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Herrmann to give keynote address at 2024 Midwest Slavic Conference

March 27, 2024

Herrmann to give keynote address at 2024 Midwest Slavic Conference

Photo of Rick Herrmann with repeating text behind him that says Mershon Center

The Mershon Center’s Rick Herrmann speaks on “Cold War: Then and Now” as the keynote address of the Midwest Slavic Conference on Friday, April 5th from 7pm to 8:30pm at the Faculty Club. The larger conference gathers over 250 national and international attendees to discuss the long-term impact of Cold War tensions across Eastern Europe and Eurasia. Registration for the Conference is required to attend. 

Herrmann will deliver a keynote address at the Midwest Slavic Conference titled "Cold War: Then and Now." In his address, Dr. Herrmann will explore the historical emergence of the Cold War from the transition of empires to nations, ideological contests over governance, and international resistance to these changes. He will delve into the differing scholarly interpretations of the Cold War's conclusion, highlighting the debate between attributing it to a shift in power dynamics or the decisive actions of leaders like Mikhail Gorbachev.

Dr. Herrmann will critique the persistence of competing perspectives within the scholarly community, as identified by Theodore Gerber in his 2023 study, emphasizing the challenges in updating preconceptions and the limitations inherent in history-based research. He will discuss the emergence of the Twenty-First Century Cold War, driven by divergent expectations of global convergence versus a clash of civilizations, and Russia's current rejection of such convergence in favor of asserting its own world order.

Concluding his presentation, Dr. Herrmann will not dwell on personal hopes or what should happen but will instead make predictions about future developments in Ukraine, Russia, the East, and the anticipated directions of U.S. and NATO policy. Through these predictions, he aims to set expectations that will serve as learning points as history continues to unfold, contributing to a deeper understanding of international relations and conflict resolution.

Learn more about the 2024 Midwest Slavic Conference and Keynote Address