Saturday, September 30, 2006

Visiting Professor Hendrik Hansen on What Makes Europe and America Different

Professor Hendrik Hansen, Berlin, November 2005. Photo: Patrick O'Neil

For a number of years UPS has had an academic exchange program with the University of Passau, whereby faculty travel between each university during the summer. Some years ago our guest was Professor Hendrik Hansen, who specializes in political philosophy. We enjoyed his visit so much that a number of us subsequently visited him in Germany, and we also arranged for him to return on two occasions as a visiting faculty member. Professor Hansen will join us again Spring Semester 2007, offering introductory courses in political philosophy and an upper division course on the European Union.

His experiences at UPS prompted Professor Hansen to write on what he saw as some of the main differences between political cultures in the States and Europe, which was published in the German journal Merkur. This attracted the attention of the Goethe Institute, a cultural organization funded by the German government. The Goethe Institute in Chicago has invited Professor Hansen to come to the US this fall to speak on "Human Dignity and Individualism: Western Values in Europe and the USA" If you're in the Chicago, here are the details:

Thursday, October 12, 2006, 6pm
Goethe-Institut Chicago
150 N. Michigan Ave, Suite 200
Chicago, IL 60601

For the rest of us, there's an overview of the upcoming panel here, and an English translation of his article here. I'd encourage you to read his piece, as it is provocative and an interesting take on the differences between the US and Europe from the perspective of a European.

Professor Hansen was also recently in the West Bank, and has sent along photos I'll blog soon.