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Lecture explores U.S.-German relations on anniversary of reunification

Wednesday, September 26, 2012 – By Clynton Namuo

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As the euro zone crisis shakes economies worldwide, some have wondered about the future of the German-U.S. alliance, a relationship that has been a cornerstone of world diplomacy for 60 years.

Harald Leibrecht, a German parliamentarian and the German government’s coordinator for transatlantic cooperation, will explore that relationship in a lecture on Oct. 3.

A dual citizen who was born and educated in America, Leibrecht offers a unique perspective on German-U.S. relations and will speak on a day full of symbolism, the 22nd anniversary of German reunification.

He is expected to talk about a broad range of topics, including: the inextricable links between European and American economies; the importance of the U.S. presidential election in the eyes of Europeans; and anticipation of future cooperation between the U.S. and Germany. 

Leibrecht’s talk is part of “Think Transatlantic,” a program co-sponsored by CENCIA, the Department of Political Science, the German Embassy and GSU’s European Union Studies Program. 

“This lecture will challenge us to think anew about one of America’s closest allies over the last half century,” said William Downs, associate dean for social and behavioral sciences and director of GSU’s EU Studies Program. “Doing so helps place our own ongoing concerns (e.g., economic recovery, security, multiculturalism) in broader comparative perspective, and it allows for reciprocal learning in the face of common challenges.”

Leibrecht is scheduled to give his lecture, “The U.S. and Germany in the 21st Century: Is the Transatlantic Partnership Still Relevant?,” at 1:30 p.m. in the Speaker’s Auditorium. 

“To be able to offer a speaker of this diplomatic significance to the general public is truly an honor and highlights the success of GSU’s collaboration with the German embassy,” said Pearl McHaney, associate dean for fine arts and director of CENCIA.

The lecture is just one of several “Think Transatlantic” events scheduled for the first week in October. 

There will be three German film screenings at the Atlanta Visitors and Convention Bureau, located just off campus in Underground Atlanta. 

A film about acclaimed black lesbian feminist poet and activist Audre Lorde, titled “Audre Lorde—The Berlin Years 1984 to 1992,” has already been fully reserved and will be shown Oct. 1. That same day, there will be a screening of a short film titled Schwarzfahrer (Black Rider).

On Oct. 2, there will be a screening of “Schulze Gets the Blues,” which is about a man whose world is revitalized by Zydeco music after he is forced into retirement from the German salt mines. 

For more information about the full schedule of “Think Transatlantic” events, and to reserve seats, visit: http://www.arts.gsu.edu/Think_Transatlantic.html