European Studies was created as an academic program at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1972. Our mission is to bring together scholars from across the campus and link departments, courses, and people, to specialized knowledge on Europe, its history, languages and cultures, and the European Union as an international actor. European Studies maintains a roster of just under 200 active faculty members across campus, whose work wholly or partially revolves around Europe. The campus features more than 20 departments offering Europe-related courses. Students at the university have the opportunity to study almost all European languages and can choose from hundreds of courses on Europe. Currently, European Studies is located in the International Division of the UW-Madison, one of eight components of the Institute for Regional and International Studies (IRIS).
For the past 23 years, European Studies has competed successfully for U.S. and international competitive research grants. In 1998, a major grant from the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) created the Center for German & European Studies, now in its 23rd year. That same year, another international grant brought the first of European Commission funds to campus, funds which in 2019 include Erasmus Plus Jean Monnet Chair funds for Professor Nils Ringe, a Jean Monnet European Union Center of Excellence for Comparative Populism, and Module and Project grants. Our students and faculty have also benefited from U.S. Department of Education Title VI funds since 2000, in the form of Foreign Language and Area Studies (FLAS) Fellowships and National Resource Center awards.
European Studies plans symposia, conferences, and guest lectures on a wide variety of topics, which are presented on campus and also throughout the State in conjunction with the “Wisconsin Idea.” We have provided over twenty years of resources, staffing, and events for outreach to business, the media, governmental agencies, the K-14 community through the Midwest, and the general public. We also work on long-term initiatives with domestic and international partners. Our fellowships for the study of Europe are also wide-ranging, and include funds for the acquisition of lesser-commonly-taught-languages (LCTLs) for graduate and undergraduate students. Study in European LCTL’s takes place in seven departments and summer institutes on campus, primarily via US Department of Education FLAS grants. Wisconsin graduates the highest number of students majoring in languages other than English in the country: European Studies current FLAS recipients illustrate this breadth through their study of LCTLs such as Arabic, Danish, Norwegian, and Italian.