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International Seminar Series: Europe’s Crisis of Multiculturalism?
Title of Presentation: Europe’s Crisis of Multiculturalism?
Speaker: Rita Chin, Ph.D., Professor of History, University of Michigan at Ann Arbor
Presentation Overview: Rita Chin questions the growing consensus in Europe that multiculturalism has failed. She considers the longer historical developments that made European societies multicultural and shows that there were very few efforts to institute state-sponsored policies of multiculturalism as a way of dealing with ground-level diversity. Instead, she argues that two events in 1989 — the Rushdie affair in Britain and headscarf controversy in France — raised doubts about the viability of cultural pluralism, laying the groundwork for today’s commonsense belief that Muslim immigrants are incompatible with European society and values.
Speaker Bio: Rita Chin is Professor of History at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. She is the author of The Crisis of Multiculturalism in Europe: A History (Princeton, 2017) and The Guest Worker Question in Postwar Germany (Cambridge, UK, 2007). She is co-author of After the Nazi Racial State: Difference and Democracy in Germany and Beyond (Ann Arbor, 2009). Her research has been supported by the SSRC, Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, American Council for Learned Societies’ Burkhardt Fellowship, and Institute for Advanced Study. Her next project looks at non-European women from former colonies who migrated to Britain to serve as domestic servants after 1945.
Series Overview: The International Seminar Series offers the Illinois State campus and Bloomington-Normal communities weekly opportunities to learn about a wide range of international topics. Guest speakers are usually experts in their fields across a range of disciplines who cover a wide array of cultural, historical, political and social topics.
Series events have become one of the most popular internationally focused events on campus and continue to draw ever-growing crowds of students, faculty and community members. Audience members are given time at each event to raise questions to enable a two-way participation and learning.
International Seminar Series events are free and open to the public, and occur every Wednesday from noon to 1 p.m. in the Bone Student Center. The spring 2018 series will focus on Europe in a global context.