[Aaus-list] CIUS News Release: “Contested Ground: The Legacy of the Second World War for Eastern Europe” Conference Update

CIUS Communications ciuscomm at ualberta.ca
Wed Aug 26 17:41:20 EDT 2015

Dear Editors, 

Attached, please find the latest press release (in PDF) issued by the Canadian Institute of Ukrainian Studies, University of Alberta, on the “Contested Ground: The Legacy of the Second World War for Eastern Europe” Conference Update.

                                                                                                          FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                  

Timely Conference to Examine Legacy of World War II for Eastern Europe

(CIUS-Edmonton, 26 August 2015)  Preparations for a major international conference at the University of Alberta this fall are proceeding well, report its organizers, the Canadian Institute of Ukrainian Studies and the Centre for U.S.-Ukrainian Relations at Columbia University. “Contested Ground: The Legacy of the Second World War for Eastern Europe” will be held at the Lister Hall conference centre at the University of Alberta on 23–24 October.

            A number of scholars and experts from around the world are coming to Edmonton to give presentations on the short- and long-term effects of the Second World War in countries that were taken by the Red Army and afterwards became republics, satellites, or uneasy neighbours of the Soviet Union.

            The war cast a particularly long shadow over East European states that had been major battlegrounds in the conflict, which killed tens of millions, mostly civilians. After being contested militarily in the struggle to defeat Nazi Germany, territories occupied by Soviet forces became ideological fronts during the Cold War, which pitted capitalist Western democracies against communist dictatorships with state-run economies in a strenuous competition for global influence. In Eastern Europe, official histories of the war and public commemorations of it were scripted largely in deference to the Kremlin so as to reinforce its claims to hegemony over lands effectively ceded to Moscow’s control by the Yalta and Potsdam agreements. The conference will examine the postwar evolution of various East European societies, whose development was very different from that of the liberated states of Western Europe. Long after hostilities ceased and reconstruction had largely been completed, Eastern Europe retained its contested character as a result of the redrawing of borders, geopolitical realignments, and East-West political, military, economic, and cultural rivalries.

            “The impact of the war varied from country to country, which is why the conference will feature speakers from Romania, Moldova, Ukraine, and Poland, as well as Finland and the Baltic republics,” explains CIUS director Dr. Volodymyr Kravchenko. “The objective is to examine postwar developments in Eastern Europe in a way that encourages comparative analysis, focusing on the shared as well as distinct experiences of the states affected by the war. Of course, the postwar architecture of the region was dramatically altered by the collapse of the Soviet Union, although Russia is currently attempting to resurrect the divisions that determined East-West relations during the Cold War.”

            Members of the public are welcome to attend the academic sessions as well as the keynote banquet address by James Sherr of Britain’s Royal Institute of International Affairs (Chatham House).  As seating capacity at the conference and dinner is limited, those wishing to attend are encouraged to register and purchase banquet tickets well in advance of the two-day gathering, which will inaugurate commemorations of the fortieth anniversary of CIUS.

For more information on the conference, including the program, please visit: http://ukrainian-studies.ca/2015/08/17/contested-ground-the-legacy-of-the-second-world-war-for-eastern-europe/ <http://ukrainian-studies.ca/2015/08/17/contested-ground-the-legacy-of-the-second-world-war-for-eastern-europe/>
Details concerning registration and the banquet will be posted shortly on the same site.


Kind regards, 
Communications Team
Canadian Institute of Ukrainian Studies
4-30 Pembina Hall, University of Alberta
Edmonton AB  T6G 2H8
780.492.2026 <tel:780.492.2026>   Fax (780) 492-4967 <tel:%28780%29%20492-4967>
Find us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/canadian.institute.of.ukrainian.studies?ref=hl <https://www.facebook.com/canadian.institute.of.ukrainian.studies?ref=hl>
Join the conversation on the Forum for Ukrainian Studies: http://ukrainian-studies.ca <http://ukrainian-studies.ca/>
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