Saturday, December 24, 2011

EHESS @ Paris # Fall 2011


I`ve almost never been satisfied as a tourist: running the cities, the places and the monuments, usually in less than a week, where there is not enough time and chance to live the life, experience the traditions of the country you visit. Also, my wish to upgrade my educational background by studying abroad, made clear my decision to look for a program which offers studies abroad.

TEMA was convenient chance. The offered universities, which are among the most prestigious in Europe, placed in one of the most beautiful cities as Paris, Prague, Budapest and Catania, increased my enthusiasm to apply to this program. I was accepted by the TEMA Consortium and my mobility track includes three universities at three different cities, starting with Paris, as a student at École des hautes études en sciences sociales.

paris je t'aime

So imagine yourself, one whole year in Paris, one of the most beautiful cities in the world where I am studying at one of the most prestigious universities in the Social Sciences. Having the chance to experience the French culture: the French types of cheese and vine, the most delicious cookies macaroon: the French patisserie, croissant and café… a book in your hands and place yourself in the jardin du Luxembourg or just wish to see Paris from top of Eiffel Tower. Enjoy the view of Montmartre in front of the Sacré-Cœur; Notre Dame and the story of Quasimodo; Versailles… Walking on the streets where the most important historical events happened in 1789, the French revolution; the Quartier Latin; the Louvre and all the precious statues and monuments there and the mode à Pariset violà: you are there, living it, experiencing it as much as you want and you can!

Le jardin du Luxembourg

Of course, not everything is perfect! The period of adaptation of the new system, new life style, new administration and new institutions it’s not so easy. But the one thing that always remains is the experience you gain by dealing all of it, of course with the help of the TEMA coordinators. It is a life chance to become a responsible, grown up, academic person. The possibility of changing universities and cities makes you able to develop different points of view. This Master helps in creating or (better said) measuring different academic experiences.

Being a master student at École des hautes études en Sciences Sociales

French educational system is one of the most exigent but qualitative educational systems. The EHESS is part of the Grand Establissement: it is an administrative French category for the most prestigious high educational institutions.

The university itself hosted dozens of the best scientific researchers in the social sciences in historical, anthropological, geographical and social domains. The TEMA Program in Paris is focused on Territories, Spaces and Society. The system of EHESS gives you the liberty of making your own choice of subjects no matter which discipline, but related to your research subject. The professors give not only theoretical, but also practical examinations and case studies, covered by useful bibliography what provokes the critical thinking. All of the students have one tutor, which follows the work of the student and helps her/his research by narrowing the subject and pointing out the useful books. Actually, it’s a system, pretty different than the one I was used to work in Macedonia, where I came from, but surely useful and successful.

So, in general, it’s a pleasure to be part of TEMA Master Program. My academic experience has just started: my life has been changed, of course in a better terms and I am looking forward to the new experiences, follow my mobility TEMA track.

EHESS @ Paris # l'automne 2011


Chers Candidats du Master TEMA,

C’était un jour de Mai 2010. Après avoir passé une journée très intensive à la fac, j’ai appris, en prenant un café au bord de la Bosphore, que j’étais dans la liste du premier programme de Master Tema. C’était un véritable point tournant dans ma vie ! J’aurais étudié d’éminentes universités de leurs pays d’origine. L’EHESS était une de mes écoles de rêve. C’était l’école par la quelle Fernand Braudel, Claude Lévi-Strauss,  Françoise Héritier, Michel Foucault, François Furet, Milan Kundera étaient passés. En outre, J’ai fait une bonne recherche sur les autres universités qui prennent part au programme de Master TEMA, ce qui m’a bien motivé à envoyer ma candidature.

