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European Field Studies Records

1969-2010
2 boxes (3 linear foot)
Call no.: RG 25 A6 E97

The European Field Studies Program has played a critical role in graduate and undergradute training in the UMass Amherst Department of Anthropology since its inception in the late 1960s. The program provides opportunities for graduate students and honors undergraduates to gain practical experience in fieldwork by taking part in intensive projects at selected sites in Europe. The program is designed to assist students in developing concrete research plans and to begin to put their plans into effect.

The EFS collection contains correspondence between faculty and students about fieldwork, student research proposals and final reports, publications and data on the distinguished lecturers, departmental memos and meeting minutes, and range of other miscellaneous and financial material.

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Background on European Field Studies Program


An image of: Field study in Barcelona, 2011: Dana Johnson, Grace Cleary, Jill Bierly, Mackenzie Jackson, Seung ho Chung

Field study in Barcelona, 2011: Dana Johnson, Grace Cleary, Jill Bierly, Mackenzie Jackson, Seung ho Chung

The European Field Studies Program (EFS) in the Department of Anthropology stands as the most enduring international graduate training experience at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. The program celebrates its 50th anniversary in 2019-20. It counts approximately 180 graduate students among its alumni.

European Field Studies traces its roots to 1969-70, a critical moment in the history of anthropology, as the field was turning away from studying non-Western "exotics" to focusing on Europe's so-called people without history such as peasants, workers, women, youth, ethnic/racial minorities, and immigrants.

Faculty members Joel M. Halpern, Oriol Pi-Sunyer, and Zdenek (Denny) Salzman collaborated in writing a proposal to support students in conducting semester-long field-based research. Over the decades, training evolved into a three-course sequence: proposal design, fieldwork experience, and data analysis. Students also received experience presenting research proposals and post-fieldwork findings to the UMass community as well as at professional conferences. Faculty members from all subfields of anthropology rotated into the program as supervisors. From the beginning, the program included a modest stipend for faculty to spend a semester in Europe at the same time as students so as to provide mentoring through site visits and workshops.

The initial proposal in the late 1960s was coordinated with the "Freiburg Program" in what became the German and Scandinavian Studies Department at the University of Massachusetts. It built on an exchange program with universities in Baden-Württemberg, Germany, established in 1964. The University of Freiburg in Freiburg, Germany, was identified to serve as the first exchange site with the Anthropology Department beginning in Spring 1970. Two years later, in Spring 1972, UMass provided funding for a faculty teaching exchange with the host university, a practice that survived for nearly a decade.

Throughout the years, other institutions became partners and hosted retreats or conferences with local anthropologists for students participating in the program. These include the Museo degli Usi e Costumi della Gente Trentina in San Michele all'Adige, Italy, from 2001-2004, Central European University in Budapest, Hungary, from 2005-2007, Universitat de Barcelona in Barcelona, Spain, from 2011-2016, and the University of Deusto in Bilbao, Spain, in 2013.

The field studies training has changed in structure through the history of the program, sometimes being organized around a location (1970s), and other times around a theme (2010s). The student proposals in the collection reflect these variations and include research on social memory, economic crisis, value, social movements, nationalism, stress and industrialization, trade, material culture, tourism, language and identity, immigration, to name a few. From 2010-17, the program was funded through two training grants for international experiences from the National Science Foundation under the overarching theme of Cultural Heritage in European Societies and Spaces, or CHESS. Co-Principal Investigators were Krista Harper and Jacqueline Urla; Elizabeth (Betsy) Krause and Julie Hemment also rotated in as field supervisors. (The 2010-2013 program was funded through NSF Award Number: OISE-0968575; the 2013-2017 program was funded through NSF Award Number: IIA-1261172.)

In addition to the training, under the leadership of Program Director Jacqueline Urla, the European Field Studies program initiated an Annual Distinguished Lecture in the Anthropology of Europe in 1996. This lecture is often co-sponsored within the Five College Consortium and reflects contemporary trends in the field. The first invited lecturers were Michael Herzfeld (Harvard University), followed by Begoña Aretxaga (Harvard University), and Barbara Bender (University College London).

