debate took place at the conference over the parameters of the Revolution, its periodization, the role of such factors as ethnicity, leadership cults, foreign policy, the role of language and symbols, gender, the nature of power, emotions, etc. The concluding discussion praised the renewal of scholarly interest in Revolution as an enduring script in historical memory. READ MORE

First ‘Human Rights Dallas’ summit set for July 9

SMU News

Originally Posted: July 7, 2016

DALLAS (SMU) – Texas may lead the nation in job creation and exported goods, but in human rights rankings, it holds these five dubious distinctions:

  • Texas has the largest number of hate groups espousing racist, xenophobic and anti-LGBT sentiments. (Conversely, it’s home to the nation’s largest number of resettled refugees/asylum seekers, mostly from Myanmar, Iraq, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Somalia.)
  • Texas ranks second in the nation for human trafficking crime, which is on the rise.
  • Texas leads the U.S. in the number of people exonerated by wrongful convictions while
    also leading in the number of state-sanctioned executions.
  • Texas ranks high in the number of children who die from abuse and neglect – and is the
    No. 1 state for hot car-related fatalities involving children and infants.
  • Texas is home to the nation’s largest number of people without health insurance.

Alarmed by such statistics, some 300 Dallas-Fort Worth community leaders are expected to gather at SMU Saturday, July 9, for “Human Rights Dallas”– the first-ever summit focused on highlighting and resolving Dallas’ most pressing human rights issues. The summit is set for 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. in SMU’s Martha Proctor Mack Ballroom in Umphrey Lee Center, 3300 Dyer St.

“The goal of ‘Human Rights Dallas’ is to create a culture for people in for-profit and non-profit fields to not only get involved in issues they care about, but also to form a coalition dedicated to ensuring all people’s rights are protected,” says Rick Halperin, director of SMU’s Embrey Human Rights Program, the event’s sponsor.

The attendee roster reflects leaders in regional business, faith, health and education organizations as well as groups working to combat human trafficking; prevent racial, religious and sexual-orientation discrimination; strengthen immigration and refugee rights; and tackle the surging numbers of the mass-incarcerated and homeless.

Texas’ large number of hate groups is of particular concern to Mary Pat Higgins, president and CEO of the Dallas Holocaust Museum/Center for Education and Tolerance.

“Currently there are 84 active hate groups in the state, 56 of which are Neo-Nazi and Ku Klux Klan groups – 11 of them in North Texas,” Higgins says. “As the country faces this dramatic incline, there’s no better time to come together to promote human rights in our community.”

Paralegal Toya Walker hopes the event accomplishes three goals: “Awareness, education and action to get people motivated, inspired and involved,” says Walker, who provides counsel on compliance/employment issues for SMU and the Sabre Corporation.

The ideal end-result? “Transformation and healing,” says Jill VanGorden, director of education for the Crow Collection of Asian Art.

For more details about “Human Rights Dallas” or the Embrey Human Rights Program in SMU’s Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences, contact humanrights@smu.edu.

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Tower Center Forum: Populism in Europe and Germany

Event Date: Tuesday, June 14, 2016
Time: 12:00 PM – 1:30 PM
Location: Great Hall, Elizabeth Perkins Prothro Hall

Dr. Sergey Lagodinsky is currently Head of the EU/North America Department of the Heinrich Böll Foundation based in Berlin. He is an attorney and author, also working as consultant on strategy and leadership. Sergey’s areas of expertise include transatlantic relations, international and constitutional law as well law and politics of diversity and integration. He is a Member of the Assembly of Representatives of the Jewish Community of Berlin and was a founding chairman of the Jewish Working Group in the Social Democratic Party in Germany (SPD). He ran for the German Bundestag for the German Green Party in 2013.

Sergey is a regular guest and contributor to major German and international media outlets. He has appeared among others on Deutschlandfunk, DeutschlandradioKultur, the BBC World Service, Radio Liberty and various other radio stations. For many years he was a regular guest on Deutsche Welle TV and a political host and commentator on the global Russian channel RTVi. His commentaries have been published by the Süddeutsche Zeitung, ZEIT, Handelsblatt, taz and Tagesspiegel, among others. His recent book Contexts of Antisemitism (Metropol Publishing, 2014) explores the relationship between freedom of speech and protection against anti-Semitism in German and international law. Sergey holds a PhD degree in law from the Berlin’s Humboldt University, a law degree from the University of Göttingen and a master’s degree in public administration from Harvard University. From 2008-2009, he was a fellow with the stiftung neue verantwortung in Berlin and in 2010 – a Yale World Fellow in residence at Yale University in New Haven. READ MORE

The event is free and open to the public, but reservations are required.

Celebrating Dedman College Faculty Books

  • View a slideshow of the event photos here.
  • For more information on Dedman College faculty books, click here.

May Commencement Weekend

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Congratulations to all the Dedman College graduates. Looking for the latest schedule of events? Read More 

SMU’s May 14 Commencement celebrates academic achievement

SMU News

Originally Posted: May 3, 2016

SMU will celebrate the academic accomplishments of more than 2,500 students at its 101st annual Commencement ceremony at 9 a.m. Saturday, May 14, in Moody Coliseum.

