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.

Saturday, 30 May 2009

Lisbon: European and the making of 'the common'

by Alessandra Galerano


I’ve always loved etymology. Let me try to use etymology to describe an experience I lived some time ago. This experience was:

CHALLENGING: from O.Fr. challenge, “fight”, meaning “calling to fight”

ENRICHING: “making wealthy”, from O.Fr. enrichir, from en- "make, put in" + riche "rich"

STIMULATING: 1526, "stirring to action," from L. stimulationem (nom. stimulatio), from stimulare "prick, goad, urge," from stimulus "spur, goad"

Believe me or not, it was neither a fight, nor a competition. Nor did it make me a millionaire, otherwise I doubt I would be sitting in Perpignan writing my dissertation.

It was a conference, an international conference called Europe and the making of ‘the common'.

It was challenging, because for the first time, it ‘made me enter the field’, not the battlefield but my research-field. Also, it served as test-bed for my research topic.

It was enriching because I felt personally and academically richer through it as the conference resulted in an extremely productive ‘synergic network’ (I love this expression!) of researchers.

Finally, it was stimulating, because it gave me the stimulus (the spur) to act, i.e. to write, to question, to investigate further.

Take up the challenge!


Special thanks go to the University of Perpignan for co-funding my participation in the conference, to the IFL of the Universidade Nova de Lisboa, and, of course, alla sfavillante Lisboa (grazie Tabucchi!) for making this possible.

European Identity in the Making?

Lisbon and Liverpool as ‘European Capitals of Culture’

Alessandra Gallerano*

University of St.Andrews (UK), Universidade Nova de Lisboa (PT), Université de Perpignan (FR)



In the current debate on the question of legitimacy in the EU, increasing attention is paid to the role culture and cultural policies play in the shaping of a so-called ‘European identity’. This largely depends on the growing sense that culture is a privileged medium for the articulation of citizenship, the latter extending beyond its legal status into the broader notion of participation as condition of empowerment. Within this theoretical framework, the present paper aims at analysing one of the EU’s emblematic cultural actions, i.e. the European Capitals of Culture (ECOC) programme, as concretization and example of the dynamic and evolving process of identity making in the EU. The ECOC programme is thought to lend itself very well for this type of analysis: not only is it a perfect example of efforts by the EU to promote unity through diversity, but it also shows how the very idea of Europe and European identity is constructed discursively, depending on the historical, social and economic context of interpretation. Following a brief assessment of the evolution of European cultural policy in recent years, the paper focuses on the case of Lisbon94 and Liverpool08 as ECOC. The two cities provide the basis for an interesting comparative and diachronic study, in that they both represent, at the level of rhetoric and practice, attempts to re-inscribe the periphery (not only in geographical but also in socio-cultural terms) into the centre (i.e. Europe), using Europe as resource. What emerges from the field research carried out in the two cities, is indeed the fact that Europe becomes a financial and symbolic source for regeneration, but also a frame, or better said, an arena for the debating, thus the making, of multi-level identity(ies). Rather than viewing Europe and its cultural identity as something given or artificially constructed, an analysis of cultural policies as identity policies therefore offers the possibility of (re)thinking European identity in post-national terms, and (re)thinking Europe as a dynamic and ongoing project of cultural democracy. The critical issue, however, is whether participation in a broader European polity can provide the basis for a truly inclusive social and communicative European space. The challenge, as proved and further problematized by the results of the present research, stays open.

Key Words: European identity • European citizenship • Cultural policy • European Capitals of Culture

* M.A. student within the Erasmus Mundus framework

Friday, 29 May 2009

Lisbon: Visa

Dear students coming to Lisbon,

The process of renewing a Portuguese visa can be a nightmare -- I have spent four hours in the immigration office this week! In order to try to avoid this, instead of asking for a student visa, ask for an "Autorização de Residência com Visto". It is possible that they say you cannot apply for this one, but try insisting because if you get a student visa it is only valid for 4 months, which is not enough for the length of our studies. And as I said, the process to renew it is very unpleasant.

