News from Nov 01, 2006
The winter term 2007/2008 will mark a new era in graduate studies at the John F. Kennedy Institute. The institute's proposal for a structured PhD. program focusing on "The Challenges of Freedom" was one of eighteen graduate school concepts and one of only two projects in the social sciences and the humanities chosen for funding through the Excellence Initiative of the German Research Foundation (Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft).
The graduate school will be funded with a million Euros annually for a period of five years. Together with the senior faculty of the Kennedy Institute and renowned scholars from related disciplines at the Freie Universität, up to 33 students in eight research areas will explore the complex challenges of freedom in contexts which range from religion and civil rights to the literature and culture of border regions.
The Graduate School for North American Studies builds on the tradition of interdisciplinary area studies and academic excellence that have been the hallmarks of the Kennedy Institute since its founding by the political scientist Ernst Fraenkel in the 1960s and were key to the success of the institute's research training group "Democracy in the United States" (1991-2001). The aim of this new and innovative project is, in the words of the graduate school's speaker Professor Ulla Haselstein, "to take Humboldt's ideal into the 21st century."