Guests are urged to arrive early as seating in the coliseum is limited to four guests per student. Additional seating will be available for a simulcast of the event at Dedman Center for Lifetime Sports, Crum Auditorium and McFarlin Auditorium. The ceremony also will be broadcast outside Moody Coliseum on Bolin Plaza, and there will be a live webcast of the ceremony at http://www.smu.edu/live.

READ MORE

International Symposium on Violence in the U.S.-Mexican Borderlands a Success

April 27, 2016

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Panel: Alfredo Corchado, DMN; Alan Knight, Oxford; Joaquin Rivaya-Martinez, Texas State University; Gerardo Gurza, Instituto Mora; Brandon Morgan, New Mexico Community College

Dallas, TX – SMU’s Clements Center for Southwest Studies, in partnership with the Instituto Mora of Mexico City, hosted a public forum on the history of violence along the U.S.-Mexico border on Saturday, April 16, at the Latino Cultural Center in Dallas.

Bringing together scholars and journalists from Mexico, the United States and Great Britain, the international forum focused on the long evolution of violence along the U.S.-Mexico border, from the role of the state in borderland violence, drugs and smuggling, to refugees, migrants and mob violence. Over 200 people attended the afternoon conference featuring panel discussions centered on the evolution of violence along the border from the 1800s to the modern drug wars.

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Sherry Smith welcomes and introduces symposium

“Because of the modern drug wars, the border today has an enduring reputation as a site of brutal violence,” noted Andrew J. Torget, a professor of history at the University of North Texas and one of the organizers of the event. “But what people tend to forget is that border violence has changed dramatically during the past two centuries, and there is nothing inevitable about today’s situation. This public event will present historical background for the modern situation, as we discuss how border violence has evolved over time.”

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Group photo of presenters on the steps of Dallas Hall

Sponsored by the William P. Clements Center for Southwest Studies at SMU in partnership with Instituto Mora of Mexico City, and with support from SMU’s Embrey Human Rights Program and the Latino Cultural Center, a division of the City of Dallas Office of Cultural Affairs.

LEARN MORE: The official program brochure with presenter names and affiliations. HERE

Watch the public forum on the history of violence along the U.S.-Mexico border.

Part 1: 
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Part 2: 
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Part 3:
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Epinephrine, a Positive and Negative Effector of Stress and Stress-Induced Illness

Event date: May 2
Time: 3:30 p.m.

Join Dona Lee Wong, Ph.D. of Harvard Medical School for a special guest lecture on her work. This event is sponsored by the DCII’s Biopsychosocial Research Cluster and the Center for Drug Discovery, Design and Delivery (CD4).

For more information: http://www.smu.edu/Dedman/DCII/Events

 

Inaugural Faculty Book Fest!

Event date: May 3, 2016
Time: 2:00 – 3:00 p.m. Remarks at 2:30 p.m.
Location: Dallas Hall Rotunda

This is books scramble. Many books to scatter under sky.

Take a break on Reading Day and join us to celebrate all books published by SMU faculty members in 2015. Refreshments and raffle prizes will be provided! RSVP at smubookfest.eventbrite.com or 214-768-3527.

 

The Department of Economics will host conference April 29 and 30 in honor of Professor Shlomo Weber

 

Shlomo Weber, Dedman Economics Faculty
Shlomo Weber, Dedman Economics Faculty

The Department of Economics will host a conference in honor of Professor Shlomo Weber to recognize his contributions to economics research and to the lives of the many collaborators and colleagues he has worked with throughout his academic career. The one and a half day conference will begin at 1:30pm on Friday, April 29th and concluding at 5pm on Saturday, April 30th.

maskin_postcard

During the conference, the 2007 Nobel Laureate, Eric Stark Maskin from Harvard University will speak about “Elections and Strategic Voting: Condorcet and Borda.” Professor Maskin is an American economist recognized with Leonid Hurwicz and Roger Myerson “for having laid the foundations of mechanism design theory.” Maskin’s lecture will be on Saturday, April 30 from 10:30-11:30 in Dedman Life Sciences Building, room 131.

In addition to Professor Maskin, the following is the list of distinguished invited speakers for the conference:

  • Michael Alexeev (Indiana University)
  • Alberto Bisin (New York University)
  • Rajat Deb (Southern Methodist University)
  • Klaus Desmet (Southern Methodist University)
  • Paul Dower (Florida International University)
  • Joan Esteban (Institut d’Analisi Economica (CSIC) and Barcelona GSE)
  • Piero Gottardi (University of Venice and European University Institute)
  • Hideo Konishi (Boston College), Eric Maskin (Harvard University)
  • Michel Le Breton (Toulouse School of Economics)
  • Juan D. Moreno-Ternero (Universidad Pablo de Olavide)
  • Ignacio Ortuno-Ortin (Universidad Carlos III de Madrid)
  • Hans Wiesmeth (Technische Universität Dresden)
  • Eyal Winter (The Hebrew University of Jerusalem)

Detailed information about this conference can be found on http://faculty.smu.edu/bochen/Conference.htm.