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Centers of Excellence

Four Institutional Partnerships for Research and Higher Education

Project coordinator: Marianne HOPMAN and Nasrin QADER

Total costs of the project: $51.420
Embassy of France support: $28.870,84

-    Ecole Normale Supérieure de Paris
-    Ecole Normale Supérieure de Lyon
-    SciencesPo
-    EHESS
-    Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences
-    Buffett Center
-    FIG Endowment

Summary of the Project

Rational: Development and enhancement of institutional partnerships with four French institutions (Sciences-Po, ENS Paris, ENS Lyon, EHESS) to promote dual PhD programs, faculty exchanges, and joint conferences.

The thematic focus of each partnership draws on Northwestern departments at the forefront of their field and highlights respective strengths of our partners as well. As a result, intellectual linkages vary from one partner to another as areas of excellence are diverse.

Our approach to the development of these partnerships is incremental in the sense that we begin with individual faculty exchanges and advance to collaborative conferences, with the ultimate objective of applying to PUF funding for specific long-term projects. To further support and provide visibility to these collaborative efforts, we organize and co-sponsor campus activities that underscore the intellectual importance of French language and culture in general and of our programs in particular. Our visiting faculty and students from France offer "Causeries" presentations on their work in French that routinely attract large faculty and student audiences.

Departments and Schools Involved: Our partnership with ENS-Lyon emphasizes Medieval and Early Modern Studies and draws on the expertise of NU scholars in Political Theory, Literature, Philosophy, History; with ENS-Paris we collaborate in Literature and Philosophy; with EHESS in African Studies and Conflict Studies; our graduate and faculty exchanges with Science Po focus on Political Theory, Urban Sociology and Law, while our undergraduate efforts have yielded exemplary results through our study abroad programs in European Union Studies, Public Health, and Critical Theory.

Activities: For 2013, we have planned 2 collaborative conferences: the one with ENS-Lyon in April on "Life and Community" and the other with ENS-Paris "Derrida: Points of Departure" in May. Leading scholars from both French institutions will join scholars at NU. We are already in the early planning stages for the second part of both conferences, to take place in 2014 in France. We have also planned 5 causeries around our faculty visits. In addition, in the fall of 2013 we will launch our first Summer Institute in Paris with ENS's Ecole Doctorale that will enable students from the two institutions to meet and discuss their research with one another and with faculty members. Our long-term aim is for this institute to become trilateral with Frankfurt.