This blog was created as part of the Erasmus Mundus Crossways in Cultural Narratives Masters programme, which is the only one of the EU approved and funded Erasmus Mundus Masters programmes to specialise in traditional humanities with a modern languages background. The Crossways Consortium comprises 6 top-class European universities.

For further information, please check the programme's official website and the universities' websites on the Useful Links section on the left. If you wish to have a specific question answered, please click on Email here and submit your query.

Mundus students, here you will find regular posts regarding the universities of the consortium, tips, activities, events, pictures, etc. Apart from checking it regularly to keep yourself up to date, a good way to use the blog is through the search device. We already have a significant amount of information on some universities of the consortium, so if you want to find information on a specific city, type its name in the search field (top left). You will then see all posts related to that specific city (because each post title contains the city's name in it). You can also type "General" in order to find information concerning everybody.

Friday, 26 September 2008

General: Amendment for dissertation extension request procedure

by Anuradha Choudry  

Just a quick reminder for the 1sst year students who have to submit the dissertation by 20 October. If you want to ask for an extension to 20 December you have to do it by 20 September. Cheryl said that we have to send copies of the letters to the following people:
You should send the letter to both of your supervisors,
to Dr Gustavo SAN ROMAN   gfsr@st-and.ac.uk and
to Dr Henriette PRATZSCH in St Andrews hamp2@st-andrews.ac.uk 

Crossways Representative Elections Result

Dear Crossways Students,

Elections are over and I already have the results with me:

Roberta GREGOLI: 10 votes
Antonio VISELLI: 7 votes

Which means that ROBERTA GREGOLI is the new Crossways Students' Representative for 2008/09!! Congratulations, Roberta!! I hope you enjoy your new position, you learn a lot from it and you have fun with it as well!! Good luck!!

Antonio, thank you very much for your participation! I hope that you continue with your interest in EMA and in the program in general and that you find other ways to participate, for I can assure you that there are many!

So, from now on, Roberta is in charge and I will become the new Alumni's Representative. Roberta, please feel free to contact me anytime if you have any questions!!

To all of you, thank you for your participation!


Lisbon Guide (4 of 9): Where to eat & What to do


An informal guide by & for Erasmus Mundus students 

Collaborators: Alessandra Gallerano

Becky Chen 

Izabela Araújo

Lorenza Tiberi



Portuguese people love to eat out, and considering the average low-cost of a full meal (especially at lunch) it’s not difficult to understand why. Among students the Cantina (University restaurant) is very popular. A full meal costs €2 and includes a piece of bread, a soup, a main dish, and desert. Despite not being top-quality, the Cantina offers Portuguese meat and fish-dishes and, alternatively, a macrobiotic menu. The University staff also run a snack bar where sandwiches and sweet or salted fresh pastry is available at the low price of about €1. Moreover, a private run cafeteria and a kiosk are available outside the buildings, where you can find hot meals, toasts, sandwiches, pastries, ice creams, and drinks, but the 

prices are slightly higher.  

The typical Portuguese Tascas, small family restaurants and bars, get filled up every day at lunch time, offering a different fresh menu every day, varying from €4 to €7 for a main (very big!) course. It’s a good idea to share dishes (it’s hard to finish ‘uma dose’ by oneself!) and some restaurants even offer just half portion for half the price! At dinner time prices are higher, also depending on the location. 





The aim of these notes is certainly not to be a touristic guide. Thus, regarding ‘what to do’ we can just give you one advice: make the best of this wonderful city! It offers an incredible cultural life, and a lot of it is free! =) The only thing you have to do is to keep informed: a free monthly cultural guide (Agenda Cultural de Lisboa) can be found at Touristic offices, Universities, Libraries, etc and will certainly help you to get an overview of what is going on in the city. Another way of keeping up-to-date is through an alternative guide, LeCool, which you can receive by email every Thursday. You just have to subscribe at http://lecool.com/cities/lisboa/subscriptions/new and enjoy what’s on!   

Moreover, Universities, institutes, and cultural associations are very active in the field. Keep an eye on posters hanging at the University; check the weekly programme of Institut Franco-Portugais, Bacalhoeiro, Chapitô, Fábrica do Braço de Prata... and have fun! Find out the best places to go in Lisbon is actually one of the best parts of living here! 

 A tip: most museums are free on Sunday morning until 14:00, including some famous touristic attractions, such as Mosteiro dos Jerônimos in Belém. Museu do Oriente is free on Friday nights. 



If you like sports, you will certainly be able to find something to do in Lisbon. 



Portuguese people are crazy about football and it’s highly probably that you will find football partners at the university or at sports centre. Agenda Cultural brings information about that as well. 


