Dr. Eleanor Reeds moderates a discussion of the novel "The Wall Jumper" by Pete Schneider

Conference: “The End of the Cold War… or is it?”

The Berlin Wall fell on Nov. 9, 1989, with this last week being the 30th anniversary of the notably historical event. To commemorate not only our own country’s history, but events that shook the entire world, Hastings College hosted six events to make up “The End of the Cold War… or is it?” conference. The week-long conference was presented by the Pushkin Institute for the Study of Russian Language and Culture, the Political Science and International Relations program and the Department of History, Religion and Philosophy.

Five events occurred earlier this week with the final event held this evening in Morrison-Reeves Science Center Room 219 at 7:30 p.m.

The opening event was held on Nov. 9 in McCormick Hall. The conference opening included an exhibition of images from the Cold War and the fall of the Berlin Wall.

On Nov. 11, two events were held. For the first event at 8 a.m., HC students held a Skype conversation with college students in Russia at Pyatigorsk State University. Students discussed changes in both Russia and the United States since the end of the Cold War. That evening, Dr. Eleanor Reeds, associate professor of English, moderated a discussion of the novel “The Wall Jumper” by 
Pete Schneider.

On Tuesday, Dr. Patricia Oman, associate professor of English, moderated another discussion for students, faculty and staff on the Netflix series “The Same Sky.” HC showed episodes in the Pushkin Institute at 8 p.m. on Nov. 7, 8 and 9, in order to make the discussion topics as accessible to students as they could.

“It’s interesting to see the way that we reinterpret history. Russia is such a large part of global world culture,” Oman said. “One thing we learned recently in popular culture is that the Cold War has continued in some ways, and that those tensions and potential conflicts are still in the background. So, I think it’s good to have some historical awareness to realize that our present moment is informed by so many threads reaching back.”

Events were aimed mostly towards HC students, faculty and staff, but also included two lectures open to the public.

“This event embodies what college should be like for academic students,” said Junior Rachel Schmalz, history major. “It should involve sitting around with other students and professors deliberately talking about important events through different mediums. Without events like this, I am not sure students will be able to get a well-rounded, universal education.”

The first lecture, “The End of the Cold War, or Is It? One Congressman’s Perspective,” was given by the Honorable Doug Bereuter, a former representative from Nebraska. Bereuter represented Nebraska’s first Congressional District for 26 years and was heavily involved in foreign affairs during his congressional career. The lecture was held in the Wilson Auditorium on Nov. 13, at 6 p.m. A reception for the congressman followed 
the lecture.

Dr. Adan Seipp, Professor of History at Texas A&M University, will give his speech “‘We Have to Pay the Price’: American Garrison Towns in Germany after 1989” tonight. He will be discussing the effects of the fall of the Berlin Wall for towns that had hosted American troops throughout the war.