CANCELED: Conference: Contesting the Idea of “Europe”

(part of a series)

Location: 1050 Jenkins Nanovic Halls (View on map )

In light of the University's developing response to COVID-19, Nanovic Institute events have been canceled until April 13th.

For additional information, frequently asked questions, and an archive of past university communications, please see If you are unable to find an answer to a particular question, please use the submit a question form on or contact Notre Dame International at or 574-631-1138. 


The first decades of the twenty-first century have witnessed the emergence of new existential challenges for Europe as a geopolitical, sociocultural, and economic entity.  These have included, for example, the encroachments of newly emboldened Russia and Turkey into economically and politically fragile regions of eastern Europe, the resurgence of xenophobic white nationalisms built on chauvinistic literary or historical narratives, the expansion of the European Union and its growth into one of the world’s leading economic forces, and perplexing diplomatic or security priorities arising from conflicts at home and abroad.  Such ongoing issues inspire questions about what “Europe” is; whether it be a geographical, historical, cultural, or political unit; and what the academic study of Europe can look like in the twenty-first century. 

The Graduate Fellows of the Nanovic Institute for European Studies at the University of Notre Dame are happy to announce the institute’s second-annual conference, “Contesting the Idea of ‘Europe,’” to to be held on 26-27 March 2020.  Interdisciplinary in its reach and broad in its goals, this conference will open the floor to discussions about pressing issues in contemporary European life; their often fraught historical contexts; and their significance for dialogue between scholars, policymakers, and the general public.

The conference was made possible thanks to generous support from the Nanovic Institute for European Studies and the Notre Dame Graduate Student Union.


The conference is being organized by the Nanovic Institute’s Graduate Fellows,  Please feel free to reach out to Moritz Graefrath ( with any questions or concerns you might have.

Ballinger Pamela Umich


"The Melancholy of Arrival: Europe and the Making of the Modern Refugee"

Friday, March 27 at 11:00 a.m.
1050 Jenkins Nanovic Halls

Pamela Ballinger is Professor of History and the Fred Cuny Chair in the History of Human Rights in the Department of History at the University of Michigan. She holds degrees in Anthropology (B.A. Stanford University, M. Phil Cambridge University, M.A. Johns Hopkins University) and a joint Ph.D. in Anthropology and History (Johns Hopkins). She is the author of History in Exile: Memory and Identity at the Borders of the Balkans (Princeton University Press, 2003), La Memoria dell’Esilio (Veltro Editrice, 2010), and the World Refugees Made: Decolonization and the Foundation of Postwar Italy (Cornell University Press, 2020). She served as guest editor for special issues/fora in Aspasia: The International Yearbook of Central, Eastern, and Southeastern European Women's and Gender History and East European Politics and Societies. In addition, she has published in a wide range of journals, including Austrian History Yearbook, Comparative Studies in Society and History, Contemporary European History, Current Anthropology, Journal of Contemporary History, Journal of Modern Italian Studies, Journal of Refugee Studies, Journal of Tourism History, and Past and Present. Honors include fellowships from the American Academy in Rome (Rome Prize), Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences, Frederick Burkhardt Fellowship for Recently Tenured Scholars/ACLS, Fulbright, Italian Academy (Columbia University), National Endowment for the Humanities, Shelby Cullom Davis Center for Historical Studies, and Wenner-Gren. Her areas of interest and expertise include borderlands, human rights, forced migration, refugees, fascism, seascapes and seaspace, and modern Mediterranean and Balkan history.


Participants at the Second Annual Nanovic Institute for European Studies Conference include graduate students and faculty from the University of Notre Dame and surrounding institutions.  For more information on attendance or participation, please contact the organizers or submit an abstract through our submission Google Form above.


26 March 2020
7.00pm-9.30pm - MOVIE SCREENING - Il Traditore / The Traitor (2019), Browning Cinema


27 March 2020

9.00am-10.30am - WORKSHOP PANEL I  (3 papers, 20 minutes each, 30 minutes Q&A)

11am-12.30pm KEYNOTE - Pamela Ballinger

2.30pm-4pm - WORKSHOP PANEL II (3 papers, 20 minutes each, 30 minutes Q&A) or ROUNDTABLE 

4.30pm-6pm - WORKSHOP PANEL III (3 papers, 20 minutes each, 30 minutes Q&A) or ROUNDTABLE

6.30pm-8.30pm - CLOSING RECEPTION for all conference participants, with awards presented for excellent graduate student presentations