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BHSU to host 20th annual Black Hills Research Symposium; Keynote to address Fascist Colonialism

Author: BHSU Communications/Wednesday, March 14, 2018/Categories: Events, Students, Academic Affairs, College of Business and Natural Sciences, College of Education and Behavioral Sciences, College of Liberal Arts, Community, Events, Faculty, Staff, Research Symposium

Two decades of student research will be celebrated at the 20th annual Black Hills Research Symposium at the Black Hills State University March 20-22 in Spearfish. Nearly 30 undergraduate students from throughout the Black Hills will attend the Symposium and present their research through posters and oral presentations.

Dr. Eric S. Roubinek, assistant professor of history at the University of North Carolina Asheville, will present the Symposium’s keynote address Thursday, March 22 at 2 p.m. in Meier Hall.

As a researcher himself, Roubinek looks forward to sharing his scholarly work with the Black Hills community. His presentation “Fascism, Race, and Empire” will focus on his research on fascist colonialism.

“I’ve always been interested in German history during the inter-war years (1919-1938) as a time of great instability. There was great potential for the rise of Nazi Germany but also great potential that history could’ve gone in a different direction. That potential for change is what I’ve always found deeply interesting,” said Roubinek.

Adding the continent of Africa to the equation, Roubinek’s research aims to understand fascism, a form of government which is a type of one-party dictatorship, as a transnational movement. Roubinek is studying the collaboration between Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy in planning an African empire.

While one might expect any discussion of fascism to include Benito Mussolini or Adolf Hitler, Roubinek says his lecture will focus more on the “nobodys.”

“The ‘nobodys’ who are part of the state apparatus but not necessarily known by name are fundamentally important to how we understand fascist regimes,” said Roubinek.

Roubinek says he hopes those attending the keynote address will have a better understanding of fascism in its time and place, rather than through the loose language used in our contemporary landscape.

At the University of North Carolina Asheville, Roubinek teaches courses on modern Germany, modern Europe, and Africa.

“The study of history is a creative process,” says Roubinek. “History is more than memorizing facts, names, and dates. Rather, the study of history is putting those ideas into your interpretation and understanding of the past.”

All BH Research Symposium events are free and open to the public. Student research projects include topics from biology and chemistry to sustainability and creative writing along with education, business, history and psychology.

The schedule is as follows, all events are open to the public:
Tuesday, March 20
·         Student Research Poster Presentations, all day, BHSU Student Union Lobby
Wednesday, March 21
·         Student Research Oral Presentations, 8 – 11:15 a.m., Trump Room of the BHSU Student Union
·         Student Research Poster Presentations, all day, BHSU Student Union Lobby
·         Poster Session Judging, Question and Answer Session, 3 - 5 p.m. , BHSU Student Union Lobby
Thursday, March 22
·         Student Research Oral Presentations, 8 – 11 a.m., Trump Room of the BHSU Student Union
·         Student Research Poster Presentations, all day, BHSU Student Union Lobby
·         Keynote Address by Dr. Eric S. Roubinek, 2 p.m., Meier Hall

Roubinek completed his Ph.D. at the University of Minnesota in 2014. He is the recipient of numerous research grants and fellowships, including multiple DAAD (German Academic Exchange Service) fellowships and a FLAS (Foreign Language and Area Studies) fellowship from the U.S. Department of Education/Defense. His research interests lie at the intersection of German, cultural, and transnational history. At present he is completing a monograph on the collaboration between Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy in planning an African empire tentatively entitled, Beyond Antisemitism: Race and Nation in Fascist Empire Building. He is co-editor of The Weimar Republic 1918/19 in the German Historical Institute’s German History in Documents and Images and has published in edited-volumes on Nazi Science in Southern Europe and Nazi-Occupied Europe.

For more information on the BH Research Symposium, visit

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