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News Service:

Annette Hacker, director,
(515) 294-3720

Office: (515) 294-4777

02-28-08

Contacts:

Olga Mesropova, Russian, East European & Eurasian Studies, (515) 294-7884, olgames@iastate.edu

Dave Gieseke, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, (515) 294-7742, dgieseke@iastate.edu

Mike Ferlazzo, News Service, (515) 294-8986, ferlazzo@iastate.edu

ISU to host roundtable on Kosovo, Serbian unrest on Monday, March 3

AMES, Iowa -- It's been hard for many Americans to understand what exactly led to the violence last week that resulted in mob attacks on the United States and other foreign embassies in Serbia, and looting of Western-owned banks and shops there. But a roundtable discussion on Monday, March 3, at Iowa State University may make it a bit clearer for some Iowans.

Monday's free, public "Roundtable on the Status of Kosovo and Metohija" will take place at 5 p.m. in Room 3150 of ISU's Beardshear Hall. The panel will feature Jetmir Likaj, an instructor in the Department of Banking and Finance, Faculty of Economics at the University of Pristina, Kosovo; Biljana Vukcevic, an instructor in the Department of Humanities, Faculty of Medicine at the University of Belgrade, Serbia; and Slavica Stamatovic, an instructor, Faculty of Architecture, University of Montenegro.

Sponsored by the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences' Russian, East European, and Eurasian Studies (REEES) Program, the roundtable should provide more insight into a series of events in Serbia that led to last week's wave of anti-Western violence -- one being Kosovo's declaration of secession from the country back on Feb. 17, which received U.S. support. REEES Director Olga Mesropova, an assistant professor of Russian at ISU, will moderate the discussion.

"I'm quite curious to see what my panelists have to say about the situation there right now, since all three are from the region but have very different positions," said Mesropova, who grew up in the former Soviet Union and has watched the cultural change in Russia.

"It's a small country (Kosovo) of some two million people, and yet it's changing the map of Europe in a significant way," she said. "It has profound worldwide implications for several major world powers, including China, the European Union, and Russia. All of them have their eyes on Kosovo because they see some possible similarities between Kosovo and what might happen in other regions -- for example, the conflict between China and Taiwan, or the separatist movements in Chechnya in Russia or the Basque region of Spain."

The panelists are three of the five scholars from Eurasia and Eastern Europe who are spending the spring semester at Iowa State as part of a U.S. Department of State's Junior Faculty Development Program (JFDP), which allows newer faculty members in humanities and social sciences an opportunity to attend classes at American universities and collaborate with established scholars. This semester marks the fifth consecutive year that ISU's Department of World Languages and Cultures has been selected as a JFDP host institution, resulting in 18 scholars studying at Iowa State.

Refreshments will be provided at Monday's roundtable.

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Olga

Olga Mesropova

Quick look

The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences' Russian, East European, and Eurasian Studies Program will host a "Roundtable on the Status of Kosovo and Metohija" on Monday, March 3, at 5 p.m. in Room 3150 of ISU's Beardshear Hall. The panel will feature three faculty members from Kosovo, Serbia and Montenegro respectively who are visiting Iowa State this semester as part of a U.S. Department of State's Junior Faculty Development Program.

Quote

"It (Kosovo) has profound worldwide implications for several major world powers, including China, the European Union, and Russia. All of them have their eyes on Kosovo because they see some possible similarities between Kosovo and what might happen in other regions -- for example, the conflict between China and Taiwan, or the separatist movements in Chechnya in Russia or the Basque region of Spain."

Olga Mesropova, REEES director and assistant professor of Russian at ISU, who will moderate the roundtable.