Year of Creating Europe


The European Studies Center (ESC), as part of its Jean Monnet European Union Center of Excellence (JMEUCE) Grant from the European Union, and based upon consultation with the ESC’s Faculty Advisory Board, announced its theme for the 2020-2021 academic year and invites proposals from faculty for events organized around this theme: Creating Europe.

Throughout the 2020-2021 academic year, the ESC will offer and support interdisciplinary programming that addresses the theme of creation or creativity in a European context. The Year of Creating Europe invites comparative and transnational approaches to understanding historical and contemporary Europe.  

2020 marks the 70th anniversary of the Schuman Declaration, which proposed the creation of a European Coal and Steel Community – a precursor for what would become the European Union. As French foreign minister, Robert Schuman, made clear, however “Europe will not be made all at once, or according to a single plan. It will be built through concrete achievements which first create a de facto solidarity.” Even before 1950, Europe was never made all at once or according to a single plan. The geographic, intellectual, ideological, and discursive boundaries of “Europe” have shifted and continue to shift. The “European Project,” as many refer to European integration, navigates centuries of state- and regionally-centered histories and identities in its attempt to create cohesion. Many previous national and supranational entities have attempted to chart a similar course, with varying degrees of success. 

Inspired, therefore, by both the promise and the limitations of the EU’s official motto, “United in Diversity,” supported programming may consider the historical roots or contemporary challenges to defining the geographical borders of Europe and what it means to be European, how those definitions have changed over time, or how different definitions are mobilized by different groups. Yet the theme invites broad interpretation. It could and should encompass also the act of creating. Therefore, sponsored programming may also address creative expressions (in the arts, architecture, literature, film) or the creation of a creative/culture industry within Europe, whether in the past or today. Of course, proposals for programs that explore the intersection of creating Europe and the creative within Europe are also welcome.

Click here to see the line-up of Year of Creating Europe events.

Proposals no longer being accepted.

Proposals from all disciplines are welcomed and encouraged. Projects that link the ESC theme of Creating Europe to the Provost’s Year of Engagement initiative for AY 2020-2021 are encouraged (ESC funds can be used toward the match funds required by the Provost’s Office).

Faculty are invited to submit proposals for visitors, events, lectures, symposia, colloquia, films, pop-up courses, interviews, or videoconferences that relate to the theme “Creating Europe.” Selected proposals will receive funds for programming (we encourage the use of ESC funds as matching funds, whenever possible) and staff support to identify, invite, and organize the program. We recognize that many programs in AY21 will of necessity be virtual, so please consider both virtual and in-person options in your proposals.

Available funding includes:

  • Small grants (up to $1,000) are available to provide matching funds which can be combined with funding from other sources to carry out the proposed event. 
  • Separate funding ($1,500 plus fringe) is available to instructors interested in teaching a Pop-Up Course related to the theme and the region. Pop-Up Courses are one-credit hour courses conducted in any format (meeting weekly, over the course of one weekend, or something in between) that offer students and faculty the opportunity to explore a topical subject in real time in more detail than might otherwise be possible in a regular course offering. Faculty who receive funding from the ESC to support the teaching of a pop-up course will also receive staff support (coordinating with staff in the relevant department/school) and promotion of the course through the ESC channels. Additional funding exists for class materials or guest speakers to enhance the course.
  • In addition, the ESC is seeking faculty proposals for a series of interviews of European artists, filmmakers, writers, or other creative individuals working in or on the peripheries of Europe and exploring themes related to identity or what it means to be European. Faculty interested in identifying subjects and conducting a virtual interview should submit their ideas to Jae-Jae Spoon or Allyson Delnore. Each interview conducted will then be edited and presented as part of a regular series on “Creating in Europe.” Faculty contributors will receive administrative staff support from the ESC (including issuing formal letters of invitation, scheduling the interview, technical support, editing, promotion and distribution) as well as an honorarium for the interviewee.

To apply, please complete the short application available on the Submittable platform. You will be asked to submit a budget proposal.  A sample budget template is available for you to use (not required). Proposals will be reviewed starting June 1st and new proposals will be accepted on a rolling basis until all funds are depleted. 

Questions should be addressed to Jae-Jae Spoon, Director, or Allyson Delnore, Associate Director.