On Sunday evening, as the results in the first round of the French presidential election became known, there was – despite the fact that Marine Le Pen, the head of the Front National, made it to the second round on May 7 – a collective sigh of relief among many in France and throughout Europe: The polls turned out to be right; Le Pen would face Emmanuel Macron, a 39-year-old progressive centrist, in the second round rather than Jean-Luc Mélenchon, a hard left candidate who, like Le Pen, advocated exit from the eurozone and the EU. Macron won 24 percent of the vote, Le Pen 21.3 percent, and Mélenchon 19.6...

As Britain exits from the European Union, other member states are working to strengthen it. The Visegrad Group (V4), a cultural and political alliance of four central European nations (the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia), has long pushed for a stronger EU and now plays a role in ensuring the strength and security of Europe. As part of the Challenges to Security and Stability in Central and Eastern Europe Roundtable series, the European Studies Council hosted a panel on April 20 to address the “Visegrad Group as a factor of stability in Central and Eastern Europe.” (...

Ecological conservation in China’s northwest brings to light questions about space and power in China. As part of the 57th Annual Edward H. Hume Memorial Lecture that took place on April 13, the Council on East Asian Studies at the MacMillan Center hosted You-Tien Hsing, Pamela P. Fong and Family Distinguished Chair in China Studies, University of California, Berkeley, who spoke on “Surviving Conservation: Herders and Farmers in China’s Northwest.” In her lecture, Hsing explored effects of a series of “anti-desertification” campaigns launched by the Chinese government since the early 2000s.

Hsing began by noting...

During the polarizing weekend that preceded Turkey’s constitutional referendum on April 16, the MacMillan Center, in conjunction with the Department of Near Eastern Languages & Civilizations, hosted an international symposium on the topic of “Recent Perspectives of Ceremonies, Rituals, and Festivals in the Ottoman World” from April 13 to 15 that included three renowned scholars in the field of Ottoman studies: Suraiya Faroqhi (Istanbul Bilgi University), Jane Hathaway (Ohio State University) and Leslie Peirce (New York University).

Alan Mikhail (Yale University) gave the welcome speech. The first panel...

Wendy S. Hesford, a Professor of English at the Ohio State University, has spent this academic year as a Human Trafficking and Modern Day Slavery Interdisciplinary Fellow at the Gilder Lehrman Center for the Study of Slavery, Resistance, and Abolition at the MacMillan Center. While at Yale, she has been working on her research project “Enslaved Girlhoods: Human Trafficking Law, Literature, and Abolitionist Rhetoric,” which is part of her forthcoming book, Exceptional Rhetorics: Regulating Childhood and Children’s Rights. During the fall semester, she taught an undergraduate seminar on feminist perspectives on...