TEEME is an international doctoral programme in early modern studies funded by the European Union. It is structured around a unique collaboration between university-based researchers in the Humanities and the cultural and creative sector in four EU countries (United Kingdom, Germany, Portugal, Czech Republic).
PhDs in European Studies. TEEME is an international doctoral programme in early modern studies funded by the European Union. It is structured around a unique collaboration between university-based researchers in the Humanities and the cultural and creative sector in four EU countries (United Kingdom, Germany, Portugal, Czech Republic). The partnership will foster intercultural dialogue and disseminate the best research in history, literature and culture to the wider community. On these pages you will find our research profile, a description of the programme and its objectives, details of the consortium universities and the programme's associated partners, as well as information on the application process.
TEEME aims to integrate the study of the past with impact on the present. Our principal intellectual concern is the early modern period, understood as lasting from c. 1400 to c. 1700, the foundational age of the current world order with its political divisions and economic dependencies, in which modern European identities were formed in the context of nation-building, imperial ambition and colonial expansion. Students on the programme will bring this period into meaningful relations with current issues and concerns by focusing on the enduring traces that early modern texts and events left, and still leave, on today’s globalized world. History, literature and culture will thus be taught and studied as central to the shaping of the future.
The programme’s main objective is to prepare a new generation of research leaders, cultural managers and policy-makers for the demands of a 21st century in which historical forgetfulness and cultural amnesia threaten the integration of an increasingly interconnected world. These challenges will be addressed through an emphasis on forms of cultural and historical understanding – processes that are themselves both conditions of the actual student experience and potential topics of research. By investigating the past from a fully historicized understanding of the present, and by working in international teams, students will acquire the skills and background knowledge necessary to intervene in current debates about global uncertainties and the new world-wide risks faced by culture and society.
The need to make the past inform the present in new and substantially different ways is painfully evident in everyday public discourse. For instance, present debates about the ‘clash of cultures’ and the tensions between the local and the global dangerously ignore the experience of our early modern forbears who first ventured out beyond Europe to encounter other cultures, peoples, and religions. Close historical attention reveals that these early encounter stories cannot easily be reduced, as they often are in public perception, to any facile and clear-cut binaries such as the opposition between ‘colonizer’ and ‘colonized’, between Christians and ‘heathens’ (often actually Muslims, Hindus or Jews), or between mobile Europeans and static indigenous people. Instead, such historical encounters were frequently moments of exchange, interaction, and even mutual respect, in which both sides learned and benefited from each other. TEEME’s ambition is to rectify such historical distortions.
Through this central focus on the interface between past and present, the programme will both promote greater historical awareness of shared European origins, foster exchange among diverse European and non-European cultures, and offer a unique learning experience to both EU and international students. It will help control negative developments, such as violent nationalism or the radical distrust of foreign cultures, religions and peoples, that often emerge during economic crises and are exacerbated by the lack of nuanced historical understanding. At the same time the programme will enrich and improve current perceptions of European identities and their role in history, as well as engender the transformation of national cultural institutions through the input of knowledge and expertise from different cultures.
The TEEME consortium is committed to a structured, ‘needs-based’ approach to its doctoral programme, recognizing the necessity for formal, high-level generic and subject-specific training accompanied by personal development plans to enable doctoral candidates to pursue effective, independent and original research. Training and coursework are fully integrated in the organization of the programme which is built on the wide experience within the consortium of doctoral supervision, co-tutelle arrangements, and international postgraduate communities.
Two of the consortium partners (Kent and FU Berlin) have Graduate Schools which provide a supportive and stimulating interdisciplinary environment for early career researchers. The Kent Graduate School offers a transferable skills development programme and further funding and study opportunities through links with research councils and other national and international organizations. All TEEME students will benefit from this in semester 1. The Dahlem Research School in Berlin provides a unique context for postgraduate students and a systematic training programme in disciplinary, transdisciplinary and transferable skills, as well as further career development measures. Porto and CU Prague have a longstanding tradition in producing top-class Humanities graduates and an excellent track record in research supervision.