Le Master TEMA est un programme dédié entièrement aux études interdisciplinaires, qui vous permet de maitriser en plusieurs domaines. Le caractère bilingue et international du programme facilite l’accès à plusieurs sources et vous apporte une merveilleuse expérience à l’échelle européenne. La bilingualité (français et anglais) est un atout pour pouvoir mobiliser parmi les universités du consortium que vous avez choisies. Si vous pensez que vous allez étudier en français uniquement à l’EHESS, vous vous trompez ! Un bon nombre des professeurs non français  maitrisent très bien le français et nous avons passé une très bonne semaine intensive à Budapest avec la participation d’autres professeurs qui viennent des universités du consortium afin de nous donner des séminaires d’initiation.

Rien n’est mieux que la diversité des étudiants ; de l’Amérique latine à l’Asie centrale ! C’était peut-être une sorte de multiculturalisme au sens du Charles Taylor ; parler plusieurs langues et ainsi en passant de l’une à l’autre sans s’en apercevoir ! De surcroît, il y a des occasions de l’apprentissage des langues tchèques, italiennes, hongroises et françaises.

Ah oui ! J’ai oublié de me présenter. Je m’appelle Mustafa Serkan Yarali, diplômé de l’Université Galatasaray à Istanbul et actuellement je suis à l’EHESS. Je poursuivrai mes études à Prague pour le troisième semestre et ensuite je reviendrai à l’EHESS pour finir mon mémoire. Enfin, je vous conseille vraiment que vous déposiez votre candidature au plus tôt ! En espérant qu’on soit des compagnons d’études. Avec mes salutations amicales !

Research topics of the first year TEMA students

The MA thesis is the peak and main aim of the TEMA Master. The interdisciplinary academic palette of the lectures offers a broad range of probable research projects. For the first sight maybe too broad and difficult to choose one aspect from them. Then again it’s absolutely not all the same that on what topic are You going to work in the next two years! For the sake of adequate future TEMA research topics we post here the list of the thesis’ titles of the first year students. Subjects from a whale of associate disciplines: nationalism studies, cultural heritage, sociology, art history, urban studies, etc. It could be interesting and helpful - especially for the new applicants.

  • An example of official nationalism? A critical analysis of Benedict Anderson's theory of Hungarian nationalism
  • Clash of civilisation as a pretext toward intolerance
  • Construction of Territorial Identity through the Art of Literature in the long 19th Century
  • Dynamiques de sous-développement dans l’est et le sud-est de la Turquie, liées à la question kurde
  • EU strategies for the social inclusion of the Roma community
  • Identité nationale et régionale
  • L’analyse comparative du symbolisme entre le coq gaulois et le dragon chinois
  • Les femmes musulmanes en Sicile aujourd’hui
  • Les transmigrants d'Amérique Latine en Europe et
    l´instrumentalisation de la nostalgie: les biens symboliques de ceux qui partent et retournent
  • Linking politics, housing, communities and environment. The experience of Eco-quartiers in France
  • Nation Building and Nationalism: Recent European Academic Discussion Applied on African Horn as Case Study
  • Nationalism and National Myths as Thematical Source of Art Nouveau Movements in the Habsburg Monarchy
  • Problèmes d’identité, conflit de civilisation et formation d’une nouvelle identité urbaine dans les pays de l’URSS et de l’Asie Centrale
  • Protection and preservation of heritage of Art Nouveau in Europe
  • Regional Identity and Conflicts in Transnistria since Late Communism
  • Settlements and resettlements of ethnic minorities in Lahore City (1857-2000)
  • Territoire, lien ou frontière: identités, conflits ethniques, enjeux et recompositions territoriales
  • The Case Investigation of and the Theoretical Studies on the Value Determination of Regional Cultures-Research on the model of Underwater Cultural Heritage Protection and Development
  • The memory of the Sacred

Università degli Studi di Catania # Fall 2011

Anamaria REMETE


The Universita degli studi di Catania has its headquarters in a former Benedictine monastery that locals say it's the seconds largest in Europe located in the old city center, near the St. Agatha Dome and all of what a city-center is all about. Although Sicilian is obviously preferred Italian in Sicily, taking some Italian classes provided by the university will come in handy (not in the local fish market though where a large smile saves the day). I'm afraid the bureaucratic plague hasn't spared Italy, but rest assured that in all that exhausting paperwork you will have a brave local – with the name of a saint – who will help you in a wide range of issues.

