Mediterranean Studies at Illinois


The University of Illinois has a strong tradition of interdisciplinary inquiry into the Mediterranean as a region that crosses traditional boundaries of area studies in the U.S. In cooperation with other U of I area studies centers CSAMES and REEEC, the European Union Center has played an important role on campus in fostering this scholarship and teaching, from securing a past Jean Monnet Module grant from the European Commission for course development to awarding FLAS fellowships for languages spoken in the region but outside the traditional geographic borders of Europe (such as Arabic, Turkish, and Hebrew) and supporting speakers, conferences, and course development with Title VI funds from the U.S. Department of Education (such as the annual Turkish Studies Symposium). Studying the Mediterranean at Illinois has reminded the campus community and audiences beyond of how world “regions” are hardly static, but are formed through the movement and interactions of different peoples, and grasped through an understanding of historical legacies.

Information about activities in 2011-15 supported by the Jean Monnet Module can be found here.

This project has also involved faculty from departments of languages and literatures in particular, including the U of I’s Department of French and Italian, whose Mediterranean Studies page can be found here.

Race and the Mediterranean

Recent events that the EU Center has sponsored or co-sponsored with a focus on the Mediterranean include a 2019 conference on migration (co-sponsored with CSAMES). Please return to this space for updates on a planned Spring 2021 conference on race and the Mediterranean. A highlight of Fall 2020 conversations that the EUC is moderating, with generous support from our Jean Monnet Center of Excellence grant and U.S. Department of Education Title VI grant, is the Interdisciplinary Reading Group on Race and the Mediterranean.

Please contact EUC Director Emanuel Rota ( with any inquiries about the role that the EU Center might play in activities related to the study of the Mediterranean.