WMU News

Klein Symposium features East Europe experts

Jan. 12, 2001

KALAMAZOO -- Young scholars who have been on the inside of the political and social changes in Eastern Europe, as well as a noted international scholar, will be at Western Michigan University Saturday, Jan. 27, to participate in the first-ever George Klein Symposium.

Sponsored by the WMU Departments of Political Science, Anthropology and Sociology and the Haenicke Institute for International and Area Studies, the symposium, titled "Transitions in Process: Social, Political and Cultural Dimensions of Change in Eastern Europe," will be held from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. in the Fetzer Center.

According to Dr. James M. Butterfield, professor of political science and associate director of the Haenicke Institute, the symposium features researchers who have experienced the changes in Eastern Europe first hand.

"We invited scholars who had spent extensive time in the field; they are all bilingual and know what its like to live in the areas they studied," Butterfield says. "Countries in Eastern Europe are undergoing dual transitions, not only the transition to democracy but the transition to market economies as well. The work these young scholars have done will give us a grasp on the social and political dimensions of these transitions."

The scholars have conducted research in such countries as Poland, Romania, Bosnia and the Czech Republic. Among the topics that will be presented are women and their role in the transitions, nationalism, and issues surrounding Poland's emerging market economy.

The symposium also will feature a well-known international scholar, Dr. Stephen Fischer-Galati, as the keynote speaker. Galati, Distinguished Professor of History Emeritus at the University of Colorado and the editor of the scholarly journal East European Monographs, will speak at noon on "Recent Trends in Historiography in Eastern Europe."

The symposium will be presented in a workshop format, with the presentation of papers followed by discussion. Papers will be posted prior to the program on the symposium's Web site at <http://www.wmich.edu/politics/symposium.html>.

Named for Dr. George Klein, a longtime professor of political science at WMU who died in 1982, the symposium is supported by an endowment established in 1995 by his wife, Dr. Patricia Klein, WMU professor emerita of general studies. The endowment also has supported a lecture series bearing Klein's name.

There is a $15 fee to attend the symposium, which includes lunch. The fee will be waived for members and graduate students from the University's political science, anthropology and sociology departments.

The registration deadline is Wednesday, Jan. 24. Persons wishing to register should call Mary Grant or Dotty Barr in the WMU Department of Political Science at (616) 387-5681.

Media contact: Marie Lee, 616 387-8400, marie.lee@wmich.edu

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