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Author and staff writer for the New Yorker, Philip Gourevitch, to speak on campus

On Monday, October 23rd, 2017, author and long-time staff writer for the New Yorker, Philip Gourevitch will present “Trump’s America in the World” in the Pyle Center’s alumni lounge (702 Langdon Street, Madison).

About the presentation: Last year’s U.S. presidential election delivered the most radical shock to the international order of any event since the fall of the Berlin Wall. The rise of Donald Trump marks the end of a post-Cold-war balance of power and ideology. Much of what America stood for, albeit inconsistently and often ineffectively – democracy, diplomacy, climate security, human rights, non-proliferation, institutional expertise – Trump stands aggressively against. The shift is not merely rhetorical. Long-time foreign correspondent, author and New Yorker writer, Philip Gourevitch asks: How did we get here? And how do we make sense of and respond to the crisis the Trump presidency represents in our world? 

Please indicate your interest in attending HERE.

Schedule of Events:

6:30-7:00 p.m.: Public Reception with light appetizers and beverages

7:00-8:00 p.m.: Lecture followed by Q&A

There will be an opportunity to purchase Gourevitch’s books and have them signed after the event.

Co-sponsored by the Madison Committee on Foreign Relations, International Division, the UW Law School, the School of Journalism and Mass Communication at UW-Madison, A Room of One’s Own Bookstore.

IRIS Fall 2017 Open House

IRIS Assistant Director for Outreach, Dr. Nancy Heingartner, Spoke at the National Air & Space Museum, in Washington, DC

On Friday, September 15, Dr. Nancy Heingartner, IRIS Assistant Director for Outreach, gave a talk at the National Air & Space Museum, in Washington, DC.
As part of the Air & Space Museum’s year-long commemoration of World War I, she was invited to speak about her great grandfather, Alexander Heingartner, who served as U.S. Consul in Liege, Belgium during World War I.  As the highest-ranking U.S. official in Liege at that time, Heingartner played a critical role in making sure that American humanitarian aid that was sent to rescue the Belgians from starvation was distributed into the hands of the people in his area who were in need of it.

Visiting Professor Thierry Cruvellier to Teach Fall 2017 Course on Criminal Justice

Thierry Cruvellier to teach Fall 2017 Course on International Criminal Justice 

This fall, Thierry Cruvellier will be teaching IS 601: Topics in Global Security: International Criminal Justice: Models and Practice.

IS 601 will focus on international courts and war crimes tribunals.  Specifically, over the past two decades, a dozen international or internationalized war crimes tribunals have been created in Europe, Africa and Asia. Such courts have become a familiar feature in the field of human rights as well as in world politics. How have these courts actually responded to their own claims and to the expectations they have raised? How have their functioning and practices evolved over time? Are some of their models better suited than others to achieve certain goals and, if so, based on what evidence? What is their judicial efficiency and how useful are they as political tools? How do they serve victims’ interests? What have they changed in the conflict-affected societies? Through a series of case studies, thematic sessions and creative views, using documentary films as well as a diverse range of readings from the legal, political, human rights and journalistic perspective, we will ground our discussions in the practical realities of the life of contemporary war crimes courts, with a critical mind and a comparative approach.

Thierry Cruvellier is an international journalist and author whose specialty is international criminal justice, especially the workings of international justice systems after war crimes and atrocities. He is the only journalist in the world who has attended and reported on all of the important post-Cold War international tribunals. Mr. Cruvellier is the author of three books: Court of Remorse: Inside the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (published by the University of Wisconsin Press in 2010);The Master of Confession (2014), which chronicles the trial of a Cambodian Khmer Rouge commander; and, coming out later this year, The Richest Poor Man — Stories from Sierra Leone. Writing in The New Yorker, Philip Gourevitch has called him, “a deeply informed and deeply thoughtful observer of the legal, political, moral, and psychological complexity of his subject. He is an elegant, understated writer, with a keen and rigorous intellect, and a wry, quiet wit.”

Mr. Cruvellier, who has a master’s degree in journalism from the Sorbonne, will spend Fall semester 2017 in residence in the UW-Madison’s Institute for Regional and International Studies (IRIS). While here, consulting with faculty, working in the library, and writing, he will teach an undergraduate course: International Studies 601, “International Criminal Justice: Models and Practice. If you are interested in learning more about Mr. Cruvellier’s work with UW-Madison click here and for his recent work in the New York Times click here.

Please note, Mr. Cruvellier will be the keynote speaker at the UNA-USA Dane County Chapter’s annual fall luncheon “Human Rights in a Time of Conflict”. This event will take place on October 29th and more details/registration will be forthcoming. Please contact Sarah Ripp at with any questions.

