Center for Global Asia Awarded Prestigious Grant

NYU Shanghai’s Center for Global Asia, partnered with the Center for Interdisciplinary Area Studies at Martin-Luther University at Halle-Wittenberg, Germany, has received a grant of over €150,000 from the prestigious Volkswagen Foundation (VolkswagenStiftung)–the largest private research funder and one of the major foundations in Germany.

The grant will support “The Indian Ocean World and Eurasian Connections”–a three-year international summer school program that will provide an in-depth understanding of the historical and contemporary Indian Ocean World.

“I think this is an important partnership between NYU Shanghai and a foreign institution that will promote the study of Eurasian connections within the NYU’s Global University Network as well as in Germany,” said Professor of History Tansen Sen, the Director of Center for Global Asia.

The first two summer schools (in 2016 and 2017) will take place at Halle, starting this July. Each school will consist of 30 participants–20 German participants and 10 from the NYU Global Network University. The third will be held in Shanghai (in July 2018) and will include 10 additional participants from other Chinese universities.

“Our collaboration with colleagues in the city of Halle, Germany is especially fortunate, since Halle was the center of an important Protestant missionary project in the eighteenth century, which  focused its efforts on southern India. We will take advantage of the city’s museum and archival resources to show just how vast the connections that crossed over and emanated from the Indian Ocean World were. You might even say that the networks of the Indian Ocean crossed the Mediterranean and over the Alps!” said Associate Professor of History, Duane Corpis.

The project will also contribute to the integration of NYU’s Shanghai, Abu Dhabi, and New York campuses through the interactions among doctoral and post-doctoral fellows, and junior faculty in the fields of Humanities and Social Sciences.  

“For the Center for Global Asia, this is our first grant from a prestigious foundation. It will help us with other pending applications and future projects on related topics,” said Sen.

The Volkswagen Foundation’s mission is to support aspiring young researchers and promote interdisciplinary and international collaboration. Dedicated to the support of the humanities and social sciences, as well as science and technology in higher education and research, it has granted more than 4.2 billion euros of funding for over 30,000 projects. 




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