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The Nines Conference:

Friday, December 4, 2009
5:00 AM
Rackham Assembly Hall and Henderson Room, Michigan league

Brinks, Cusps, and Perceptions of Possibility—from 1789-2009

Thursday, December 3, 7:00 pm – 4th floor Rackham Amphitheater
Keynote lecture by James Millward, professor of history, Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service, Georgetown University. "China as Eurasian Subcontinent: Perspectives on the Past and Future"
6:00pm, Reception to meet the speaker – 4th floor Rackham Assembly Hall

Conference: Friday, December 4, 9:00 am-4:30 pm

Saturday, December 5, 9:30 am-12:30 pm, Henderson Room, Michigan League

The 20th anniversary of 1989 stimulates reflections on the momentous events from Germany to China that promised change in the world. But the end of other decades—1979 in Iran and Afghanistan, the financial crisis in 1929, and in exemplary ways, 1789 in France—inspire similar commemorative reconsiderations. These and other “nines” include moments of transition and change, possibility and crisis. While the promise of democracy might frame our reflections on 1989, it is not enough to help us appreciate how other radical transformations were conceived or experienced, and indeed, what the iconic “1989” also embodied beyond democracy’s extension. We need to better understand how world-historic events shape the imagination, and how visions of the world and its perceived trajectories can shape the course of events.

Please visit to view the schedule and to access conference papers.

In order to fully participate in panel discussions, please read the papers prior to the conference.