The European Union awarded the University of Illinois’ European Union Center the prestigious Jean Monnet Module grant for course development. The 21,000 euro (approximately $30,000) award will fund a new project hosted by the European Union Center and led by Professor Maria Todorova (History), entitled, “Europe and the Mediterranean: Transnational Spaces and Integration.”

In a global competition, the EU Center at UI was one of only two US universities to receive a Jean Monnet grant from the European Commission, and the only domestic university to garner a European Module award. The Jean Monnet Programme is part of the European Union’s Lifelong Learning Programme and aims to stimulate teaching, research and reflection on European integration in higher education institutions worldwide.

Interdisciplinary in nature, the project features a new, team-taught course aimed at advanced undergraduate and graduate students, which will present the cultural, economic, and migratory networks linking Europe and the Mediterranean region as interdependent spaces. The project is expected to reach broader audiences as well, by hosting a public website and posting webcasts of lectures, which will be accessible to lifelong learners and secondary school teachers globally.

The project will be coordinated by A. Bryan Endres (Associate Professor of Agricultural Law) and will be carried out by a diverse team of three faculty members, who will alternate as lead instructors of the course. Emanuel Rota, Assistant Professor of Spanish, Italian, and Portuguese, will lend his expertise in the history of Europeanist movements. Konstantinos Kourtikakis, Visiting Lecturer, Political Science, brings his extensive knowledge of EU administrative networks. Hadi Esfahani, Professor of Economics, comes to the project as an expert on Middle East and North African economic and business development and the role of politics and governance in fiscal, trade, and regulatory policy formation.