Studium Generale

Welcome at Studium Generale! We are part of the Student Services Centre, a department of Maastricht University.  We offer a programme of lectures, debateslecture series and the PAS-festival. Below you will find the programme overview.

Programme overview

Film Analysis – Anatomy of Film

Lecture Series
Start Tuesday 27 February, 7.30 pm
Karel Deburchgrave
Film Critic, Hasselt (B)

Film analysis is the process by which a film is analysed in terms of visuals, sound, editing and narration. Analysing film helps us understand the effectiveness of filmmakers’ intentions and messages, as well as our own interpretations of the final visual product.


Charlie Chaplin

18th Century Philosophy: Intellectual Heroes and Key Themes

Lecture Series
Start Monday 5 March, 7.30 pm 
René Gabriëls, PhD
Assistant Professor of Philosophy, UM

In the Netherlands, right-wing intellectuals and politicians tend to present themselves as defenders of the Enlightenment. They see the achievements of the ‘century of reason’ being threatened by Islam.




Against Hate

Monday 5 March, 8 pm
Carolin Emcke
German Journalist and Author, Berlin

Racism, fanaticism, anti-democratic sentiment – our increasingly polarised world is dominated by a type of thinking that questions the positions of others, but never its own. The “others” are not perceived as individuals but as members of a group that must be rejected.


emke carolin

Neanderthal Evolution, Biology and Extinction

Eugene Dubois Lecture
Tuesday 6 March, 8 pm
Prof. Katerina Harvati
Professor of Paleoanthropology, Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen

Neanderthals were our closest relatives, a sister species to Homo sapiens, that lived in Eurasia from ca. 400.000 to shortly after 40.000 years ago. This lecture will review the anatomy, behaviour and biology of these Pleistocene humans.



Evolution of Human Biology and Behavior

Lecture Series
Wednesday 7 en Thursday 8 March, 4.30 and 7.30 pm
Prof. Katerina Harvati
Professor of Paleoanthropology, Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen

This series will focus on the paleobiology of hominins, the taxonomic tribe of the subfamily Homininae to which humans belong. Harvati will uncover and explore many interesting aspects of primate and human evolution and present the results of her fieldwork in Europe and Africa.



Why Europe must Become a Republic

Tuesday 13 March, 8 pm
Prof. Ulrike Guérot
Professor of European Policy and the Study of Democracy, Donau-Universiät Krems, Austria

Europe is in the midst of its deepest, perhaps life-threatening crisis. Ulrike Guérot offers a fresh, cultural and comprehensive look at Europe, the crisis of the EU and how the continent could and should be in the 21st century.


Portrait of Prof. Ulrike  Guérot

The Future of Syria and the Syrian Refugees

Debate Cafe
Monday 19 March, 8 pm
Several speakers

Will the Syrian Civil War finally end, now that ISIS has been defeated? Will it bring us closer to a political solution? In this Debate Café, we will discuss what the post-conflict phase of Syria will look like. What possible future scenarios await the country?



The Middle East Peace Process

Tuesday 10 April, 8 pm
Robert Serry
Former United Nations Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, and the UN Secretary-General’s Representative to the Palestine Liberation Organization and the Palestinian Authority

Seventy years after UN Partition resolution 181, fifty years after Security Council resolution 242, and after President Trump’s announcement to recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, is it still realistic today to expect the Israeli-Palestinian conflict to be resolved through a two-state solution?


Robert Serry at UN

New Economic Thinking: Towards a Sustainable World

Lecture Series
Start Wednesday 11 April, 7.30 pm
Several speakers

There is a strong believe that exponential growth will lead to a better world. How long can we keep on going when it is clear that ecological and social limits have been reached? In this lecture series, we'll look at alternatives and address new economic thinking.


new economic thinking

A Life in Brain Surgery

Monday 16 April, 8 pm
Henry Marsh
Neurosurgeon and award winning author

There is a popular misconception that brain surgery is technically very difficult – but it isn’t. It’s no more difficult than any other branch of surgery. What is difficult is that it is very dangerous, and therefore the decision-making is difficult.


Book cover book admissions by Henry Marsh

Rise of Antidepressants Use: Treating Symptoms instead of Causes?

Debate Cafe
Tuesday 17 April, 8 pm
Several speakers

Data from the National Center for Health Statistics has shown that antidepressant use in the US increased from about 8% in 1999-2002 to 13% in 2011-2014. This disturbing upward trend is seen worldwide. In this debate, we look at the pros and cons of the use of antidepressants and try to find an answer to what has led to the rise.



The Marshall Plan and Today’s Transatlantic Relations

Lecture & interview
Monday 23 April, 8 pm
Karen Donfried
President of the German Marshall Fund of the United States, Washington DC
Prof. Mathieu Segers
Professor of Contemporary European History and European Integration, UM

The transatlantic partnership, a driving force behind European integration, has come under pressure from both sides of the Atlantic. With 2018 marking the 70th anniversary since the start of Marshall Aid, there is an excellent opportunity to reflect on the past and present of US-EU relations.


The Marshall Plan

The Crime of Complicity: The Bystanders from the Holocaust to Today

Tuesday 24 April, 8 pm
Amos N. Guiora
Professor of Law, Un. of Utah

Guiora will discuss these important and timely questions: if you are a bystander and witness a crime, should intervention to prevent that crime be a legal obligation? Or is moral responsibility enough?



What Happened to Me During World War II

4 May Lecture
Friday 4 May, 8.30 pm
Carla Josephus Jitta
Holocaust survivor

In 1944, during the Second World War, Carla Josephus Jitta (1931) was transported from the Dutch transit camp Westerbork to the ghetto Theresienstadt (Czechoslovakia). In this lecture she will tell how she managed to survive and how she was liberated in a spectacular way, months before the war ended.



Open Society’s New Enemies and the Future of Europe

Shuman Lecture
Monday 7 May, 8 pm
Michael Ignatieff
President and Rector of the Central European University, Budapest

Open society was Karl Popper’s vision of the kind of free society Europe should build from the ruins after 1945. In this lecture, Michael Ignatieff reflects on the open society ideal and what needs to be done — and believed — in order to save it in Europe. 



Taking Investment in Education Seriously

Joan Muysken Lecture
Tuesday 15 May, 8 pm
Caroline Hoxby
Prof. of Economics, Stanford University

In this lecture, Hoxy explores what we learn from credible estimates of the returns to higher education and argue that single-crossing — higher aptitude people earning a greater return to any marginal increase in educational resources — is the central implication of the evidence.