WISLI 2017 Student Conference

On Saturday, July 22, the Wisconsin Intensive Summer Language Institutes (WISLI) hosted its 2017 student conference to showcase the original research of undergraduate students, graduate students and independent scholars.  The conference is held in conjunction with its summer language institutes: APTLII (Arabic, Persian, and Turkish Language Immersion Institute), CESSI (Central Eurasian Studies Summer Institute), SASLI (South Asia Summer Language Institute) and SEASSI (Southeast Asian Studies Summer Institute).

There were a total of 39 presentations in 13 different panels exploring topics related to:

  • Art and Identity in Vietnam
  • Arts, Crafts and Commerce
  • Arts: Culture, Ethnomusicology, Performance
  • Arts: Film, Performance & Literature
  • Human Rights and International Relations in the Post War Era
  • Language and Ethnicity
  • Language and Literacy Criticism
  • Linguistics and Literature
  • Migration
  • Monarchy, Nation and Empire
  • Nutrition, Health and Environment
  • Religion: Buddhism, Gender and Politics
  • Women: Imagery and Public Spaces

The keynote presentation for the conference was given by Dr. Christi-Anne Castro, Associate Professor of Ethnomusicology and Director of the Center for Southeast Asian Studies at the University of Michigan.  Dr. Castro’s talk, “Music, Language and the Aesthetics of Virtuosity” used three case studies to examine virtuosity as a language of access via performance aesthetics.

WISLI would like to thank Dr. Christi-Anne Castro for the wonderful keynote presentation, the Institute coordinators and assistants for their hard work in organizing and facilitating the event, and the moderators, presenters and attendees for the dynamic sessions and discussions.

IRIS Seeking Applications for 2017-2018 Graduate Project Assistantships

Call for Applications
Graduate Project Assistantships in International Studies Administration

The Institute for Regional and International Studies (IRIS), a unit in the UW-Madison International Division, anticipates multiple openings for graduate student project assistants for the duration of the 2017-18 academic year.

Project Assistants will be based in IRIS but some will be assigned, for one semester or two, to one of the regional centers that make up IRIS. All appointments will be at 50 percent and require 20 hours of work per week, with compensation at the standard 50 percent PA level and full tuition remission and other assistantship benefits.

The purpose of the PAships is twofold: (1) to help IRIS and its constituent centers accomplish necessary work and (2) to help prepare selected students for jobs after graduation that may entail or include administration.
Thus, we are especially interested in applications from students whose academic work focuses on some aspect of regional and international studies, who anticipate careers that might involve administrative elements, and who would appreciate receiving training and mentoring in international studies administration.


PAs will work under the general supervision of the IRIS executive director but will be assigned specific roles and supervisors within IRIS and/or its constituent centers, some appointments shifting between the fall and spring semesters, depending on needs and PA skills. Among the duties that some or all PAs will be assigned are:

  • Assistance in grant applications, grant compliance, and grant reporting, including careful compilation of data for entry into on-line reporting systems.
  • Event planning, including content planning and logistics such as venue selection and reservations, program design, air ticketing, hotel booking, publicity, and communication with participants and campus financial specialists to ensure proper documentation and timely payment of honoraria or reimbursements.
  • Regional and international studies communication, including crafting compelling content on multiple platforms to inform campus and off-campus constituencies of activities, opportunities, and events in regional and international studies.• Layout, editing, author/editor communications, marketing, and other work associated with journals and publications based in IRIS centers.
  • Assist IRIS centers with website maintenance and updating content. A working knowledge of html/css, proficiency in customizing WordPress templates, and experience with both website design and maintenance would be useful.
  • Other administrative work as assigned.


Applicants must be UW-Madison graduate students in good standing, making normal progress toward a graduate degree. Applicants must have experience outside the United States and currently working on a degree that has an international research dimension, ideally including sustained research abroad.

Applicants should apply for general consideration. We will make assignments based on needs and candidate abilities, meaning that applicants should not apply for specific duties or work in specific centers. However, application letters should clearly outline the range of the applicant’s interests and experiences that might bear on selection and assignment.

To Apply

Submit an approximately two-page letter of application, a current CV, and, on a separate sheet, the names and contact information of two persons, ideally including the applicant’s academic advisor, whom we might contact for references if the applicant becomes a finalist. The application letter should be addressed to:

PA Selection Committee
Institute for Regional and International Studies
University of Wisconsin-Madison

No mailing address is needed as it will be handled digitally.

Please assemble these three documents in a single pdf, with your full name as the file name, and attach the pdf to an email message to The subject of the email message should be “2017-18 PA Application.” The message need not have any content beyond, “Here is my application for a project assistantship in international studies administration.”

For full consideration, please apply before 10am on Monday, July 3, 2017.

Questions about the assistantships may also be addressed to

Multiple IRIS Undergraduates Awarded Scholarships!

Tayler Bujnowski, double-major in Communication Arts and International Studies with a certificate in French, has been awarded the $5,000 Henderson-Resnick Internship  Scholarship. She will be interning this summer at the BMP Film Company in Chicago where she will be involved in media production.

