Crossing Borders

This page is currently under revision as the Crossing Borders program undergoes administrative changes.

Welcome to Crossing Borders (CB) at the University of Iowa!

CB is an interdisciplinary graduate training and fellowship program that prepares Ph.D. students for in-depth study of complex transnational or global phenomena and processes. Piloted in 1997 under the auspices of a Ford Foundation grant to rethink area studies after the Cold War, CB was institutionalized as a graduate program at the University of Iowa in 1999. Over 100 fellows from twelve departments participated in the program in its first decade, creating a unique intellectual community that bridges geographical and disciplinary boundaries both on campus and abroad. We are excited to see what new borders CB fellows will cross in the coming decade.

Mission Statement

Crossing Borders is:

  • A two-year graduate teaching and fellowship program that seeks to foster understanding of global and transnational processes and to develop models, frameworks, and tools for ambitious, creative, and innovative approaches to such phenomena.
  • A resource for member departments that offers courses, mentoring, and financial support for Ph.D. students wishing to pursue dissertation research on comparative, transnational, or global topics.
  • A set of graduate seminars co-taught by faculty with different areas of geographical or disciplinary expertise that cultivate imaginative, flexible thinking and develop the interdisciplinary concepts and methods required by the complexity of transnational social, political, and cultural phenomena.
  • A fellowship program that supports language training and multi-sited field research based on the conviction that deep, area-specific knowledge of languages, cultures, and places remains essential, even as we recognize the global processes and transnational networks that have broken down the traditional area studies vision of a world composed of discrete geographical and cultural entities.
  • An intellectual community of students and faculty in the humanities and social sciences who share an interest in cross-regional, cross-disciplinary research and teaching.