"Mafia, pizza,'s all they know", said a Sicilian friend when talking about outsiders' perception of Italy and especially Sicily. Why not admit it? For as much as we like to see ourselves as "open" even we are susceptible to stereotypes. But perhaps the important thing is to always leave room for interrogation and overcoming them in the end.

Our experience and the way in which we perceive things in Catania may be viewed in several stages. At first, complete enchantment that is so typical when having contact with a new place: baroque architecture, hearing that funny Sicilian on the streets, food, the warm climate... But before you know it that initial indulgence may fade away; the Mezzogiorno "piano, piano" pace may not be so much in tune with the Central, Northern, Eastern European's (Argentinean/Chinese/Kazakh’s, etc.) speed. And then, the "cycle" changes once again: with a healthy sense of humour you can make fun of those social habits and, who knows, they might even change you in the process...

We have overlapping lives in the sense that we interact in Italian and we follow Italian social norms, but we also live in Argentina, China or in the Czech Republic in a way; they're a part of us and in some special way all these different lifestyles come together in a small group of six students in Catania. The groups' common language is not exactly Esperanto, but it's close enough; when one language doesn't work we "invent" a new one. It seems chaotic from the outside, but, in some strange and twisted way, it actually works!

Let's take a look on two lectures:

Melania Nucifora

Professor Nucifora's class explores the theoretical, political, economic and social framework in which the vast concept of "landscape" has been developed through history, the main approaches such as the cultural versus the environmental one, the rational versus the mechanical approach to nature and the main challenges that come alongside them.

Paolo Militello

The methodology seminar has provided TEMA students with the necessary basic research tools in the absence of which a paper cannot be called a proper research. The seminar focused on proposing a standard model for structuring a research proposal, tips on planning the stages of the project and basic reference and side notes usage rules.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Lectori salutem!

You are welcome on the TEMA Student Blog! This is a web 2.0 site for the present and future students of TEMA Erasmus Mundus Master Program. For the present students so that our community not to be just an imagined community. And for the future TEMA applicants and students it would serve as a useful source of information about what TEMA is at all.
In the next semesters at our blog You are going to find brief reports by present students participating at the academic program about the courses of all partner departments and articles about other projects of the TEMA students. We hope that You can get an exciting insight to our academic work and university life! If You find interesting our program, You can read about how to become a TEMA student on the official homepage:

TEMA Intensive Week


The TEMA consortium creates the opportunity for all students to know each other by getting involved in the Intensive Week. The first day of the intensive week began with the dinner at a cruise and every student got to know each other quite quickly as they had been waiting for this occasion for so many days. It was also surprising for me when I noticed the sitting plan and arrangement of dinner tables. Every student had to make some effort to find his/her seat and when I arrived at my seat I found three strange faces on my table. Indeed, they were my class fellows and after some time we did not remain strangers for each other. After introducing ourselves, we started discussing and chatting as at the usual meetings of old colleagues. The tour of the historical buildings of Budapest made my dinner unforgettable.

In front of the Danube and the Hungarian Parliament

It was a very nice and wonderful experience to get a formal and detailed orientation about the sessions in the seminar room among all students and teachers involved in the TEMA. It was also a very good experience for me when I realized the expertise of the program’s management with which it decided about the mobility track, the student participation and solved all these matters according to the needs of all students.

The visit to the Szentendre Skanzen “Open Air Ethnographic Museum” was a very useful and unique exposure for understanding the culture and living traditions of a country, after this visit everybody was well aware about the evolution of the different aspects of life in Hungary. For us history majors it was a very educating experience to hear about all of this in a very systematic way.

