Framework for Area Studies

The principal aim of the project is to lay the basis for a long-term framework within 4EU+ for the development of area studies as structuring academic tool. Area studies – which involve complex, interdisciplinary research and scholarship on cultural and linguistic diversity – make it possible to understand our changing world and to approach present-day problems without an ethnocentric bias.

The short term goal is the organization of workshop and a shared semester online course “Approaches to Area Studies”.Academics from all participating universities will take part in the course, presenting their own way of assessing area studies from their respective areas of expertise and within their methodological frameworks. The aim of the shared course is to make the students aware of the differing approaches, to help especially the BA students decide their subsequent study careers; and at the same time to receive from the students feedback that would help in reforming the area studies curricula at the respective universities and contributing to the progressive convergence of these curricula within 4EU+.

Particularly due to the globalization processes, faraway regions are becoming close and having a direct impact on affairs “at home”. There is a growing need for expertise about other world regions and the integration of this expertise into the curricula, thus enabling students to fully understand and engage in the challenges of the present-day world. Area studies should be liberated from the label of the “exotic” knowledge, of little use in practice. The project will also address the importance of languages in understanding other regions; and enhance critical approaches to the sources of area studies and to their links with other disciplines.

These activities will allow an exchange of ideas, of syllabi and educational strategies, and enable the universities involved to get of a feedback from the students (of graduate as well as postgraduate level) regarding their expectations on the respective area studies programmes. The network established through the project would continue its existence after the concluding of the grant project, and assure a constant interchange of ideas, experiences and teacher involvement in the area studies curricula at partner universities (mainly using the Erasmus+ funding for the exchange of teachers for guest lectures; development of shared virtual courses for respective areas, such as Asian Studies or American studies). Also, the expertise on specific regions can be shared with other partner universities, as well as with the wider public, via public lectures or workshops.

Academic fields

Area studies; Political Science; Language Studies; Cultural Studies

Project Team

Project Coordinator: Markéta Křížová (Center for Ibero-American Studies, Faculty of Arts, Charles University)

Charles University: Jan Hornát (Department of North American Studies, Faculty of Social Sciences), Kryštof Kozák (Department of North American Studies, Faculty of Social Sciences), Vojtěch Šarše (Department for Romanic Languages, Faculty of Arts)

University of Warsaw: Jakub Zajączkowski (Institute of International Relations, Faculty of Political Science and International Studies), Aleksandra Jarczewska (Department of Regional and Global Studies, Faculty of Political Science and International Studies), Dorota Heidrich (Department of Political Science, Faculty of Political Science and International Studies), Anita Oberda-Monkiewicz (Institute of International Relations, Faculty of Political Science and International Studies)

University of Milan: Elisa Giunchi (Department of International, Legal, Historical and Political Studies, Faculty of Law), Simone Dossi (Department of International, Legal, Historical and Political Studies, Faculty of Law), Marco Sioli (Department of International, Legal, Historical and Political Studies, Faculty of Law)

University of Heidelberg: Rahul Mukherji (Department of Political Science, South Asia Institute), Seyed Hossein Zarhani (Department of Political Science, South Asia Institute), Jai Shankar Prasad (Department of Political Science, South Asia Institute)

External Expert: Edward Haliżak (professor emeritus, University of Warsaw)

Project administrator: Michaela Lemeškinová (michaela.lemeskinova@ff.cuni.cz)

Contact information

Please feel free to contact the Project Coordinator with any questions:

Prof. Markéta Křížová, Ph.D. (marketa.krizova@ff.cuni.cz)

Úvod > Věda a výzkum > Framework for Area Studies