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Université Sorbonne Nouvelle and Northwestern faculty explore joint collaborations

It's a partnership of exceptional quality that we have been setting up step-by-step.”

Paris 3 President Carle Bonafous-Murat

Northwestern humanities and communications faculty now have the opportunity to expand their international networks and build new academic relationships in a variety of disciplines.

Growing an existing partnership – that’s what a delegation of seven scholars from the Université Sorbonne Nouvelle - Paris 3 had in mind when they visited Northwestern’s Evanston campus at the end of May. And that’s exactly what they did: further explore collaboration opportunities between the two institutions.

Northwestern and Paris 3’s partnership is fairly new. In 2016, the two universities signed agreements for an undergraduate exchange, a Dual PhD program, and a customized undergraduate study abroad program, Art, Literature, and Contemporary European Thought, which Paris 3 will begin to host in Fall 2017.

These initiatives underpin the foundation of what both institutions hope will develop into a strong, long-lasting interdisciplinary partnership. Paris 3 President Carle Bonafous-Murat, who led the delegation, called it a “partnership of exceptional quality that we have been setting up step-by-step.” To build on this new, robust partnership and assure its sustainability through exchange of students and faculty, the delegation met with counterparts at Northwestern to discuss areas of collaboration in the fields of linguistics, comparative literature, film and theatre, and Latin American studies.

To drive the exchange of ideas, a group of Northwestern and Paris 3 faculty members presented collaboration models that have proven successful with other partners. Examples ranged from virtual and in-person co-teaching of classes, to visiting scholar workshops, to dual degrees and unique research collaborations. These models were the impetus for a lively and productive discussion of possibilities between Northwestern and Paris 3, which is known worldwide for its excellence in the humanities and liberal arts. Next steps for both institutions now are to refine ideas and submit proposals for further collaboration.

Dévora Grynspan, vice president for international relations at Northwestern University, was truly pleased with the level of interest on both sides, and the eagerness and detail with which faculty discussed opportunities for collaboration. “I have no doubt that there will be some really innovative and interesting joint projects coming out of these match-up meetings. One of Northwestern’s key global strategies is to develop and expand institutional relationships across disciplines, and this is exactly what we are trying to accomplish with Paris 3.” 

These two days of collaborative meetings were jointly organized by Northwestern’s Office of International Relations and the French Interdisciplinary Group (FIG). Faculty interested in becoming involved in this partnership can contact Kim Rapp, assistant vice president for international relations, at kim.rapp@northwestern.edu or 847-467-0939.

View all photos from the Paris 3 delegation visit here.
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