A Special Thank You

The Nanjing Symposium was a huge success. We would like to thank everyone who took the time to come out and honor the memories of Minnie Vautrin and Iris Chang, our two UIUC alumnae, and all those affected by this tragic event in history. We are also especially grateful for our guest speakers: John P. William, Consul Shen Qiwen, Shau-Jin Chang, Ying-Ying Chang, Poshek Fu, Hua-Ling Hu, and Suping Lu. This symposium would not have been such an amazing discussion without all of you. We greatly appreciate the time you took to share your experience and knowledge with all of us.


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

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.

Boren Scholarship

The Boren Undergraduate Scholarship is for freshman through seniors who are U.S. citizens. The Boren provides students up to $20,000 to study abroad in Africa, Asia, Central and Eastern Europe, Latin America, and the Middle East. The applicant should have a broad interest in national security.

Boren Scholars represent a vital pool of highly motivated individuals who wish to work in the federal national security arena. In exchange for funding, Boren Scholars commit to working in the federal government for at least one year after graduation.


Deadline: January 16th, 2018 at noon.

For more about Boren Undergraduate Scholarships click here.

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.

Trita Parsi on Iran

Trita Parsi was keynote speaker at our September 29 symposium, Shifting Iran-US Relations. He is the author of Losing an Enemy: Obama, Iran, and the Triumph of Diplomacy and president of the National Iranian American Council.

On November 30, he wrote an article with Pennsylvania Representative Ryan Costello titled Cotton, Pompeo And Trump Are A Recipe For War With Iran in the Huffington Post.

“The New York Times and Washington Post have now confirmed what the National Interest reported last week: Trump is planning to oust Rex Tillerson and replace him with Mike Pompeo while giving Pompeo’s CIA Director job to uber hawk Sen. Tom Cotton. If Trump does his neoconization of his administration, the prospects of the Iran Nuclear Deal surviving will plummet and the risk of war with Iran will increased massively.” – Trita Parsi