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WCEE Lecture. Refugee Crises in Contemporary Europe, From the English Channel to the Polish-Belarusian Border

John A. Young, Senior Staff Development Officer, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees; Geneviève Zubrzycki, professor of sociology, WCEE director, U-M
Friday, February 18, 2022
12:00-1:20 PM
John A. Young, Senior Staff Development Officer at the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), joins Genevieve Zubrzycki, professor of sociology at the University of Michigan and director of the Weiser Center for Europe and Eurasia, in a discussion exploring the current crisis taking place in the corner of Europe where the fictional shtetl of Anatevka was set, as well as concurrent crises, showing the ongoing relevance of a key theme of Fiddler on the Roof, that of people forced from their home into desperate circumstances.

John A. Young (BA Russian/REES ‘86, JD ‘90) has devoted most of his career to refugee protection in Europe and the Middle East. Based mainly with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) since 1994, he also worked five years at the European Commission in pre-accession projects on law and justice, human rights, and minorities. Throughout his career, John has been engaged in refugee status determination, resettlement, asylum-building, migration management, and the identification and response to vulnerable persons. While in Brussels he prepared UNHCR's legal submissions for ECHR in Strasbourg, and the Court of Justice, and worked with the European Parliament and Commission on EU Asylum legislation. Presently he is the Head of the UNHCR Protection Learning Unit in Budapest. He has also served in Russia, Switzerland, Serbia, and Slovakia, with missions to Kenya, Uganda, Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Georgia.

Geneviève Zubrzycki is professor of sociology and director of the Weiser Center for Europe and Eurasia. Zubrzycki is a comparative-historical and cultural sociologist who studies national identity and religion, collective memory and national mythology, and the contested place of religious symbols in the public sphere.

Registration for this webinar is required at

If there is anything we can do to make this event accessible to you, please contact us at Please be aware that advance notice is necessary as some accommodations may require more time for the university to arrange.
Building: Off Campus Location
Location: Virtual
Event Type: Lecture / Discussion
Tags: European, Human Rights, International, Public Policy, Sociology, Theater
Source: Happening @ Michigan from Weiser Center for Europe and Eurasia, University Musical Society*, Judaic Studies, Center for European Studies, International Institute, Center for Russian, East European, and Eurasian Studies, Copernicus Center for Polish Studies, Frankel Center for Judaic Studies