Institut des Amériques

The France Chicago Center was a leading impetus in development the five year agreement between the University of Chicago and the Institut des Amériques (IdA), signed in March of 2021. The agreement establishes the framework for a series of robust exchanges at the graduate student and faculty research levels and creates a new International Hub (pôle international) based at the University of Chicago that is coordinated by a visiting graduate student from France.

The hub’s research activities link students and faculty at the IdA with those based in various UChicago departments and Centers (Center for Latin American Studies and the Karla Scherer Center for the Study of American Culture among others) and at the Research Institute of the University of Chicago Center in Paris.

The Institut des Amériques, which operates under the auspices of the CNRS, brings together over 1000 faculty and researchers in 50 institutions in France who study the Americas through a transnational lens and with a transdisciplinary approach. Their principal areas of focus are politics & society, history culture, international relations economics—disciplines represented by UChicago’s Divisions of the Humanities and Social Sciences.

Consistent with IdA’s twin goals of fostering closer ties with universities in the western hemisphere and promoting premier research opportunities for the best graduate students in France, IdA has created and maintains a series of 14 “International Hubs,” throughout the Americas that promote collaboration and link the efforts of visiting French graduate students and universities in France and in the Western Hemisphere.

As part of this agreement, the University of Chicago host a visiting graduate student from France Chicago for periods of three years. During the first two years, the student is in residence on the Chicago campus—conducting dissertation research under the mentorship of UChicago faculty members, auditing classes, participating in workshops, and coordinating the research activities of the UChicago hub—all the while completing the Ph.D. requirement of the student’s home university in France. During the 3rd year of the program, the visiting student is in residence at the Research Institute at the University of Chicago Center in Paris, where the visiting student finishes up Ph.D. research while planning and coordinating a major colloquium related to the hub’s intellectual focus. This colloquium is hosted by the Research Institute at the Center in Paris and brings together faculty and students from Chicago, France, and Europe.

Adam Bigache is the current PhD student coordinator (2021-2024) of our Chicago division. You can learn more about his research on this page. As the end of his mandate approaches, a new graduate student will soon be nominated to be the new coordinator.

This agreement also further develops the strong links already established between the University of Chicago and two major institutions in France: the CNRS, which provides seed funding for the international hub; and the French Ministry of Higher Education Research and Innovation, which provides funding for the graduate student hosted by the University of Chicago.