The dedicated interdisciplinary research centres listed in the research profile organize regular seminars, workshops and conferences throughout the academic year, often with the participation of international speakers. Opportunities exist at all sites to engage in research contexts not specifically dedicated to the early modern period. Students on the programme will be actively encouraged to expand their knowledge and research interests, make useful national and international contacts, and engage in cross-disciplinary debates, by participating in some or all of these activities throughout their three years of study.
The programme is divided into six semesters. Each cohort will spend the first semester at Kent which will help to establish a sense of group identity. Kent has been chosen as the location for semester 1 because of the varied training programme offered by its established Graduate School, because the introductory module ‘TEEME: Theory and Practice’, taught through the Centre for Medieval and Early Modern Studies, relies on input by Kent and London-based associated partners, and because the local language, English, is also the language of tuition, shared by all students.
All training and research activities will receive full recognition in the form of ECTS credits (ECTS: European Credit Transfer System). Over the three years of the degree students will acquire a minimum of 180 credits, split into 120 credits for research activities and work on the thesis (the ‘research strand’) and 60 credits for skills training, curricular elements and the work placement (the ‘skills strand’). Programme elements such as early teambuilding, electronic publication platform and annual conferences ensure a high level of peer support that will strengthen research quality and encourage collaboration across borders. Building on successful co-tutelle arrangements, the international supervisory team will consist of two TEEME staff, one each from the two chosen places of study.
All compulsory research and training activities by students will count fully towards the final degree. Depending on the type of activity and/or nature of the taught elements, credits in the skills strand are awarded through certified workshop and seminar attendance, and through the assessment of coursework, exams, presentations, placement reports, or peer-reviewed publications. Credits in the research strand are awarded for research presentations, certified seminar attendance, progress reports, written sections of the thesis, and the thesis itself.
The TEEME programme structure requires compulsory publication through the participation of all students in an online publication platform in semester 2. Facilities to enable virtual seminars (Blackboard, Moodle) will be provided through the programme website. Participation in the online workshop will attract credits, and students can obtain further credits through a series of three linked reviews or a scholarly article. All electronic publications will be peer-reviewed and formally assessed by members of the consortium universities.
The consortium is committed to disseminating research outcomes in published form. It will reserve a section of the website for electronic publication and use existing links to publishers (including placement providers) to promote publication in hard copy. The research training at all sites will emphasize the importance of publication for the advancement of the subject. Graduates who have chosen FU Berlin as one of their degree-awarding institutions will be required to publish their thesis; all others will be strongly encouraged to do so, either through the TEEME website or through other means appropriate to the discipline.
The institutions have agreed to offer work placements to TEEME students in semester 4 of the programme. Students are encouraged to contact TEEME staff to find out more about each placement. Individual arrangements will be flexible regarding duration and nature of employment. Students will work an average of 180 hours per placement over the course of semester 4.
The EACEA (Education, Audiovisual and Culture Executive Agency) have been funding the TEEME programme from 2011 to 2015, during which time 36 full Fellowships were financed by the Agency. Funding came to an end with the intake of the fifth and final TEEME cohort in September 2015. No further Fellowships will be offered by TEEME under the existing Framework Partnership Agreement with the EACEA.
OTHER FUNDING OPTIONS
Candidates who have been offered a place on the programme will be eligible to apply for partially or fully funded studentships at all four partner universities. Specifically, Kent offers a number of PhD studentships each year in all participating departments to both EU and overseas candidates and supports all research students with a minimum allowance for research expenses each year. The Dahlem Research School at FU Berlin offers a range of travel and mobility grants, as well as start-up and completion scholarships to postgraduate students, both EU and international. Porto participates in a variety of national funding schemes to which researchers can apply for small research grants, short-term scholarships and travel expenses. In Prague students will be able to apply for the grants offered by the Charles University Foundation (GAUK). In addition, students will receive support and guidance to apply for any further funding for which they may be eligible in their home countries.