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. Over 175 faculty and academic staff are active European Studies affiliates across campus, and do work in the social sciences, humanities, and professional schools about 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. European Studies has its administrative base in the International Division of the UW-Madison, one of nine constituent components of the Institute for Regional and International Studies (IRIS).
For nearly three decades, 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 24th year. That same year, another international grant brought the first of European Commission funds to campus, funds which in 2021 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 throughout the State in conjunction with the “Wisconsin Idea.” We have provided resources, staffing, and events for outreach to business, the media, governmental agencies, the K-14 community throughout 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 include topical grants for faculty and graduate students (European Union Jean Monnet, CGES), as well as funds for the acquisition of less-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 with 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 Turkish, Modern Irish, Arabic, Danish, Norwegian, and Italian.