VALPARAISO | A scholar of modern European history will visit Valparaiso University Oct. 25-26 to discuss Europe's future place in world affairs as part of the Phi Beta Kappa Visiting Scholars program.
James J. Sheehan, Dickason professor in the humanities at Stanford University, will speak on "Why the European Union Will Not Become a Superpower" at 6:30 p.m. Oct. 25 in the Valparaiso Union on campus.
The Phi Beta Kappa Visiting Scholar Lecture is free and open to the public.
On Oct. 26, Sheehan will participate with Valparaiso faculty in a panel discussion on problems facing the modern nation state at 3 p.m. in the Kade-Duesenberg German House and Cultural Center on campus. The panel discussion is open to the public and will be followed by a reception.
Joining Sheehan on the panel are Dr. Kevin Ostoyich, an assistant professor of history whose scholarship has focused on German history from the 19th century to the present; Jon Kilpinen, dean of Valparaiso's College of Arts and Sciences and an expert on American historical geography, Europe and political geography; and Matthew Lundin, a Lilly Fellow and lecturer in humanities and history who has explored the history of early modern Europe.
Also as part of Sheehan's visit to Valparaiso, he will meet with students enrolled in the history courses "Imperial Germany" and "Century of Violence," and have lunch with a small group of students pursuing studies in European history.
Sheehan's research interests include modern European history, war and the European state, and Germany in the 19th and 20th centuries. He is writing a book about war and the European state during the 20th century and is author of four books, most recently "Museums in the German Art World: From the End of the Old Regime to the Rise of Modernism."
He is a past president of the American Historical Association and has won numerous grants and awards, including the prestigious Officer's Cross of the German Order of Merit. Sheehan is a senior fellow at the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies.
The visit is sponsored by Valparaiso's Phi Beta Kappa chapter as part of the honor society's visiting scholars program, which brings distinguished scholars to universities with a chapter.
Valparaiso's chapter of the Phi Beta Kappa Society, the nation's oldest and most prestigious academic honor society, was installed in 2004. Phi Beta Kappa recognizes and encourages excellence in liberal learning, and fewer than 10 percent of the nation's colleges and universities have a chapter.