If it does not work and you still need to renew your visa, you can find information on how to do it here.

Good luck!

Thursday, 28 May 2009

Lisbon: Recognition of Studies

The Seminar “Reconhecimento de Estudos e Creditação de Competências” [Recognition of Studies and Skills Accreditation] took place on 22 May 2009 in Loulé, Portugal. Organised by the Portuguese National Agency of Lifelong Learning (Proalv), the seminar had the participation of the National Bologna Expert Group and more than 100 professors and officers involved in the implementation and maintenance of the Bologna precepts in Portugal. The event’s organisation had the initiative to invite an Erasmus Mundus student to speak about the Mundus experience, with special focus on the issue of recognition.

Under the initiative of Prof. Rosário Paixão, Erasmus Mundus Crossways in Humanities co-ordinator at Universidade Nova de Lisboa, Crossways student Roberta Gregoli presented the case of Brazil as an example of the programme’s recognition outside the EU, including the issue of official validation in the country. Roberta Gregoli also took the opportunity to present the Erasmus Mundus Students and Alumni Association (EMA), EMA's Latin American Chapter (EMA-LA) and the Mundus in Brazil network, which actively works for the promotion of EM in Brazil by visiting universities and offering support to Brazilian applicants via virtual platforms.

For more information

Agency Proavl: http://proalv.pt/np4/eventos/198.html

EMA: http://www.em-a.eu/

EMA-LA: info@ema-la.eu

Mundus in Brazil: roberta.gregoli@ema-la.eu

Sunday, 24 May 2009

Mundus promotion in Brazil

Study in Europe São Paulo fair (ExpoBelta 2009)

The Study in Europe fair in Brazil was held within ExpoBelta 2009 in March 27th – 29th at Parque Ibirapuera, São Paulo city. Expobelta is the biggest education fair in Brazil, with an average number of 11.500 visitors*. The EMA and Erasmus Mundus booths were composed of 11 EMA (from Brazil, China, Peru, Bolivia, Mexico and Argentina), the Mostra team and agency representatives William Aitchison and José Gutierrez. Crossways in Humanities was represented by two students: alumni Hilda Ascencio and Roberta Gregoli, who are also EMA Country Representatives for Peru and Brazil, respectively.

The EMA Latin American Chapter (EMA-LA) also took the opportunity to carry out the inaugural regional alumni event in LA with the participation of students and alumni from Brazil, Bolivia, Mexico, Peru and Argentina. The agency representatives were particularly supportive of the initiative and took the opportunity to hear alumni feedback on the Mundus experience.

The Fair resulted in increased awareness among Brazilian students; apart from the constant flow of students in the booths, there were two workshops presenting Erasmus Mundus and EMA, and one press conference with the participation of two EMA members (EMA’s Vice-Presidente, Ricardo Chávez and Roberta Gregoli, CR for Brazil). As Study in Europe was the guest of honour in the Fair, the event facilitated liaising with other agencies and educational institutions. ExpoBelta was also crucial for the strengthening of EM alumni in Brazil and Latin America, and for the consolidation of the Mundus in Brazil network.

* visitors in 2008; figures for 2009 are not yet available.

Perpignan: Bacalhau

by Lorenza Tiberi

If policitians knew the secret for gathering many people from different countries, they wouldn't waste so much public money to organise a G8 (or something similar). Mundus students in Perpignan discovered the secret, which can be summarised in a single word "BACALHAU".

Bacalhau is not a magic word like abracadabra or Hocus pocus, it's simply the most popular Portuguese dish. Thanks to Alessandra, who went in mission in Lisbon few days ago, we had the great experience of eating bacalhau (cod). This mouth-watering deliciousness managed to gather together in a living room 99% of the Mundus students in Perpignan (at least 10 different nation were represented) and few exeternal representatives from France, Brazil and India. Unfortunatelly the Chinese representative has not attended the event but we all wish to be at 100% soon.

An intercultural Pantagruelian dinner is always a good legerdemain to make people happy.