European Field Studies Program

University of Massachusetts European Field Studies director Betsy Krause

The European Field Studies (EFS) program provides graduate students the opportunity to develop a research idea into a concrete plan of action, to put the plan into effect during a field studies experience in Europe, then to write up research results during the ensuing semester. Under direct faculty supervision, students carry out research at various sites in Europe. The European Field Studies program supports students at various phases in their graduate studies: early-career exploratory research to develop a thesis or dissertation topic, mid-career pre-dissertation research to collect preliminary data, and late-career phase field research when students are nearing completion of the dissertation and wish to supplement their data. Honors undergraduates are also invited to apply if they are planning to conduct fieldwork for a capstone project.

The university supports the European Field Studies program by granting participants a modest stipend to cover travel and lodging expenses. Stipends have ranged from $2,000–$7,500 depending on available resources. Participants are encouraged to use matching funds from either external or internal grants, such as from the Graduate School or other sources.

The Director of the European Field Studies program invites applications with an annual announcement via email and posted to this website. Beginning in 2018, the program is supporting fieldwork during the summer and students are encouraged to participate in a Data Analysis course the following fall.


The Europe Lab offers events designed in the spirit of Area Studies 2.0. The lab furthers an inclusive spirit of area studies as being about place-based knowledge and transregional connections. The Europe Lab offers workshops that appeal to students that transcend regional boundaries, whether related to visioning the future of area studies, mastering bibliographic reference software such as Zotero, working in archives, or learning participatory ethnographic methods such as digital storytelling.

University of Massachusetts Anthropology students in the European Field Studies program


In addition to the training, the European Field Studies program since 1996 has hosted an Annual Distinguished Lecture in the Anthropology of Europe. This lecture often receives co-sponsorship from the Five College Consortium and reflects contemporary trends in the field. Follow this link for a list of lecturers and their topics.


In 2016, the Etxepare Institute of the Basque Ministry of Culture awarded the Department an annual lecture in Basque Culture Studies. This Chair funds events, seminars, and lectures related to Basque Cultural Studies. Named after anthropologist William Douglass, the lecture recognizes and strengthens the Department’s international reputation in the Anthropology of Europe.

Invited speakers to date have included: William Douglass, Joseba Zulaika, Sharon Roseman, Susan Carol Rogers, Caroline Brettel, Juan José Ibarretxe, Maialen Lujanbio, and Miren Artexte


The department over the years has offered a number of courses related to the anthropology of Europe.

The three main courses are: 

660 European Field Studies I
680 Field Course in European Anthropology
685 European Anthropology II

Then there are special topics courses:

697BA Basque Cultural Politics
697PS Anthropology of Post-Socialism
775  Anthropological Research Methods
804 Research in Cultural Anthropology
697ED Ethnographic Data Analysis
697EU Anthropology of Europe: Reading Ethnographies on Europe


University of Massachusetts Anthropology students in the European Field Studies programThe European Field Studies program traces its roots to 1969–70, a critical moment in the history of anthropology, as the field was turning away from studying non-Western “exotics” to focusing on Europe’s so-called people without history. The program has offered opportunites for students to learn how to design research proposals, conduct semester-long field-based research, and to engage in follow-up writing and analysis. The field studies training structure has evolved through the decades, sometimes being organized around a host institution or location (1970s), and other times around a theme (2010s). 

The program has sustained its goal to train students in developing, implementing, and writing up a fieldwork project. From 2010–2017, the program was funded through two training grants for international experiences from the National Science Foundation under the overarching theme of Cultural Heritage in European Societies and Spaces, or CHESS. 

The program celebrates its 50th anniversary in 2019-20. Please visit the EFS program’s archive page in the UMass Libraries Special Collections and University Archives for more information on its history.