European Graduate School

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European Graduate School
Established 1994
Type Graduate School; Private; Non-for-profit
President Hubertus von Amelunxen
Dean Margo Fuchs Knill (AHS), Stephen K. Levine (AHS), Christopher Fynsk (PACT)
Location Leuk-Stadt, Switzerland (Administrative Office); Saas-Fee, Switzerland; Valletta, Malta

The European Graduate School / EGS is a cross-disciplinary institution of higher education awarding Masters and Doctoral degrees within its two divisions: Arts, Health and Society (AHS), and Philosophy, Art and Critical Thought (PACT).[1]


The Arts, Health, and Society Division was established in Saas-Fee, Switzerland in 1994. EGS has been compared to Black Mountain College, and referred to as the “White Mountain Graduate School”, in the past. [2]

In 2015, the Media and Communications division was renamed the division of Philosophy, Art and Critical Thought (PACT).[3]


The European Graduate School is a privately funded international graduate school founded by the non-profit European Foundation of Interdisciplinary Studies. It is governed by a presidential board that includes a representative of the Swiss Canton du Valais (FR) / Kanton Wallis (DE).[4]

EGS is an EU accredited Institution of Higher Education[5] by the National Commission for Further and Higher Education, Malta (license number 2015-007),[6] and by the State and Canton du Valais (FR) / Kanton Wallis (DE).[7] [8]

Media and Communications Division[edit]

Jean-Luc Nancy and students at EGS, June 11, 2006

The Media and Communication Department focuses on creative breakthroughs and theoretical paradigm shifts, bringing together master's and doctoral students with an interest in film, art, philosophy, communications, literature, internet, web and cyberspace studies with filmmakers, artists, writers, and philosophers.

Faculty and guest lecturers give three- to six-day courses during four-week summer seminars. Visiting faculty have included Giorgio Agamben, Chantal Akerman, and Pierre Alféri.[9][10][11][12][13][14]

Teaching philosophy[edit]

Studies involve two years of coursework, including rigorous online writing requirements based on a structured reading list, and two three-week summer seminars in Switzerland, during which students are evaluated for their active participation in nine hours of seminars and lectures each day with visiting professors, philosophers, filmmakers, and artists and spend their final three years writing a thesis or dissertation, followed by a traditional oral defense.[15]

Slavoj Žižek described his involvement in EGS in an interview with Swiss magazine Die Weltwoche:

There is an international summer school, the European Graduate School... What is interesting with this school is the selection of lecturers – there are well-known philosophers and artists from the whole world, including filmmakers Peter Greenaway and Volker Schlöndorff, theorists Donna Haraway and Sandy Stone, and philosophers Giorgio Agamben, Alain Badiou and I. We three are friends. We meet there each year, are engaged for three weeks.[16]

Slavoj Žižek also described the rigor and prestige of EGS as an academic institution during an interview in 2006:

EGS is not only a place to create an interaction between students, but gives them freedom. Not freedom to do nothing, but precisely freedom to work in this creative inter-space. Also, the way the talks are done, we do very serious theoretical work here. I like how the school approaches me. You know, I had to be there for exams for the students so I thought how should I terrorize them, I told them: "You ask yourself a question and then you answer it". Ah, but you know, they didn’t have any excuses. They couldn’t have said: "Ah, sorry, I could not answer you." They had to be at their best. No excuses. We are challenged to do so. So, it’s wonderful to see how somebody like Badiou comes; it’s like work in progress that you can see. It’s really serious work. It’s enough mixing between students and professors as equals so that you can get real productive exchange, not just ritualistic questions, answers and so on. I think this is what accounts for the growing success of EGS. It’s simply a negative proof of the failure of today’s academia.[17]

Intercollegiate connections[edit]

EGS has established curricular cooperation with:

See also[edit]

Notes and references[edit]

  1. ^ Atkins, Sally (2005). "Artists in Community: The Black Mountain College and the White Mountain Graduate School.". POIESES: A Journal of the Arts and Communications 7: 108–124. 
  2. ^ Atkins, Sally (2005). "Artists in Community: The Black Mountain College and the White Mountain Graduate School.". POIESES: A Journal of the Arts and Communications 7: 108–124. 
  3. ^
  4. ^ Canton Du Valais |Kanton Wallis Department of Education. Listing of universities and research institutions Accessed: May 5, 2010.
  5. ^
  6. ^
  7. ^ Kanton Wallis. Präsidium des Staatsrates. Staatskanzlei. Auszug aus dem Protokoll der Sitzungen des Staatsrates. February 28, 2007.
  8. ^
  9. ^ Gregory, Derek. "The black flag: Guantánamo Bay and the space of exception": Geografiska Annaler. Series B: Human Geography. December 2006, Vol. 88 Issue 4, Pages: 405–427
  10. ^ Kuhn, Albert. Interview mit einem schnellen Brüter. Die Weltwoche. No. 45/05, 2005
  11. ^ (Press release) e-flux. Think Media: The Black Mountain College is back - in Switzerland! Gregory Ulmer. e-flux. International network of Visual Art Professionals. 2002
  12. ^ Fedianina, Olga. 6. Juni 1950: Chantal Akerman. Jüdische Zeitung. Unabhängige Monatszeitung für zeitgenössisches Judentum. June 2006
  13. ^ Haber, John. Chantal Akerman: Bordering on Fiction. Haber Arts.
  14. ^ University of Buffalo.Bilingual reading by Pierre Alféri Accessed: August 4th, 2011
  15. ^ Filmmaker Magazine Blog, The European Graduate School, by Scott Macaulay, March 2004
  16. ^ Die Weltwoche 45/05, "Interview mit einem schnellen Brüter", by Albert Kuhn, 2005
  17. ^ The European Graduate School, Slavoj Žižek, 2006
  18. ^ Beit Berl College. The School of Multi-Disciplinary Studies at Beit Berl College and EGS. Beit Berl College. Accessed: 30 October 2007.
  19. ^ Victor J. Vitanza. Ph.D. in Rhetorics, Communication, and Information Design. Program Handbook (2007–08) Study Abroad. Clemson University. College of Architecture, Arts, Humanities. 2007/2008
  20. ^ Maestría en Teoría Crítica. 17, Instituto de Estudios Críticos.
  21. ^ Internationale Hochschule Calw. Staatlich anerkannte Fachhochschule für Kreativpädagogik und künstlerische Therapien. Kooperationspartner Juli 4, 2007

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 46°06′52″N 7°55′46″E / 46.11457°N 7.92939°E / 46.11457; 7.92939