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.

Wednesday, 29 July 2009

Further information regarding Interzones

Pursuant to the previous post, herewith further information on the Mundus Interzones Doctoral program. The following text is drawn from the general presentation of the program.

Cultural Studies in Literary Interzones

The purpose of INTERZONES is to prepare gifted doctoral students to become the "global academics" which top universities seek out in the fields of European comparative literatures and cultural studies, or high-flying consultants in private business sectors interested in global cultural phenomena.

By investigating culture with innovative and transcultural methods, global professors are no longer ‘outside’ the socio-economic world, but participants in a social texture that includes complexity. At Kalin’s, for instance, a tavern where a yellow line is painted on the floor to delineate the frontier between Slovenia and Croatia, how does Europe exist? Kalin is also part of a bigger venue, full of life, both a cultural space and an interzone.

Whether imperialist, colonialist or, on the contrary, shrivelling as a result of its morbid fascination with the Void, Europe is often defined only in terms of its limits and contours. The conceptual tools (such as identity, otherness, difference, colonization, entropy, etc.) with which artistic and literary productions are analyzed have tended to reproduce, or even to produce, a pre-existing idea of what it might mean to have (or not have) a nation, an ethnicity, a personality, a “Europe”. The failure to nourish and galvanize what could have been a renewal of the Republic of Letters may stem from a simple fact: such tools have simply become obsolete. Cultural studies can be a vital and elegant means not only of conceptualizing communication beyond the automatisms of common conceptualizations, but also as a means to ask HOW communication within and beyond various entities such as personality, ethnicity, and nation… can be renewed and reinvented.

The languages of tuition are French and English. A minimum of 3 European languages is required from the candidates to make them truly competitive in the field of comparative literature and visual culture. Language facilities will be made available to students in each university, at no extra cost.

Student mobility during the 6 consecutive semesters will include 3 or 4 universities, whereby European students will study in AT LEAST one non-European institution.

1) All students go to Bergamo for the first semester to discover the latest theoretical approaches in "Cultural Migrations".

2) Students opt for two main degree-awarding institutions out of the five partners: Tübingen, Bergamo, Perpignan and either Universidade Federal Fluminense, Brazil or Jawarhal Neru University, India, in which they will spend two consecutive semesters in each: 2 & 3 and then 5 & 6.

3) Depending on the research profile, semester 4 will be spent in one of the other partner institutions, be it a third or fourth partner or one of our associate members: Aix, Barcelona, Brown, Buenos Aires, Cracaw, Mexico, Paris Sorbonne Nouvelle 3, Paris 10, Sydney, St Petersburg or Zürich.
(Names of universities are indicative, as in each case it is specialized research centres, described elsewhere, that welcome students to carry out their research). Out of 180 ECTS credits, 120 are devoted to the PhD thesis itself, and 60 are gained through a choice of multi-task activities aimed at enhancing the employability of future global academics.

Successful PhD students will then be awarded a fully-recognized double degree from their two main institutions, in addition to diploma supplements certifying their achievements in their 3rd / 4th doctoral school(s).

The main area of the program is Comparative Literature with a second and third area of expertise in Visual Culture and Cultural Anthropology. Furthermore it should be noted that fees will be significantly lower than for the Mundus Crossways Master program, being €2400 per annum for EU students and €3600 per annum for Third Country students.

Finally, while Prof Girard will be moving to Strasbourg, (see previous post) his contact details nevertheless remain the same.

Monday, 27 July 2009

Cultural Studies in Literary Interzones

It is my pleasure to announce the formation of Cultural Studies in Literary Interzones, a doctoral program whose purose “is to prepare gifted doctoral students to become the ‘global academics’ which top universities seek out in the fields of European comparative literatures and cultural studies, or high-flying consultants in private business sectors interested in global cultural phenomena”.

As many of you know Prof Dider Girard has been hard at work applying for this grant and I would like to congratulate both him and his team on the sterling effort that enabled them to be the only program selected in the field of humanities, among over 150 applications and 13 awards (the other doctoral programs that were awarded grants include 7 scientific programs, 3 envorinmental science programs and 1 program each in the social sciences and in economics).

Further good news is that the program is set to begin in September of 2010, with 16 doctoral positions who will take up their studies in a even wider variety of universities stretching from India, to Brazil, including universities across Europe. Like the Mundus program the Interzones will award multiple degrees, with students receiving a doctorate from each of their two principal universities, which are selected from a group of five international institutions, including the University of Bergamo in Italy, the Jawaharlal Nehru University in India, the University of Perpignan in France, the Fluminese Federal University in Brazil and the Eberhardkarl University of Tübingen, Germany. The program is structured such that doctoral students being with a semester in Bergamo followed by a year in one of their principal universities, they then proceed to a 4th university which is selected from a list of partner institutions including the University of Provence Aix-Marseille 1 in France the Hermeneia Group – University of Barcelona in Spain, the Graduate School of Brown University in the USA, the Entre Rios National University in Argentina, the Jagiellonian University in Cracaw Poland, the Iberoamerican University in Mexico, the New Sorbonne University – Paris 3 and the Western University – Paris 10 in France, the European University of Petersburg in Russia, the University of Sydney in Australia and the University of Zurich in Switzerland. It is easily apparent that this is a very exciting program and I will be posting more details about it in the coming days.

Finally, Professor Girard will be leaving Perpignan for Strasbourg at the end of September, he will however remain the coordinator of the Mundus program for the first few months of the new academic year to ensure a smooth transition to the new coordinator. Prof Girard will be working with the Doctoral program and thereby remain closely in touch with the Mundus Masters Program. I’m sure I speak for all when I wish him every success in his new ventures.