Nautical sports 

The river Tejo and the sea are part of the Lisboetas’ lives, as well as the nautical sports. Rowing, kayaking, sailing, and surfing are some of the options you will find. There are surfing classes at Carcavelos (at linha de Cascais) that start before the summer. For the other sports, you can find more information at the nautical clubs such as Clube Naval de Lisboa, Associação Naval de Lisboa, and others. 



Going to the gym in Lisbon might be very expensive. The gyms usually charge not only a high monthly fee but also several other fees that you have to pay when you join. If you can’t live without the gym and you are willing to pay, you will probably be very happy with the options you will find. 

For the Guide's next section, please click here.

Monday, 22 September 2008

Sheffield: 'Golden Generation' British Theater Conference

A Golden Experience

by Poonam Ganglani

I slammed the alarm clock shut, as per my morning routine. But unlike a usual day where I’d have allowed myself another half-hour of half-sleep, I pushed the covers aside, and sleepily got out of my bed in a budget hostel at King’s Cross St. Pancras. Today was the day that I’d come all the way to London for, sacrificing two precious extra weeks of summer vacation in India, before the start of my second year as a Mundus student: Today, I’d be presenting my research paper on the Lord Chamberlain, at the ‘Golden Generation’ British Theatre Conference at the British Library.

I’d practiced the evening before at the BL, just before Prof. Dominic Shellard – who leads the Post-War British Theatre Archive Project – invited me to join the rest of the group from Sheffield University for dinner at Pizza Express. It had been a hectic first day at the conference, so the pizza was well deserved. There were discussions on the relevance of the Theatre Archive Project, jointly run by Sheffield University and the British Library; paper presentations on the Oral History strand of the project; and interviews with several theatre personalities. The last session was a much-awaited interview, and I was excited for this one in particular, for it was with a playwright who I’d studied in my BA Lit days in India, and whom I never imagined I’d meet—Harold Pinter.

 A silence filled the hall as a seventy something Harold stepped in, cautiously walked up the stage behind his interviewer, and sat on a chair across him. The interviewer made an introduction, and then (quite strangely) a video clipping of a past interview with Harold was played on the screen behind him. Almost ten minutes of watching a silent Harold on stage passed this way, and by the time the interviewer asked him the first question, I was rather anxious to hear him speak, as I imagine the others too might have been. There were a few seconds of tense silence after the question was asked. I held my breath until Harold finally answered, in a deep and raspy voice. He answered most questions in short sentences and, I must add, in this rather terrifying way. I don’t remember what the question was exactly… something about a past peer and friend. There were so many questions I’d have liked to ask him myself: Did he anticipate that his first play in the 1950s would have the impact that it did? (The Birthday Party, if I’m not mistaken); Did he have a lot of interaction with Samuel Beckett? (his predecessor in terms of existentialist drama, with the British première of Godot in the mid-1950s); Did he have any particularly difficult experiences with the Lord Chamberlain? (The censor of British Theatre until 1968, who described The Birthday Party as ‘an insane, pointless play’… one of my Chamberlain favorites.) Unfortunately, none of these questions were asked, and I felt as if I’d bitten into an apple and not been allowed to swallow it.

That was the first day of the conference, 8 September. It was now the second and final day of the conference, 9 September, and at 9:30 am, I walked across to the BL, having cleverly booked a nearby hostel so as to avoid the stressful ride on the London underground (aka ‘tube’). At this point I must say that being a delegate at an international conference was in itself a very exciting experience: right from receiving conference packs, to following the day’s program, and intermingling with people of similar interests during wine receptions. Looking forward to the day ahead, I pinned on my name badge (it allows for easier fraternizing during tea breaks you see), and went through the day’s program. The day proceeded as planned: There was an interview of the playwrights Peter Nichols and Ann Jellicoe; a discussion on Repertory Theatre; an interview with Theatre Workshop actor Harry Greene; and my personal favorite (perhaps because of pre-existing bias), a paper presentation on the decline of theatre censorship, by Dr. Steve Nicholson.

It was in fact, Steve’s lecture on the LC many months earlier at Sheffield University, that first incited my interest in British theatre censorship. I’d then done some research on an unpublished play entitled Lady Chatterley by John Hart (based on the novel by DH Lawrence), using the Lord Chamberlain archives at the British Library. Working with manuscripts made the process of research extremely gratifying, and presenting that paper at this conference – as was suggested to me by my course supervisor Dr. Alec Patton -- was truly the icing on the cake. 

The ‘New Scholars Forum’ on Day Two took place during Lunch Break, and there were three of us lined up for it. I was the third and last one (which is always a good thing!), and I was a little nervous to begin with. But once I moved into the main text, I heard my voice flow evenly, felt my eyes shift automatically between my paper and the audience, and thoroughly enjoyed sharing my work. The audience seemed to enjoy it as well, judging from the laughs and reactions during the presentation (quotes from the Lord Chamberlain’s Readers Reports and Correspondence tend to be very amusing at times). It was a good feeling to be presenting my paper not only to academics, but to people who constituted the post-war British theatre period that I had read so much about. I ended my presentation feeling satisfied with the culmination of my research.