Tour at Szentendre Open Air Museum

I also would like to discuss about the lunch and dinner arrangement of students, as it also served as an occasion to understand and to get to know each other better. It was also a good chance for all of us to understand the local food of the Hungarian Culture.

To sum up, I feel that it is a very good tradition of TEMA consortium to make students get to know each other and provide them some knowledge about where they come from and what they have been doing in their career as well as what they are going to do in future.

Charles University @ Prague # Fall 2011

Priscilla HIDALGO

How is it to be a TEMA student at Charles University?

First of all, we should mention that the Faculty of Arts could not have a better location. It is just in the city center, so everything is near. Charging your phone, the bank, restaurants, all types of transportation are just a few steps away. So, whenever you feel stressed just go out and have a look at the Castle or take a walk to the Old Town Square… this is the best way of realizing how lucky you are of having the opportunity of studying in a fairy tale city.
Sometimes you might be lost in translation though, but don’t get desperate. Taking basic Czech classes might help you, and if not, remember the importance of body language and mostly remember that smiles are universal. Apart from some bureaucratic procedures like opening a bank account, police and migration, and so on, you can survive in English; just remember to ask for help from the Erasmus Coordinating department when you are not sure about an administrative procedure or you have any other.
Last but not least, Charles University has a lot of Erasmus students, so you will definitely have the chance of experiencing a multicultural environment not only in lectures, but also at the cafeteria, library, etc.

The building of the Faculty of Arts on the riverbank of the Vltava


The Comparative History subject mainly focuses on exploring comparative history as a tool of systematic analysis and interpretation. But, how do we do this? Reading and class discussions are the basic tasks in order to get familiarized with Comparative History.
The readings are particular, since the approach is of Central Europe; this means that you will have the opportunity to get to know new authors that might have different ways of thinking, compared to the classical Western Europe approach.
Another interesting point is the feedback you get from classmates -some of them are Czech, which helps you indirectly to get to know better Charles University, and the Czech vision and history.


As its title states, this is an introductory course about what Europe is as a concept and as an idea, from a European point of view. It is based mainly on a historical voyage through the Industrial Revolution until the post-WWII context.
With the European studies lectures you will be able to level your knowledge regarding Europe (economic, political, military and cultural general aspects) in case you are not too familiar with it. Also, it also helps you to get to know in details the process of identity building in Europe, and at the same time, it makes you understand better the people and the continent you will be living in for the next two years.


The aim of the methodological seminar is to help you to realize that actually you have to write a MA thesis, and that in this process every week improvements, changes and step backs do count in order to accomplish your goal.
You will mainly have to talk about the books you read, about the structure of you work, the steps in which you are constructing your object of study, with a very interesting variable: sometimes you will have to do this with your MA thesis director, other times with visiting professors.
This is without a doubt a great tool for a social researcher, because it involves a lot of feedback, allowing you to decide which critiques, ideas and opinions you are willing to include in your work, and which not. In this way you get to know better your work and what you want your research to become, it will help you to shape your thesis and delimitate it.

The general reading room of the Czech National Library [Klementinum]


The TEMA Seminar is the theoretical complement of the Methodological Seminar. It is the time of the week when you get the chance of focusing on key concepts of your thesis and for the TEMA program as well. Different approaches to the notions of Nation, Civilization, Region and City region will help you to set the conceptual bases for your work, as well as to know different tendencies in epistemology and social theories.
Also, there is a great amount of transfer of ideas when the visiting professors explain their works and how they use these concepts.


The main point in this subject is to understand civilization. How? By getting to know in a deeper way the “image of the other”, which would lead to the better understanding of one’s own place in the world at the same time.
In other words, the main point of the Old and the New World is to establish the pertinence the Czech and Moravians had when the American conquest and colony took place. It is an excellent way of establishing the mutual influence America and Europe have upon each other.