Culture as Building Block or Obstacle to the Creation of a Transnational European Identity?

Event information
Venue:FIU Modesto A. Maidique Campus, MARC International Pavilion

Conference Explores the Role of Culture in Transnational European Identity

Tuesday, Jan 12 2010

Over the past six decades, various actors—institutions, groups, individuals—have attempted to shape a transnational European identity. While research about the existence of a European identity, based on historical, political, and other commonalities exists in abundance, there is no consensus about its overall meaning. What does a European identity consists of? Who is included? What mechanisms create and shape it?

The Miami-Florida European Union Center of Excellence, a consortium between the University of Miami and FIU, will explore the role of culture in the creation of a transnational identity for Europe in a two-day conference on February 25-26, 2010, in the MARC International Pavilion on FIU’s Modest A. Maidique Campus.

“Culture as Building Block or Obstacle to the Creation of a Transnational European Identity?” will confront the contradictory role that culture has played—and continues to play—in the formation of a transnational European identity, whether as a central building block to unity or a formidable impediment to a common sense of purpose. Cultural aspects remain ambivalent factors in the creation of a European identity, as they are viewed on the one hand as essential for common identification, and other hand as a source of tensions. The question of a European identity is not simply self-referential, but also has repercussions for the European Union’s role in the world.

Dr. Michael D. Kennedy, the Howard R. Swearer Director of the Watson Institute for International Studies at Brown University, will deliver the keynote address on Thursday, February 25, 2010. Kennedy received a Ph.D. in sociology from the University of North Carolina. Formely he taught at the University of Michigan. His current research focuses on the cultural articulation of democracy, peace, and energy security in Europe and Eurasia. He is author, among other works, of Cultural Formations of Postcommunism: Emancipation, Transition, Nation, and War (University of Minnesota Press, 2002), and Professionals, Power and Solidarity in Poland (Cambridge University Press, 1991). Polish President Aleksander Kwasniewski presented Kennedy with the Gold Cross of Merit to recognize his contributions to scholarship and education about Poland.

The conference is sponsored by the Miami-Florida European Union Center of Excellence, the Ruth K. and Shepard Broad Distinguished Lecture Series, the Department of History, the European Studies Program, and the School of International and Public Affairs. The event is free and open to the public.

Culture as Building Block or Obstacle to the Creation of a Transnational European Identity?
February 25-26, 2010
MARC International Pavilion
FIU Modesto A. Maidique Campus

For conference agenda, click here

For more information or to RSVP, please contact the Miami-Florida European Union Center of Excellence at 305-348-5949 or send an email to