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Creation of European Union Marked by 50th Anniversary Events

The 50th anniversary of the Treaty of Rome, which established the European Union, and its impact on literature and politics will be examined at the 34th annual Western Pennsylvania Symposium on World Literatures from 1 to 5 p.m. Friday, March 30.

Duquesne University will host the event in the Duquesne Room of the Duquesne Union. Sponsored by a consortium of 15 colleges and universities, the event offers the opportunity to hear speakers of international and national renown for free.

Every year, the symposium has examined issues around the theme of an anniversary of some sort, said Carla E. Lucente, director of the symposium, professor of modern languages and literatures, and director of the international relations program at Duquesne. “This is one of the first anniversary celebrations taking place in the United States on the Treaty of Rome, and it’s just so important because the treaty set the future for all of the European Union.”

"In taking up politics and literature, the conference focuses on questions that will define the future of the EU,” said Charles Rubin, chair of the event and associate professor of political science at Duquesne. “As political and economic integration proceeds, how much should we expect—or want—to see the development of a common European culture as well?  What would be the sources, and limits, of that culture?"

Among the speakers and panels discussing these issues are:

The European Union at 50: Perspectives on the Past and the Future, 1 p.m.
Alberta M. Sbragia, professor of political science, the Mark A. Nordenberg University Chair, the Jean Monnet Chair ad personam, and director of the European Union Center of Excellence and European Studies Center at the University of Pittsburgh

Conversation with an Ambassador, 2:15 p.m.
Thomas Patrick Melady, retired U.S. ambassador to the Vatican, professor and senior diplomat in residence at The Institute of World Politics and Duquesne alumnus

Roundtable Discussion, 3 p.m.
Moderated by Margaret B. Melady, past president of the American University of Rome, associate professorial lecture at The George Washington University and Thomas’ wife 
Participants and their topics:
Ronald Carstens, professor of humanities and social sciences at Ohio Dominican University, The Narrative Imagination and the Future of Human Rights
Francesca Colecchia, professor of modern languages and literatures at Duquesne, Politics and Theatre in Post-Franco Spain
Kirk W. Junker, assistant professor of law and director of international programs at Duquesne’s School of Law, Can Literature Provide Europe with a Common Cultural Heritage?
Armand Singer, professor emeritus of Romance Languages at West Virginia University, Arts and Society: Copyright, Patents and Plagiarism.

Literature and the European Union Constitution, 4 p.m.
Henry T. Edmonson III, professor, Department of Government, and director of the European Government and Culture Study Abroad at Georgia College and State University

A reception will follow in the Duquesne Union Ballroom at 5 p.m. Cost for the banquet is $25, with reservations due by March 23. For more information or to make reservations, contact hess@duq.edu or 412.396.6415.

Duquesne University

Founded in 1878, Duquesne is consistently ranked among the nation's top Catholic universities for its award-winning faculty and tradition of academic excellence. Duquesne, a campus of nearly 9,500 graduate and undergraduate students, has been nationally recognized for its academic programs, community service and commitment to sustainability. Follow Duquesne University on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
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