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, 26 August 2009

Virtual Symposium

The heterologies blog, while serving a noble purpose as the primary information point for the Crossways programme, has also the potential to unite the Crossways community in more active and more meaningful ways. One of the best ways in which to achieve this goal is essentially to enable the blog to be a point of dialog, essentially the means of conversation between both Crossways students, past and present, and academics.

The creation of a virtual symposium which operates within the blog serves precisely this purpose, and while I have some ideas, the point of the symposium is participation and to that end I would like to invite any suggestions that you, current and previous mundus students might have.

Several key features of the proposed symposium include:

Brevity – individual submissions should not exceed 2000 words, this is for a variety of reasons, Crossways students are generally rather occupied, as are academics, and a shorter length invites a greater level of participation, in so far as it is easier to read and respond to a shorter academic article.

Round table style discussion – the symposium as I would like to propose it would be centred on a specific subject area and consist of a variety of responses and counter responses, a slightly more elaborated academic debate, if you will, that one might be likely to find in a conference. Each submission may respond to one or more of the previous submissions creating a network of academic consideration that is heterogeneous, if not explicitly heterological.

Outside Academic Participation – following discussions with Prof Girard, the symposium would invite academics both within and without the program to both contribute and to evaluate potential submissions in order to ensure that the symposium conforms to the high academic standards that are demanded within the Mundus Crossways program.

One of the key features of such a symposium is precisely the potential pool of participation and of expertise, being a ‘virtual’ symposium there is no question of time limit or of location, all past and present Mundus Crossways students would be invited to participate, along with academics from a variety of locations. Also, nothing the importance of publications in academic life and the difficulty new academics experience in breaking into journal publications, this symposium could offer vital experience and serve as a stepping stone in the creation of an academic career.

The salient point is that while such a symposium has a lot of potential to be both engaging, exciting and useful to current and past students, the success of such a symposium rests on community participation.

To this end, and to enable further organisation of the symposium the question of the topic needs to be addressed. Again, in order to ensure maximum participation the subject in question should be accessible – that is not too domain specific, while nevertheless retaining a level of academic rigor. So, in the comments section of this post, feel free to suggest a topic, or topics, either in the form of a title, or of a quote that would be a point of departure.