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Syracuse and Cornell universities win grants of $4 million for international and area studies
Syracuse and Cornell universities win grants of $4 million for international and area studiesAugust 29, 2003Cynthia J. Moritzcjmoritz@syr.edu
The U.S. Department of Education has awarded shared grants of $1.6 million and $2.4 million to Syracuse University and Cornell University for joint national resource centers in European and South Asian Studies. The grants cement the two universities’ partnership in South Asian studies and inaugurate cooperation on European studies. The grants will enable SU and Cornell to offer generous graduate fellowships for language and area studies, and support curriculum development, library collections, scholarly conferences, regional workshops in upstate New York and a range of outreach activities.
SU has founded a new Center for European Studies to coordinate campus-wide activities in that area. Both the Center for European Studies and the long-standing South Asia Center are housed within the Global Affairs Institute at the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs.
“The Syracuse Center for European Studies will use these new resources to launch a process of rethinking European studies at SU in order to prepare students for a changing Europe whose boundaries and divisions have become more complex,” says Assistant Prof. Mitchell Orenstein, director of the Center for European Studies. “It will add new languages to the curriculum, starting with Polish and Turkish in the Fall 2003 semester; enhance library collections; and establish Syracuse University as a regional center for European studies and public affairs.”
Susan Wadley, Ford Maxwell Professor of South Asian Studies and director of the South Asia Center, says, “The renewal of the South Asia Center confirms Syracuse University’s longstanding excellence in the field of South Asian studies. Numerous faculty from the campus contribute to this effort.”
The new Center for European Studies will work closely with Syracuse’s existing European Union Center, which is funded by a grant from the European Commission. This award makes Syracuse one of only a handful of American universities with both U.S.- and European-funded centers in European studies. Both centers will now benefit from close cooperation with Cornell’s Institute for European Studies.
The South Asia Center has been recognized as a National Resource Center since the mid-1980s. Its primary focus in coming years will be on studying increased religious tensions in South Asia, with new courses on politics and Islam. The South Asia Center has particular strengths in religion and the social sciences, with numerous scholars focusing on gender issues in South Asia. This year the center will sponsor the Ray Smith Symposium in The College of Arts and Sciences titled, “Drawing a Line in Water: Religious Boundaries in South Asia.” In conjunction with the Newhouse School of Public Communications and U. Encounter, the center will also sponsor, for the second year, a two-week workshop, “Illuminating Oppression: Human Rights Films from South Asia.” The new center grant allows SU’s Department of Languages, Literatures, and Linguistics to offer two South Asian languages, Tamil and Hindi. The center also works closely with the South Asia Center at Cornell, sponsoring workshops and courses in India’s environment, health care, media studies and other projects.
The grant will include funding for additional SU Library acquisitions dealing with European and South Asian subject matter. Michael Pasqualoni, librarian for political science and international relations, coordinated information gathering for the library’s portion of the grant application.