You are here: Home / About BELGIUM

About BELGIUM

Lecture series about different aspects of Belgium. Learn more about your host country!

Four lectures by renowned Belgians. Four Tuesdays to whet your appetite for knowledge. Registration is not mandatory, but for organisational reasons we would like you to to do so anyway. Admission is free.*

 

Spring 2017

 

“Famous Belgians: What the world owes to Belgium. (And why it is a lot more than chocolate)” by VRT journalist Tim Pauwels
  • Auditorium Jean Monnet, Parkstraat 51
  • Tuesday 7 March, 8:00-10:00 pm
  • Admission is free
  • Register here


Tim Pauwels brings a lecture on famous Belgians and their achievements. Pauwels (1971) is a Flemish political journalist. He has worked at the public television newsroom (VRT) since 1997. He is a KU Leuven alumnus: he graduated from the Faculty of Arts as a Master of Linguistics and Literature and took a degree in International Relations.

Link to the English VRT-news: click here - Presentation is not available

 

"Language and the Future of the Belgians" by professor Philippe Van Parijs
  • Auditorium Jean Monnet, Parkstraat 51
  • Tuesday 14 March, 8:30-10pm
  • Admission is free
  • Register here
     

Philippe Van Parijs is a professor at the UCL, the Université catholique de Louvain (Hoover Chair of Economic and Social Ethics), a special guest professor at the University of Leuven and a Rober Schuman Fellow at the European University Institute. He previously taught at Harvard University and the University of Oxford. He is the coordinator of the Marnix Plan for a Multilingual Brussels and (with Paul De Grauwe) of the Re-Bel initiative (“Rethinking Belgium’s institutions in the European context”). His most recent books include Linguistic Justice for Europe and for the World (Oxford UP, 2011), Just Democracy (ECPR, 2011) and Basic Income. A radical proposal for a free society and a sane economy (Harvard UP, 2017, with Y. Vanderborght).
Language and the future of Belgium
Belgium was created, in 1830, as an officially monolingual Francophone country. Over the next century and a half, Dutch gradually gained a status equal to French — and more. This paved the way to the transformation of Belgium into a federal state in the 1990s, with language a central factor both in the structuring of the federation and in the conflicts federalization did not solve. How will Belgium's linguistic division affect its future? Indeed, is it compatible with Belgium having a future?

 

“Belpop Bonanza, the Story of Belgian Pop Music” by Jan Delvaux and DJ Bobby Ewing
  • Auditorium Jean Monnet, Parkstraat 51
  • Tuesday 28 March, 8:30-10pm
  • Admission is free
  • Register here
     

50 years of Belgian music history in a nutshell: captivating stories, films and music on the Belgian music scene. The biggest punk hit, the tune of Sesame Street, the sound of Black Sabbath and ZZ Top, that’s us. But also the most popular Christmas tune in Japan, the Chicken song, and a lot of very bad English, that’s us too. Dance music? Front 242 and Telex were crucial for the development of electronic music. Technotronic mixed house music with hip-hop and produced the universal hit ‘Pump Up The Jam’. 2 Many DJ’s managed to anihilate the divide between rock and dance.

Jan Delvaux and Jimmy Dewit are the biggest fans of Belgian music. Two enthousiastic ‘encyclopedians’ who will introduce you to the best, the weirdest and the most charming artists, songs and stories.They have toured Belgian theatres with several theatre shows on the subject. Not a boring cerebral lecture, but an entertaining stand-up evening that feels like a good rockumentary.

 

Fall 2016

“Belgian politics: a brief history and the current state of affairs” by VRT journalist Tim Pauwels
  • Auditorium Jean Monnet, Parkstraat 51
  • Tuesday 25 October, 8:00-10:30 pm
  • Registration finished

Tim Pauwels brings a lecture on “Belgian politics: a brief history and the current state of affairs”. Pauwels (1971) is a Flemish political journalist. He has worked at the public television newsroom (VRT) since 1997. He is a KU Leuven alumnus: he graduated from the Faculty of Arts as a Master of Linguistics and Literature and took a degree in International Relations.

Link to the English VRT-news: click here

Presentation is not available

 

"At the heart of Europe? Belgium and the EU" by professor Steven Van Hecke
  • Auditorium Jean Monnet, Parkstraat 51
  • Monday 7 November, 8:30-10pm
  • Registration finished

One of the founding members and with Brussels as its actual capital, Belgium is probably the most pro-EU country. However, there was a time before and there might be a time after. With the Flemish nationalists being the strongest political force, Euroscepticism seems also to be on the rise in the heart of Europe. In times of crisis, paradoxically, the EU might need more than ever a pro-EU member state like Belgium.

 

“Belgian Comics: the international success of drawn stories from a small country” by professor Gert Meesters
  • Auditorium Jean Monnet, Parkstraat 51
  • Tuesday 15 November, 8:30-10pm
  • Registration finished

Gert Meesters is a professor of Dutch language and culture at the University of Lille 3, France, and a comics critic for the Flemish news weekly Knack. Comics have been an important part of Belgian culture ever since Hergé started his Tintin stories in 1929. This lecture will start with an overview of the medium's local history and key elements in Belgium's bloom period, but the aim is also to show the wealth and the diversity of contemporary Belgian comics and graphic novels that have little in common with The Smurfs and Lucky Luke.

 

“The Belgian Funny Bone” by stand-up comedian Nigel Williams (UK)
  • Auditorium Max Weber, Parkstraat 51
  • Tuesday 22 November, 8:30-10pm
  • Registration finished

Nigel Williams has been performing stand-up comedy since 1998. British born but now residing in Belgium Nigel performs in both Dutch and English. He is a regular guest on TV and Radio. His stand-up is energetic and full of audience banter. He is the author of ‘Had ik maar een vak geleerd’, an autobiography with a sharp analysis of his country of origin, the UK, and his adopted country Belgium.