Ford Foundation Funds International Studies Projects at Yale

A one-year pilot program on “Area Studies and the Interaction Between the Local and the Global” is being launched this year by the Yale Center for International and Area Studies YCIAS , thanks to a grant from the Ford Foundation.

Yale was one of 30 institutions nationwide to receive the funding as part of the Ford Foundation’s initiative “Crossing Borders: Revitalizing Area Studies,” which seeks to promote fresh ways of conceptualizing, teaching and doing research on area studies. The foundation expects to make grants totaling $25 million in a two-stage process over the next five to six years; its recent award to Yale is a stage-one grant.

“Area Studies and the Interaction Between the Local and the Global” was designed by a team of faculty members from the various councils and programs of YCIAS, the University’s principal agency for coordinating research and teaching on international affairs and on foreign societies and cultures. The pilot program will attempt to promote a new approach to area studies by examining the problems and opportunities that are shared across local, regional and national boundaries, rather than focusing on specific geographical areas. The program will encourage cooperation among faculty members, graduate students, the graduate and professional schools, and area studies programs throughout the University.

Two faculty seminars will be offered this year under the pilot program: “Language and Culture” and “Migration and the Nation-State.” In order to provide a focus for these broad topics, each seminar will be anchored in specific YCIAS area councils. “Language and Culture” will be affiliated with the councils on Africa and Russia and Eastern Europe, while “Migration and the Nation-State” will be based in the councils on Western Europe, Latin America and Africa. The seminars will feature trans-regional reading lists and discussions with visiting specialists and graduate students.

In addition, the pilot program will host conversations on “Rethinking Development” and “The Environment: Global and Local Struggles.” These will be anchored in the councils on Africa and South Asia and will involve multi-disciplinary discussions among faculty and graduate students, as well as fall and spring conferences.

“Area Studies and the Interaction Between the Local and Global” will culminate this spring in a day-long mini-conference and planning session for stage two of the program.

For more information, call YCIAS at 203/432-9359.

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