French Interdisciplinary Group (FIG)
The French Interdisciplinary Group (FIG), founded in 1996, is one of a dozen interdisciplinary centers, or centres d'excellence, supported by the French government in the United States (others include Columbia, Cornell, Dartmouth, Harvard, Johns Hopkins, NYU, Princeton, Stanford, UCLA, University of Chicago, University of Pennsylvania, and Yale).
FIG’s activities fall into three categories. First, it contributes to intellectual life on campus by supporting presentations, seminars, and colloquia on French or francophone studies, on French scholarship, and presentations by French visitors in all disciplines, from the humanities to the sciences. It offers two regular speakers’ series, the Causeries, for undergraduates, and the Cafés Philosophiques, organized by and for graduate students.
Second, it supports graduate student research. It provides small summer grants, making possible exploratory investigation of dissertation topics in libraries and archives in France or other francophone countries, or by learning French or perfecting one’s French for research purposes in France or another francophone country. It also supports graduate research by collaborating closely with the Paris Program on Critical Theory and the dual PhD Program in International and Intercultural Studies that Northwestern University offers in partnership with the Institut d’Études Politiques de Paris (Sciences Po). It is actively involved in the management and development of graduate exchange programs with the École Normale Supérieure, rue d’Ulm and the École Normale Supérieure, Lyon.
Third, it works to form new partnerships and programs with French institutions of higher education, notably Sciences Po, the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales (EHESS), and, for the natural sciences, the Université Louis Pasteur of Strasbourg. In this regard, FIG works closely with the Office for International Program Development. It also oversees regular faculty exchanges with Sciences Po and EHESS. FIG Affiliates include over 50 faculty members and as many Graduate Affiliates from every school of the university, and from most departments of the Weinberg School of Arts and Sciences. FIG is associated with the Buffett Center, with which it works closely to promote the internationalization of education and scholarship at Northwestern.
For more information, visit the FIG website: