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Bart Redford
Center for Russian, East European & Eurasian Studies
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Panel scheduled today on civil unrest in Ukraine

Thu, 02/06/2014

LAWRENCE — In recent months Ukraine has witnessed some of the largest political demonstrations in recent history. The University of Kansas Center for Russian, East European & Eurasian Studies has planned a panel discussion to discuss those issues.

“What’s going on in Ukraine?” will start at 1 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 6, in Alderson Auditorium of the Kansas Union.

With thousands of its citizens rallying in support of the country’s further integration with the European Union, the Ukrainian government instead announced plans to join an economic union with the Russian Federation, then outlawed most forms of assembly and protest. Peaceful protests then turned into violent clashes between protesters and police. Now, after three months of protracted political standoff, a peaceful resolution seems remote.

For anyone unfamiliar with Ukraine and its geopolitical trajectory after declaring independence from the USSR, sparse U.S media coverage may be creating more questions than answers that panelists plan to answer.

CREES has invited James Marson, deputy bureau chief in Moscow for The Wall Street Journal & Dow Jones Newswires, to speak by Skype, describing media coverage of the protests in Kiev and across Ukraine. Following Marson, REES Alumna Amy Murphy will describe her own experiences as she recruited candidates in Ukraine for a high school exchange program in the fall of 2013. Finally, Ukrainian Studies Professor Alex Tsiovkh will speak on the EuroMaidan movement and its significance in Ukrainian history and politics.

CREES offers one of the leading programs in Ukrainian studies in the U.S. It includes all levels of Ukrainian language study, as well as courses in Ukrainian history, politics, and culture. The Palij Family Fund supports the annual visiting Palij Lecturer focusing on Ukrainian studies and provides the annual Ukrainian Studies Prize for an outstanding student specializing in Ukraine. The Jarosewycz Family Scholarship provides an annual award to students with strong interests in Ukrainian studies. KU also offers an intensive summer study abroad program focusing on Ukrainian language and culture in Lviv, Ukraine. 



David Roediger’s award-winning research and writing has already transformed how historians view the growth of social freedoms in America though the intersection of race, class, ethnicity, and labor. Now Roediger, as KU’s first Foundation Distinguished Professor of History (http://bit.ly/1AbAqYw), will continue to break new ground in those fields as he works with KU’s departments of American Studies and History. Roediger likes to study historical flash points — where one particular change brings a cascade of wider cultural changes. His latest book, “Seizing Freedom, Slave Emancipation and Liberty for All,” makes the point that as slaves began freeing themselves across the South during the Civil War, their emancipation inspired and ignited other cultural movements for freedom — such as the women’s movement for suffrage and the labor movement for better working conditions and an eight-hour day. Understanding the individual stories of average people who wanted to make their lives better, including slaves or factory workers, are important to understanding the wider political movements and elections, Roediger said. “It's tempting to think that all the important political questions have been decided,” he said, “but actually people are constantly thinking about what freedom would mean for them.” Tags: #KUcommunities #CivilRights #History American Studies at KU
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Lauded race and class historian becomes KU Foundation Professor David Roediger’s award-winning research and writing has already transformed how historians view the growth of social freedoms in America though the intersection of race, class, ethnicity, and labor. Now Roediger, as KU’s first Foundation Distinguished Professor of History (http://bit.ly/1AbAqYw), will continue to break new ground in those fields as he leads KU’s departments of American Studies and History. Roediger likes to study historical flash points — where one particular change brings a cascade of wider cultural changes. His latest book, “Seizing Freedom, Slave Emancipation and Liberty for All,” makes the point that as slaves began freeing themselves across the South during the Civil War, their emancipation inspired and ignited other cultural movements for freedom — such as the women’s movement for suffrage and the labor movement for better working conditions and an eight-hour day. Understanding the individual stories of average people who wanted to make their lives better, including slaves or factory workers, is important to understanding the wider political movements and elections, Roediger said. “It's tempting to think that all the important political questions have been decided,” he said, “but actually people are constantly thinking about what freedom would mean for them.”


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