Gijsbert Oonk was recently awarded a Jean Monnet (ad Personam) Chair on Migration, Citizenship and Identity. The Jean Monnet chairs are established by the European Commission as an initiative to promote teaching, research and reflection in the field of European integration studies in higher education institutions. This chair promotes teaching and research in the field of Global History, European Studies and National Identity with a grant of Euro 50.000 for three years.
Gijsbert Oonk is the founding director of the Sport and Nation research programm at the Erasmus University Rotterdam. This interdisciplinary research focuses on talented migrant athletes in football and the Olympics in the context of changing citizenship, ‘complex nationality issues’ and elite migration. "In this research, we highlight the paradox of states promoting the ‘nation’ without ‘nationals’. Currently we employ three PhD students in this project," says Gijsbert.
Gijsbert is also is one of the academic advisors of EUROCLIO (European Association of History Educators).This chair will particular inspire the EUROCLCIO programme: Engaging History Education through memories and legacies of Europe’s favorite sport. The main objective is to encourage historical learning through the lens of football. The shared football history of Europe can generate a sense of belonging and ultimately sense of responsibility for active citizenship, especially for young people who are not normally interested in school or history. The rich history of football makes it possible to build positive cultural contribution to diverse society. In addition, the project aims include to write an academic textbook: What would you vote for in Utopia? Towards a just world in ten cases. The projected audiences are students, high school history teachers, journalists and policymakers.