Tobin McGilligan (Geography and Cartography majors with certificates in European Studies and Computer Science) has been awarded the $2,000 Picus Scholarship and is participating in the US Department of State Internship at the US Embassy in Mexico in their Information Management Office.

Bridgette Stoeckel (Political Science and Scandinavian Studies majors with a certificate in European Studies) has been awarded the $5000 Shinner Family Scholarship and has accepted an internship at the Danish Parliament in Copenhagen, Denmark.

Congratulations to the three LACIS Summer Travel Grant Recipients! Christina DeMars (LACIS, International Studies, and Spanish major) will be interning at Sociedad de Integracion Gay Lesbica Argentina. Gabriella Gaus (LACIS, Psychology, and Chicanx and Latinx Studies major) will be interning at ALUBA in Argentina. Tobin McGilligan (B.S., Geographic Information Systems/Cartography & Geography, Certificates in European Studies and Computer Science) will be interning at the US Embassy in Mexico City. Each semester, LACIS invites undergraduate students (from any major or discipline) to apply for their international travel grant program.  Recipients can receive one-time funds for internships or volunteer programs in Latin America, the Caribbean, the Iberian Peninsula. Students from any nationality and citizenship are eligible to apply.

Congratulations to all of these students on their fantastic achievements!

Learn more about two International Studies undergraduates who received Newman Awards HERE.

IRIS Academic Programs: A Year in Review

It’s been a great year for IRIS! Last month, 144 students graduated with a major and/or a certificate from one of the Regional Centers. With eight area studies centers in IRIS, six of which are Title VI National Resource Centers, as well as the International Studies major, there were many opportunities for students to study the world. Here are the number of certificates and majors awarded this year, along with photos from the Centers’ ceremonies and other highlights:


African Studies: 47

East Asian Studies: 20

European Studies: 55

Middle East Studies: 7


Russian, East European, and Central Asian Studies: 8

South Asia: 6

South East Asia: 10


International Studies: 103

Latin American, Caribbean, and Iberian Studies: 11

LACIS Undergraduate Advisor, Sarah Ripp (on left) with three graduating seniors.


Two European Studies certificate students discuss their time at UW and future plans

The Center for European Studies is pleased to announce that 55 undergraduates received the European Studies Certificate this May. Our graduates majored in diverse disciplines, including History, International Studies, Economics, Journalism, Business, Biology and everywhere in between! We wish to congratulate all the graduates and wish them the best in their future endeavors. Here are profiles of two Certificate students:

Amelie von Below
I studied Marketing, International Business and German at UW-Madison. I grew up bilingual in Germany but lost much of my German after moving to the US. As German wasn’t offered at my middle school, I began to learn French and continued to study it through part of college. However, I was still interested in getting back up to a fluent level of German, so I began to take courses at UW, and studied abroad through the Academic Year on the Freiburg program. After returning to Madison and finishing the German major, I was eager to learn a new language and to learn more about areas of Europe with which I was unfamiliar. This prompted me to begin taking Danish courses. I received a FLAS (Foreign Language and Area Studies) fellowship for the study of Danish in my senior year, during which I also studied abroad (in my last semester) at the Copenhagen Business School.

Adding the European Studies Certificate to my education was a way to point out an undercurrent that had permeated my studies all along: European cultures and languages. Ever since my first semester of university, I had selected every class that focused on Europe that fit into my required coursework. I remember being excited about taking Food in Italian Literature to fulfill the literature requirement, and Global Marketing Strategy as a marketing elective.

Marketing fits nicely with my interest in European Studies, as understanding people is at its core, and the attitudes and values that people have are heavily influenced by culture and language. I am currently interviewing in Germany within the field of Marketing. I plan on working in Europe for three years before applying for my MBA in Marketing, and eventually building a career in international brand management.


Josh Kowalczyk
Josh Kowalczyk was a double major in Economics and International Studies with a Certificate in European Studies. His chief academic interest was the global political economy and its relationship to sustainable development, geopolitics, and macroeconomic policy. Additionally he was a student of Italian language, and he spent a semester abroad at John Cabot University in Rome. Beyond academics, Josh was a celebrated player on the Men’s Rugby Club at UW-Madison, while also serving on the team’s executive board as the recruiting chair.

 Josh concluded his undergraduate studies this past spring as a participant on the UW’s Wisconsin in Washington DC academic internship program, where he interned at the Delegation of the European Union in the Economic and Financial Affairs Section. In this role, Josh was granted the opportunity to research transatlantic economic policies, shadow top-level EU diplomats, and attend meetings at various organizations and government agencies (including the Department of Treasury, the US Capitol, the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank).

Going forward, Josh’s post-graduate career will continue in Washington, DC at the Bipartisan Policy Center, where he will be a summer intern working on financial regulatory policy.