GEMMA (Erasmus Mundus Joint Master’s Degree in Women’s and Gender Studies) and GRACE (Gender and Cultures of Equality in Europe, Marie Sklodowska Curie Actions International Training Network)





By Isabel Carrera Suárez and Emilia Durán Almarza

GEMMA was the first Erasmus Mundus Joint Master’s Degree in Women’s and Gender Studies in Europe. It is a programme of excellence supported by the European Commission, which has selected it as an Erasmus Mundus Master Course three consecutive times (in 2006, 2011 and 2017) and distinguished as “a pilot project and model in the field of Women’s Studies and Gender Studies in a European and global perspective”. This remarkable record has been made possible through the initiative and work of key Anglicists: the consortium is coordinated by English Studies scholar Adelina Sánchez Espinosa, from the University of Granada; the MA at the University of Oviedo is led by Emilia Durán Almarza and Isabel Carrera Suárez, Anglicists and members of ESSE; coordinators at the universities of Granada (Gerardo Rodríguez Salas), Bologna (Rita Monticelli), CEU (Jasmina Lukic) and Lodz (Aleksandra Różalska) are also Anglicists. GEMMA’s focus on English Studies has therefore been very strong in all three editions, both in terms of the courses offered (particularly in the areas of literatures, cultures, diasporas, post/de/colonialisms) and of staff and students who take part in the courses, thus confirming the centrality of English Studies in the creation and development of gender studies in Europe. The programme offers transdisciplinary gender training of very high standard to English Studies students, many of whom subsequently write PhD dissertations in the field. Several GEMMA graduates have already obtained posts in English Departments in Europe.

Created as a result of the efforts of universities working together within the ATHENA network, the GEMMA Consortium represents the harmonization of institutions from six European countries: University of Granada (coordinator), University of Bologna, Central European University (Budapest), York University, University of Lodz, University of Oviedo and University of Utrecht. GEMMA is thus the fine tuning of North European, South European and Central European higher education institutions. From the 6th edition of the programme, the extended GEMMA Consortium also includes eight North, Central and South American universities which participate as associate partners: Universidad de Buenos Aires (Argentina), Universidad Estatal de Campinas en Sao Paulo (Brazil), Universidad de Chile (Chile), Florida International University (USA), Instituto Tecnológico de Santo Domingo (Dominican Republic), Universidad Nacional de Colombia (Colombia), Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (Mexico), and Rutgers University (USA). From the 11th edition, starting in 2017, Columbia University (USA), New York University (USA), University of Redlands (USA), Cátedra UNESCO de Cultura y Educación para la paz Universidad Técnica Particular de Loja (Ecuador), Cátedra de la Mujer at Universidad de la Habana (Cuba), and the Centre for Women’s Studies in Zagreb (Croatia) have joined us also as associate partners.

GEMMA website:


GEMMA at the University of Bologna:

GEMMA at Central European University:

GEMMA at Lodz University:

GEMMA at the University of Oviedo:

GEMMA at Utrecht University:

GEMMA at York University:

Beginning from the same consortium and extending the impact of GEMMA, the aim of the also EU-funded GRACE project is to systematically investigate the cultural production of gender equalities within Europe. (Marie Sklodowska Curie Actions International Training Network, H2020-MSCA-ITN-2015-675378) The GRACE project has recruited, employed and provided advanced training for 15 Early Stage Researchers who investigate the production of cultures of gender equality across five specific sites, which form the core of the research and training Work Packages:

1/ mediated cultures of gender equality

2/ urban cultures of gender equality

3/ intellectual and activist cultures of gender equality

4/ textual and artistic cultures of gender equality

5/ employing cultures of gender equality

Work packages 2 and 4, led respectively by the Universities of Oviedo and Granada, have recruited English Studies candidates and focus on topics such as slam poetry, Afrodescendant theatre, European women’s poetry, women’s science fiction and documentary cinema.

GRACE offers intensive academic and professional training which includes digital expertise and museum curating, aside from the many transferable skills characteristic of PhD programmes of excellence. It will result in joint international publications, 15 PhD dissertations, a GRACE gender equality app, and the GRACE “Equality Otherwise” exhibition, physical and virtual, to be inaugurated in Amsterdam in March 2019.

As is the case with GEMMA, a good number of the researchers, PIs and supervisors at the universities of Oviedo (Esther Álvarez López, Isabel Carrera Suárez, Emilia Durán Almarza, Carla Rodríguez González), Granada (Adelina Sánchez Espinosa), Bologna (Lilla Crisafulli, Rita Monticelli, Gilberta Golinelli, Serena Baiesi), CEU Budapest (Jasmina Lukic) and Lodz (Aleksandra Różalska) work in the area of English studies, mostly in literary or visual studies. The results, therefore, particularly in terms of publications, PhDs and conferences, will be very relevant to Anglicists across the world.

Partners: University of Hull, UK (Project coordinator); University of Bologna, Italy; Central European University (CEU), Hungary; University of Granada, Spain; University of Lodz, Poland; University of Oviedo, Spain; Utrecht University, Netherlands; Associazione Orlando, Italy.

GRACE website: