Political Scientist Sabrina Ramet to Hold Lectures in UT
The pre-eminent political scientist of Central and East European Societies, prof Sabrina Ramet will hold a series of guest lectures in UT.
Sabrina P. Ramet is a professor of political science at the Norwegian University of Science & Technology, in Trondheim, Norway, and a senior researcher with the Centre for the Study of Civil War, PRIO, Oslo. She is the author of 12 scholarly books, one novel, and two books of humorous verse, and editor or co-editor of 27 books (26 published and one in production). She earned her Ph.D. at UCLA in 1981.
Monday, 21 May 2012
16:15-18:00, Lossi 36 - 103
The Catholic Church in post-communist Poland: Polarization, privatization, and decline in influence
There has been some erosion of commitment to Catholic norms among Poles (although not of the tendency to identify with the Church as such), especially among those of the younger generation, alongside a decline in the prestige and influence of the Church. These may be traced to a combination of factors, including (1) the Church’s blundering efforts to promote its own agenda on Poland (especially in the years 1989—97); (2) the controversy stirred up by revelations about the extent of collaboration with the communist-era secret police on the part of bishops and priests; (3) the controversies surrounding property restitution to religious communities; and (4) the scandal surrounding sex abuse by clergy not only in the USA and Germany but also in Poland itself, as well as in other countries, and the Holy See’s ineffective response to this scandal.
Alar Kilp, UT Lecturer in political science, will provide a comment on this lecture and will guide a question-and-answer exchange with Dr. Ramet.
Tuesday, 22 May 2012
14:15-16:00, Lossi 36 - 305
Benedictus de Spinoza (1632--1677), champion of freedom of thought
Spinoza championed freedom of thought (including freedom of religion) and of speech and has been credited with having been the first major thinker of the liberal tradition and the first writer in modern times to articulate a systematic defense of democracy. He believed that the state should promote the welfare of its citizens, while maximizing their freedom.
Eva Piirimäe, Senior researcher at the UT Institute of Government and Politics, will provide comments in reaction to the presentation, and Q&A will follow.
Tuesday, 22 May 2012
17:00-18:30, Lossi 36 - 305
The collaborationist regime of Milan Nedić
Milan Nedić, head of the Axis-collaborationist government in Serbia during World War Two, has recently become the subject of some controversy. Defenders compare him to the French quisling, Marshal Petain (who led the Axis-collaborationist government in the Vichy Republic), and claim that he worked to save "the biological substance of the Serbian people." Detractors make other comparisons -- including to the Croatian quisling, Ante Pavelić. The historical record shows that Nedić, who assumed the post of minister-president of Serbia at the end of August 1941, subscribed to New Order ideology and, in spite of his discontent with the limits on his effective authority, collaborated with the Germans, among other things, in military campaigns against Josip Broz Tito's Partisans.
Wednesday, 23 May 2012
17:00-18:00, University of Tartu Library Café
Public performance of Cheese Pirates
Dr. Sabrina Ramet will lead her troupe, The Café Bombshell Players, in a skit-type presentation of selections from her imaginative satirical work of poetry and song, Cheese Pirates: Humorous Rhymes for Adult Children. This recent work (c 2010) slashes and burns through modern history with panache. Of the book, Torbjorn Knutsen from Trondheim said, “This book embarrassed me. It caused me to laugh loudly and uncontrollably while using Norwegian public transportation.” Come and see what all the fuss is about.* A passing acquaintance with major personalities of world history will help to make you laugh heartily. Knowing that some of them still live, or have living legacies, will make you weep unceasingly. But be calm! The satirical medicine of Cheese Pirates will take away your vertigo.
(*As a special bonus, you may be treated to one or more added selections from Ramet’s 2006 potboiler…er…best seller, Pets of the Great Dictators and Other Works!)
Additional information: Laura Roop, EuroCollege of the University of Tartu, Coordinatorlaura [dot] roop [ät] ut [dot] ee (, laura [dot] roop [ät] ut [dot] ee), +372 7376212
UT Press Officer
+372 737 5683
avalik [ät] ut [dot] ee