Kim H. Veltman

“E-Culture Net and a New European University of Culture”

Historia en Informatica, Amsterdam, Jaargang 11, no. 3, 2004.

The idea of a Network of Centres of Excellence for Culture was born in December 1995, when the European Commission launched the idea of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for Multimedia Access to Europe’s Cultural Heritage. As announced at the opening of the MEDICI Framework in Vienna (October 1998), the plan was that this network would be based at the Maastricht McLuhan Institute (MMI). The establishment of E-Culture Net as a thematic network within the 5th Framework Programme (2001-2002) was a next step. When a new administration at the University of Maastricht reversed its commitments, E-Culture Net began to look elsewhere.

A new home has now been found. A new European University of Culture is being launched and on 1 September 2005 it will provisionally begin with courses leading to new European doctorates in culture. The initial plan was to be based in the buildings of the European Parliament at Strasbourg. For practical reasons it was decided to begin with a distributed model with four universities each focussing on different topics: Freie Universität, Berlin (art and aesthetics); Universià di Bologna (humanities); Universidad di Alcala, Madrid (language and literature) and Université de Paris 8 (philosophy and internet). E-Culture Net will be based at Paris 8.

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