The Senator Liliana Segre receives the Honoris Causa doctorate in History of Europe
by the President of the Republic

The tradition of Graduate Research Program in History of Europe is inherited by the Graduate Research Program in History and Culture of Europe ('EUROPA_nD3861_EN.aspx). Continuity is given not only in the renewal of the name but also in the revision of the project and the educational objectives. Thanks to the highly interdisciplinary enlargement of the PhD Board and the consequent diversification of the research projects of the students, the initial Graduate Research Program has evolved both as a result of the new departmental disposal and spurred by new challenges of knowledge. The use of the plural “cultures” in the title refers to the complex genesis of the historical processes that intersect in the foundations of the European dimension, in the presence of a variety of political, economic, social, cultural, and religious visions that constitute the wealth of today pluralistic Europe and its ancient heritage, in its interactions at a global level.

The Graduate research program aims to support the training of scholars capable of analyzing and investigating the origins of the idea of Europe, the pluralism and variety of European cultures, the construction and activities of the European Union in the interaction between states, and Europe’s cultural and political projection and interaction beyond the continent in light of the most accredited results and scientific approaches.

The Graduate program is focused on the study of the essential processes of the formation of political and cultural space in Europe in the modern and contemporary eras, starting from the idea of Europe itself (from the classic studies by Chabod and Saitta to the more recent suggestions made by Pagden) and the debate over the plurality of histories and memories, from new sensibilities brought about by the processes of European unification to reflections on the determining influence of other world cultures on the European territory. The program aims in particular at investigating forms and methods of building a European identity on the political and economic level based on valuing differences in ethnicity, gender, language, religion, political opinions, nationality, social class, education, birth and abilities, in line with the themes of Agenda 2030.

From a long-term diachronic perspective and in a context of continuous interaction between tradition and innovation, issues such as encounter, recognition, conflicts, and pacification between cultural and social diversities constitute a central axis of the study program.

Transversal themes that connect historical, political, economic and cultural perspectives in light of social challenges (equality, sustainability, education, health, information) and which characterize the identity and lives of European citizens as part of an institution are of particular interest in the doctoral course. Along these lines, themes that are critically developed include national identities and the resulting problems of socio-cultural integration between peoples, cultures, religions, traditions and states, as well as aspects related to the dimension of social and economic development, from levels of literacy to processes of inclusion.

The graduate program is open to research on the relations between the European continent and the Mediterranean world, as well as on issues such as the relationship between the Northern and Southern hemispheres, processes of supranational and regional integration, and the dynamics between Europe and the Middle East and Eurasian cultures.

The field of study of Europe and the Mediterranean constitutes a privileged observatory on transnational research trends and on the public use of history in the globalized world.

In accordance with the acquired cultural heritage, doctoral students analyze the data offered by the primary sources that are the object of their personal research in relation to the changing scenarios of modern and contemporary international politics. These are covered in seminars and lectures that, with their open perspective, help students to grasp their complexity (with the support of sociological, anthropological and philosophical-political analyses) and to develop adequate interpretations.

The Graduate program offers areas of thematic interest which favor specific paths of research (the areas are: historical, historical-international, economic history, anthropological-sociological and historical-religious) according to a criterion of interdisciplinary work and overcoming the local dimension. The goal is to take a broad and supranational perspective on the research questions from a comparative point of view.

In addition to carrying out their research activities in archives, libraries, institutions, organizations and industries, and using the tools of the social sciences (from interviews to field work), graduate students are required to attend the lessons offered by the College and the many occasions for encounter – round tables, seminars, debates – in order to enrich their cursus studiorum towards the investigation of cultural processes. In this same direction the program has chosen to integrate the collaboration of Italian and foreign instructors who can contribute to the course as specialists and broaden the comparison with international historiographies.

Graduate students are involved in periodic examinations in which the consistency and quality of the work in progress are assessed. These examinations encourage and pursue debate along the path chosen by individual students through discussion, critical analysis, and interaction on both the long-term themes of European history and historical-geographical realities that require the use of interdisciplinary historiographical tools and analyses. There is a constant relationship with a mentor who guides and follows the research. This relationship can be modulated from time to time for specific needs, integrating it with the support of Italian and foreign specialists. In the spirit of the objectives described here, international co-mentoring and the identification of international partnerships are encouraged, starting with those already in place.

In continuity with the Graduate program in History of Europe, the photo of the conferment of the honoris causa Phd title to Senator Liliana Segre is reproduced. Specific planning space will be given to educational and scientific initiatives on memory and, in particular, on the themes of anti-Semitism and on the contrast to prejudice and violence.


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