FIU commemorates the fall of the Berlin Wall

By Pedro Botta

The European Studies Program in the School of International and Public Affairs is commemorating the fall of the Berlin Wall and the subsequent end of Eastern Block communism in Europe with a series of events throughout the fall semester, including lectures, film screenings and eye witness testimonies.  The series, entitled “1989 and Beyond: Europe Since the Cold War,” explores the events surrounding the fall of the Berlin Wall on November 9, 1989, marking one the most important watershed moments of the 20th century. 

“Our goal is to foster a more complete understanding of the incidents leading up to this historical date, as well as the after-effects, which are still shaping the world today,” said Rebecca Friedman, associate professor of history and director of the European Studies Program. 

The events will be held throughout the greater-Miami area and bring together respected members of academic, international, journalistic and cultural communities to discuss the contemporary reverberations of the events of 1989 still felt today in Europe and around the world. 

The series is sponsored by the European Studies Program with the support of the Miami-Florida European Union Center of Excellence, the Asian Studies Program, Judaic Studies Program, The Wolfsonian, the Women’s Studies Center and the Museum of Contemporary Art.

For more information, contact the European Studies Program at 305-348-5949. 

Schedule of Events:

Eyewitnesses to Revolution: 20 years after 1989
September 9, 2009 | 7 – 8:30 p.m. Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA), 770 NE 125 Street, North Miami

A roundtable discussion that explores the ways in which individuals experienced the tumultuous days of revolution leading up to the fall of communism across Eastern Europe. Free to FIU students, faculty and staff (with valid FIU I.D.) and free to the general public (with RSVP by Sept. 4th to


Film Series:  A Look Behind the Curtain—Twenty Years After the Fall
October 8-10, 2009 | The Wolfsonian, 1001 Washington Avenue, Miami Beach

This film series explores the feelings and social realities experienced during the last days of communism passing through the unsettling months of transition to the new era of consumerism and democracy. Reflecting the filmmakers’ visions of the individual in the throes of revolutionary social upheaval, these films depict human struggle in the context of oppression and radical change. Co-presented by The Wolfsonian.  Free for members and students, faculty and staff of FIU; $10 all others. 

Communism on Film: Screening of the Documentaries The  Wall (1962, USA) and Videograms of a Revolution (1992, Romania) with introduction by Barbara Weitz, FIU director of the Czech Study Abroad Program and the Film Studies Certificate Program, addressing the community influence on cinema.
October 8 | 7 p.m.

Screening of Koyla (1996, Czech Republic)
October 9 | 7 p.m.

Screening of Blind Chance (1981, Poland)
October 10 | 1 p.m.

Screening of Goodbye Lenin (2003, Germany)
October 11 | 3 p.m.


Global Issues Twenty Years After 1989: Focus on Europe and Asia
October 15, 2009

Workshop for Faculty and Graduate Students | 1 p.m. – 3 p.m. | GL 220
Public Lectures | 6:30 – 8:30 p.m. | MARC Pavilion

A joint project between the FIU Asian Studies Program, the FIU European Studies Program and the Miami-Florida European Union Center of Excellence, this event highlights the dramatic changes in Europe, the European Union and China in light of world affairs over the past 20 years following the remarkable events of 1989 — the end of the Berlin Wall in Germany and its implications for the Cold War, and the Tiananmen Square incident in China and its importance for changes in Chinese political economy.  The afternoon session is an intimate workshop setting primarily for faculty and graduate students working on area studies; the evening lectures are directed to a more general audience, including students and the community, and are free and open to the public.

Featured speakers:

Dr. Kellee Tsai, professor of political science and director of East Asian Studies
Johns Hopkins University

Dr. Stephen (Steve) Crowley, associate professor of politics
Oberlin College


If You Build It, They Will Come
October 22, 2009 | 5 – 7:30 p.m. | Location TBA

A Symposium Featuring Dr. Jack Kugelmass, University of Florida

Dr. Kugelmass examines some recent trends in Polish and European memory culture, in which the Jewish past has become part of non-Jewish national patrimony. In the case of Krakow, Poland, where only a handful of Jews remains, non-Jewish  cultural entrepreneurs  are actively recreating a “Jewish” presence through cafés and a world-class annual summer cultural festival. The symposium interprets this phenomenon in terms of demographic shifts currently underway throughout much of Europe.  FIU faculty will participate in the symposium as discussants.  The event is co-sponsored by the FIU Judaic Studies Program and is free and open to public.


Celebrating the Founding of the Russian Round Table
November 6, 2009 | 6 – 9 p.m.
Dynamo Café at The Wolfsonian, 1001 Washington Avenue, Miami Beach

The FIU European Studies Program invites you to a cocktail reception with cash bar to celebrate the founding of the Russian Round Table.  Materials on Russia and the Soviet Union from The Wolfsonian’s permanent collection will be on exhibit.  For more information, contact Sandra Gordon of the Russian Round Table at


Gender and the Transition to Democracy: Poland and the EU
November 9, 2009 | 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. | FIU Green Library, Room 220

A Lecture with Dr. Joanna Regulska, Rutgers University

Dr. Regulska, a regional expert on gender and Eastern Europe in the Department of Geography and dean of international studies at Rutgers University, will discuss Polish women’s activism during the period of transition to democracy and Poland’s entrance into the European Union.  Event is free and open to the public and is co-sponsored by the Women of Distinction Series of the FIU Women’s Studies Center.

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