Fordham has joined a consortium of five universities in Berlin and New York that will allow the University’s professors and graduate students to collaborate on research in urban studies.
Known as the Transatlantic Graduate Research Program Berlin-New York, the initiative is based at the Technische Universität Berlin’s Center for Metropolitan Studies (CMS) and is funded by the German Research Foundation. The other members of the consortium are Humboldt Universität, Freie Universität, Columbia University and New York University.
“This program offers a way for Fordham to participate with first-rate scholars on urban issues while fulfilling the international mission of the University,” said Rosemary Wakeman, Ph.D., director of Fordham’s Urban Studies Program. “The CMS is one of the only centers in Europe that is interested in an interdisciplinary approach to cities and the urban experience, and Berlin is a city undergoing enormous transformation. It is one of the most avant garde cities in architecture and design.”
The trans-Atlantic program, which Fordham joined in the summer, will make possible graduate fellowships and student exchanges between the German and American universities, as well as faculty and student collaboration on research projects. Wakeman said that the program is open to graduate students and faculty in all disciplines, as long as there is an urban-studies connection.
CMS was founded in 2004 as an interdisciplinary, internationally oriented research center with a strong focus on European urban history. The focus of the research program is on the “History and Culture of the Metropolis in the 20th Century,” and currently supports 14 doctoral and two post-doctoral students from five nations who are working on urban research.
Wakeman will represent Fordham on the program’s board of advisors, and she and Mark Naison, Ph.D., professor of history and African and African American studies, participated in the program’s three-day conference, “Time/Space Dynamics in Urban Settings,” in May.
Fordham’s Lincoln Center Urban Studies Program began under the direction of the late anthropologist Margaret Mead, who headed Fordham’s social sciences division in the late 1960s. The Rose Hill Urban Studies Program, which recently opened a new office in Dealy Hall, was headed for many years by Naison and has a long standing connection with the Bronx. Wakeman said that the field of urban studies is experiencing a growth spurt as an important area of scholarship in academic institutions.
“The world’s urban population is exploding,” she said, “and with it has come enormous problems that need to be solved.”