The conference ended that day, with a discussion on the further continuation of the Theatre Archives project and a closing plenary. Before leaving, I visited the ‘Golden Generation’ exhibition on display at the Main Library, featuring items from the BL’s collections related to a variety of subjects: The Royal Court, Laurence Olivier, The Lord Chamberlain, Peggy Ramsay and so many others.

With that, my two-day participation at an academic conference came to a close. I curled up in bed that night (literally, since the beds in these hostels aren’t very spacious you know), quite happy that I chose to come to London for the conference, marking the end of my first Mundus year, and the beginning of my second one with a truly golden experience.

Lisbon Guide (3 of 9): Where to Live

An informal guide by & for Erasmus Mundus students 

Collaborators: Alessandra Gallerano
Becky Chen 
Izabela Araújo
Lorenza Tiberi




Lumiar Students’ Residence  


Residência do Lumiar might be the students’ first option. It’s guaranteed that you, as an Erasmus Mundus student, stay at the Residence if you want to, so that you don’t have to worry about looking for a place to live before you arrive. Here is some information about Lumiar: 

Kinds of rooms. There are 3 options of rooms here: single ensuite (with private bathroom), single, and double, the last two with shared bathroom. 

Price. It varies according to the kind of room you choose. Single ensuite is the most expensive one, costing around €300/month; single costs €190 and double €160 (estimated prices).

If you want to change the room given to you, there are a few possibilities.  

If you arrive early (like before the semester really starts, or the first week of the semester), possibility is people have not checked into their room, so it is easier to have your request fulfilled during this time. 

If your request is denied, the subsequent possibility might come later especially towards the end of the semester when Erasmus students go home one after another. 

Usually single rooms are allocated for mature students - unless there are too many students to be taken into consideration. 

There are 3 floors for female, 3 for males. On each floor there are 8 rooms and 3 bathrooms (if I am not mistaken, 3 single rooms, 4 doubles, and 1 ensuite). Some rooms have balconies and some not, the sizes of rooms are different too. Certainly the rooms in Lumiar are not as spacious as Canigou in Perpignan, but even the smallest room is kind of perfect for single occupancy. 

There is a lift in Lumiar, so no worries about luggage and all. The top floor has facilities for doing laundry, ironing, and hanging clothes. They clean the elevator, kitchen, corridors, all WC almost every weekday too. 


Contract of room ends when semester ends. It is necessary to make a request for extension of stay. But in the first month, the ladies in-charge at the residence had already asked us to write down the prospective date of leaving the residence. It might be better to give a later date than to assume the last day of the semester rather than to face the consequences of having to move out of your room and placed in another room, or even leave the residence (and need to re-apply for a place to stay) because probably rooms will be reserved for in-coming guests/students. In case there's a need to extend your stay, the right place to make your request known is the Reitoria and avoiding conflicts of any kind with anyone in the residence might come in handy.  

The Lumiar neighbourhood has everything you will need: supermarkets, transportation, restaurants (including a university restaurant where you can eat for €2), and even a beautiful park. The only problem with the area is the constant noise of airplanes and the fact that it is a little far from the city centre. To get there by metro, take the yellow line and get off at Quinta das Conchas. 

Lumiar is clean, convenient, well kept and strives to improve. It saves time and saves money. Inconveniences are that (at least until 6 months ago) there was only one kitchen for all the tenants, i.e. 70 people, with only two fridges! Also, internet connection was quite poor, but that might have been improved. Choosing is up to you! 


Students’ Flats 

Finding a room in Lisbon can be as easy or as difficult as in any other European city. Fist of all it depends on your expectations; then, of course, on your luck =) It’s important to know that flats in Lisbon are often very old and that the cheapest rooms usually have no window (or as the Portuguese prefer to say: ‘com janela interior’). Also keep in mind that some areas of the city might be dangerous to walk alone at night, so when looking for a flat, try to find out whether the area is safe. Prices vary roughly between €180 and €300 depending of course on location, facilities, and… the landlords’ common-sense!  


Some useful websites that can help you find the right accommodation are: 

 www.easystanza.pt; www.erasmusliboa.com; www.easyquarto.com.pt   


You may also try:  

Looking at the Universities and Libraries pin-walls. 

Buying a weekly magazine, ‘Ocasião’, which is full of ads of any sort! 


If you need to buy house stuff, such as lamps, pots, or anything, there is an IKEA right outside Lisbon. To go there just take bus 48 from Marquês de Pombal in direction to Linda-a-Velha and ask for driver to tell you where to get off. 

For the Guide's next section, please click here.