Scope of collection

The collection includes financial documents, correspondence between faculty and students about fieldwork, student research proposals and final reports, publications and publicity related to the distinguished lecturers, and departmental memos and meeting minutes about the European program. The financial memos contain the trials of maintaining funding for the program amidst budget cuts and rising costs for travel to and living in Europe. Most striking is the fact that the student stipend was about $1,200 for a three-month trip until 1982, when it increased to about $2,000. In 1996, after petitioning the Dean of SBS, the program's budget was doubled.

Throughout the program's history, faculty drafted several narratives to reiterate the program's importance to the Dean and other administrators. Student success in receiving external grants because of their work in the EFS program is regularly explained as an important marker of success. Some of these applications are included in the collection.

Inventory

Annual Distinguished Lecturer: Artaxa, Begona
1997
Annual Distinguished Lecturer: Beder, Barbara
1998
Annual Distinguished Lecturer: Cole, John
1999
Annual Distinguished Lecturer: Counihan, Carole
2010
Annual Distinguished Lecturer: Herzfeld, Michael
1996
Annual Distinguished Lecturer: Kertzer, David
2000
Annual Distinguished Lecturer: Narotzky, Susana
2011
Annual Distinguished Lecturer: Shore, Chris
2002
Annual Distinguished Lecturer: Publicity
1997-2004
Correspondence: Director(s) in the Field
1997
Correspondence: General, About Program and Fieldwork
1983-2004
Correspondence: Program of 1977-1978
1978
Correspondence: Sponsor Letters for Students
1973-2006
Correspondence: Students to Director about Fieldwork
1978-1998
Director: Annual Reports
1974-2006
Director: Field Contact Details
1985-1998
Director: Memos about Courses for EFS Cycles
1978-1995
Director: Memos about Future Directors
1978-1996
Director: Memos about Participation in EFS Program
1978-1999
Director: Memos about Reports-General
1978-1986
Director: Memos to Students
1978-2005
Director: Notes about EFS General
1983-1984
Director: Products
1996
EFS Committee: Meeting Minutes
1974-2008
EFS General: Blank Participant Contracts/Forms
EFS General: Course Planning Documents
1983-1993
EFS General: Course Syllabi
1975-2005
EFS General: CVs
EFS General: Descriptions of Program/Mission Statements
1972-2001
EFS General: European Books and Films
EFS General: History of Program Research
1996
EFS General: Model Programs
EFS General: Program Proposal
1969
EFS Handbook
1980s
EFS Handbook
1996-2000
Financial: Budget Memos
1972-2004
Financial: Budget Requests and Request Responses
1972-2005
Financial: External Funding Attempt
1996-1997
Financial: Participant Input
1991-1999
Financial: Potential Grants
1991-2003
Participants: Application Information
1974-2005
Participants: Contracts
1993-1997
Participants: Enrolment
1983-2002
Participants: External Grants
1983-2005
Participants: Field Contact Details
1984-1998
Participants: Products
1975-2004
Participants: Products
2001
Participants: Proposals
1979-1980
Participants: Proposals
1983-1984
Participants: Proposals
1993-1994
Participants: Proposals
1997-1998
Participants: Proposals
1998-1999
Participants: Proposals
2000-2001
Participants: Proposals
2001-2002
Participants: Proposals
2002-2003
Participants: Proposals
2003-2004
Participants: Proposals
2004-2005
Participants: Proposals
2005-2006
Publicity
1969-2003

Administrative information

Access

The collection is open for research.

Provenance

Gift of Elizabeth Krause, Nov. 2017.

Processing Information

Processed by Rebecca Bartusewich, Dec. 2017.

Language:

English

Copyright and Use (More information )

Cite as: European Field Studies Program Records (RG 25 A6 E97). Special Collections and University Archives, University of Massachusetts Amherst Libraries.

Search terms

Subjects

  • Anthropology--Europe
  • Anthropology--Fieldwork
  • Anthropology--Study and teaching
  • Pi-Sunyer, Oriol
  • University of Massachusetts Amherst. Department of Anthropology
  • Wobst, Hans Martin, 1943-

Contributors

  • European Field Studies Program Records [main entry]

Link to similar SCUA collections