Best Wishes to Kathy!

Our Office Manager, Kathy Anderson-Conner, retired on February 28th! After over ten years of working in the program, she has touched the lives of so many students who have pursued the certificate. All of us here at ACDIS cannot express how sad we are to see her go, as she was the heart and soul of our office. However, we know that her retirement is well-deserved, and we wish her the best as she now gets to enjoy endless amounts of freedom and relaxation!

Alumna Leah Matchett named Knight-Hennessy Scholar!

Leah graduated from UIUC with a double major in Global Studies and Geology, and she was a founding member of our ACDIS Security Group. She is currently a Marshall Scholar studying International Relations at the University of Oxford, and now has the opportunity to pursue her Ph.D. in Political Science at Stanford thanks to the newly established Knight-Hennessy Scholar program. We’re so proud of everything she has accomplished so far, and we wish her all the best of luck in pursuing her future goals!!

For further information on what Leah has done, check out this article!

Photo taken by Javier Flores


A Special Thank You

The Nanjing Symposium was very successful! We would like to thank everyone who took the time to attend the symposium and to honor the memory of UIUC alumnae Minnie Vautrin and Iris Chang. We were honored to welcome members of the Vautrin and Chang families at the symposium. We are especially grateful to our guest speakers: Provost John Wilkin, Vice Consul Han Li, Poshek Fu, Suping Lu, Jinhee Lee, Hua-Ling Hu, Shau-Jin Chang and Ying-Ying Chang. We thank Adele Suslick and Elizabeth Majerus for their readings from Iris Chang’s work and Minnie Vautrin’s diary and the Uni High Madrigal Choir under the leadership of Richard Murphy for its performance.


ICAN Ban Nuclear Weapons

In October of 2017 the Nobel Peace Prize was awarded to the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN), “for its work to draw attention to the catastrophic humanitarian consequences of any use of nuclear weapons and for its ground-breaking efforts to achieve a treaty-based prohibition of such weapons”. Jürgen Scheffran, Professor of Geography at the University of Hamburg and former Senior Research Scientist at ACDIS (2004–2009), contributed the following commentary.

On September 20, 2017, the United Nations opened for a treaty to ban nuclear weapons that will enter into force after ratification by 50 countries. After decades of arms races and little or no recent progress on nuclear disarmament, many countries no longer want to accept the special status of the nuclear weapon states. The treaty bans the last weapon of mass destruction, following the ban on biological and chemical weapons. However, the treaty does not implement the disarmament process to the nuclear-weapon-free world, and the nuclear-weapon states and their allies are not yet involved.

Read more here

For more commentaries click here


Events & Announcements

Red Lines and Chlorine Weapon Use in Syria

Professor Lesley Wexler Writes on Chlorine Gas Attacks in Syria

During World War I, use of chlorine gas a weapon violated prohibitions of the 1899 and 1907 Hague Conventions on use of poison weapons. Use of chlorine gas as a weapon is banned by the 1997 Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC). Syria acceded to the CWC in 2013 but has since been accused of chlorine gas attacks. Has prospect of attacks on their homelands by much smaller smuggled amounts of potent nerve gas agents like sarin led some of the permanent members of the UN Security council to question whether a “red line” against poison gas attacks by Syria also applies to chlorine gas?  In a 20 February 2018 commentary, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign law professor Lesley Wexler asks how seriously the use of chlorine gas as a violation of the Chemical Weapons Convention is being taken.

Seeking Student Associates for Internship Opportunity


The Project on Managing the Atom (MTA) at the Harvard Kennedy School seeks Student Associates for the Summer of 2018. These internships provide opportunities for undergraduate or graduate students to meet experts in nuclear policy, attend lectures and seminars, and assist MTA project faculty, staff, and fellows with their research. MTA will provide a modest hourly wage or academic credit for the internship.

The MTA project conducts and disseminates policy-relevant research on a variety of topics:

  • Reducing the risk of nuclear and radiological terrorism
  • Stopping the spread of nuclear weapons
  • Reducing the dangers of existing nuclear stockpiles
  • Lowering the barriers to the safe, secure, and peaceful use of nuclear energy

The project supports an international group of pre- and post-doctoral fellows and other experts working on these issues.

MTA Student Associates provide research assistance for faculty, fellows, and staff, and occasionally help with other tasks, such as coordinating seminars and events, or helping with website and database maintenance. This internship is a great opportunity to learn more about nuclear policy issues, while getting hands-on experience in both research and administrative work. Summer interns typically work with the MTA project for a 10 week period between mid-June and late August for up to 35 hours per week. Some flexibility is possible regarding start and end dates, and hours per week.

To download an application, please visit our website. The deadline for applications is March 2, 2018.

To apply or request further information on the internship, please contact Casey Campbell, the Program Assistant to the MTA Project, at .edu.


The Global Middle East

This workshop aims to probe what globalization really means in today’s Middle East, and how it is reflected in movements, peoples, cultures, art forms, and networks. The aim is to show how groups, ideas, and practices that originated in the region are developing not in isolation, but the indirect and complex connection with other cultural and socio-economic geographies. The conference aims to scrutinize the prevailing view of the Middle East as an inward-looking and insular cultural unit. It will highlight the globality of the region by examining the trans-local flows and formations in the domains of ideas, arts, science, culture, economy, politics, and movement of people.

For the Program and the full schedule of events click here



The Forgotten Holocaust of World War II

In honor of two U of I alumnae, ACDIS will host a public symposium on the 80th Anniversary of World-War-II’s Nanjing Massacre. Missionary and humanitarian Minnie Vautrin (Illinois class of 1912) rescued over 10,000 Chinese women from rape during the massacre. And Iris Chang (Illinois Class of 1989) later described these events in her acclaimed book, The Rape of Nanjing. Join Iris Chang’s parents and Minnie Vautrin’s family to recall the events of December 1937, this Saturday, December 16, starting at 9:30am in the Levis Faculty Center.

For the program and more information click here. Free parking at Krannert Center for the Performing Arts.

Shifting Iran-US Relations

For more information on the symposium, click here.

On September 29, 2017 ACDIS and the Center for South Asian and Middle Eastern Studies (CSAMES) hosted the symposium, “Shifting Iran-US Relations: Return to Status Quo Ante or New Alignments in the Middle East Region?Speakers included Asef Bayat, Shireen Hunter, Kevan Harris, Frederick Lamb, Matthias Grosse Perdekamp, and Trita Parsi, Founder and President of the National Iranian American Council, who gave the the keynote speech.

Library Guide on Arms Control, Domestic & International Security

Need help researching topics in security? Use the library as a resource!

The Arms Control Collection consists of indexes, yearbooks, handbooks, bibliographies, monographs and serials dealing with arms control, disarmament, and international security. The collection does not represent all of the library’s holdings on these subjects; additional materials on these subjects are available throughout libraries on campus, and the call numbers listed below will help you find materials on the shelves. In addition, the Library has a large number of electronic (e-) books and journals. E-books can be found in the Online Library Catalog and e-journals can be found in the Online Journals & Databases.