Brevard College Professor To Speak at National World Affairs Conference


Dr. Jordan Kuck, Associate Professor of History, Chair of the Humanities Division, and Director of the Honors Program at Brevard College, will give a spotlight address at the World Affairs Councils of America’s 2023 National Conference on November 16th. His session, “How the War in Ukraine Melted Frozen Conflicts in the Baltic States,” is hosted by the World Affairs Council of Western North Carolina.

Kuck (pronounced “Cook”) is one of three experts to present a Council Spotlight Breakout session at the event. As he explains, this part of the event strives to bring together the business community, the military community and the academic community, with a speaker representing each group.

“For my students, it seems to have made them think about me and the College differently,” said Kuck. “It’s always fun when students see the areas and significance of our deeper scholarship.”

“Although the main focus of Brevard College’s faculty is teaching our students, it does not mean that we give up our research or scholarly pursuits,” commented Dr. Jennifer Frick-Ruppert, Vice President of Academic Affairs and Dean of the Faculty. “Instead, we leverage our scholarship and professional development to enhance student learning in our classrooms. Dr. Kuck is a great example of the high caliber of faculty we attract to Brevard College.”

Dr. Kuck teaches courses in modern European and world history at Brevard College. In particular, his courses focus on Central and Eastern Europe, the Middle East, as well as thematic offerings in world history. Dr. Kuck’s research centers on interwar Latvia and the transnational fascist movement in Europe that emerged between the world wars.

The conference is an annual event that aims to stimulate conversation on global issues in order to support a more informed American public. This year’s theme focuses on a reflection of how society got to where it is today and how or what we can learn from that journey.

“My talk is going to help people understand how the war in Ukraine has upended our understanding of Baltic history,” said Kuck. “Given the diminutive size of the Baltic States, it’s not a story of significance on its own, but if we are analyzing Putin’s gamble, then it is significant in understanding the results of that gamble.”

Kuck brings his deep understanding of Baltic history and connects it with telling moments that may not receive coverage in the international press. He will attempt to update attendees on what has happened since 2022, then put those developments in the context of history, “because when viewed through that lens, Putin’s action against Ukraine have led to some shocking events in the Baltic States.”

“At Brevard College, we strive to promote meaningful conversations and self-driven learning between our students and faculty, and it’s great to see that being recognized through Dr. Kuck’s invitation to speak at this major national conference,” said Frick-Ruppert.