The Center for International and Transnational Area Studies (CITAS) at Regensburg University was founded in 2017 as an interfaculty research centre involving the Faculty of Philosophy, Art History, History and Humanities, and the Faculty of Languages, Literature and Cultures. Since the founding of DIMAS and the appointment of five of the six DIMAS Area Studies Profesorships in the winter of 2022-2023, CITAS has been folded up into DIMAS.
The aim of CITAS was to develop synergies between the existing expertise in the field of Area Studies in Regensburg provided by institutions within the University and by non-university research centres. More details on the full profiles of institutions and centers developing area studies in Regensburg can be found here.
A key partner in this respect was IOS - the Leibniz-Institute for East and Southeast European Studies. CITAS contributed to the successful application for Bavaria's first Leibniz ScienceCampus - Europe and America in the Modern World: Transformations and Frictions of Globalisation, which launched in September 2019.
Since 2019, area studies research has also been included in the university's strategic goals as agreed with the Free State of Bavaria, with CITAS receiving funding to promote the further development of this field across the disciplines in Regensburg on the regions of East and South-Eastern Europe, Western and Southern Europe, and North America and Latin America and their global interconnections. The Center worked towards developing comparative, transregional and global approaches to Area Studies, with a focus on these regions and relations between them. Two research networks were funded using some of this funding, one on Mediterranean Island Studies and the other on Knowledge Infrastructures. The networks were led by early-career scholars.
CITAS' transnational perspective stressed entanglements and connections between actors, structures, objects and organizations operating across borders in relation to cultures and societies, whereas the international approach explores relations involving states and supranational actors and organizations.
CITAS also had the goal of developing interdisciplinary and transregional teaching and research, as well as conducting significant public outreach for local, regional, national and international audiences. The Center worked closely with the innovative bi-national and international study programmes at the University of Regensburg.
The statute of CITAS as approved by the University of Regensburg can be found here (in German).
CITAS aims to further the ongoing transregional, transnational and global turns in area studies, as research increasingly explores entanglements and connections between world regions, as well as across the multiple scales of institutions, groups and places within them. Historical and cultural developments, as well as social and political phenomena, within a particular region cannot be understood without reference to their connection to processes taking place in other parts of the world. It is only by applying comparative and indeed multiperspectival approaches that both regional specificities and transregional similarities become evident. This is the methodological foundation that will enable CITAS to develop innovative research contributing to a differentiated understanding of globalization and de-globalization.
The Center works towards putting Regensburg on the map as a nationally and internationally recognized location for area studies research and teaching focusing on Europe and North America.
CITAS is also dedicated to providing an environment enabling early career scholars to flourish in collaboration with the Center for Early Career Researchers (WIN) and the Doctoral College for the Humanities (PUR). It has also provided funding for two research networks, on Island Studies and Knowledge Infrastructures, led by postdoctoral scholars.
The Center creates conditions enabling greater synergies between research and teaching. The university already boasts several international and binational research degrees involving exchanges with universities abroad. CITAS will seek to initiate common courses across the degree programmes, examining the theories and methods of area studies, while also seeking to promote their visibility abroad.
Guided by the principle that excellent research should be accessible across the university as well as beyond it, CITAS promotes public engagement and contact with media and decisionmakers in the political and social spheres who require regional and multidisciplinary expertise.
One of CITAS' key roles is facilitating cooperation in area studies-related research. The Center serves as a platform for developing the conceptual and methodological foundations of multidisciplinary, multiperspectival and transregional area studies at the University of Regensburg. It encourages the development of research projects that the research institutions and faculties involved in the Center can develop collaboratively. CITAS thus furthers the University's goal of making area studies a key focus of research in the humanities and social sciences, as evidenced by area studies being included in the strategic goals agreed with the Free State of Bavaria in 2019. Some of this funding has been used to support two reserach networks led by early career scholars, one on Island Studies and Knowledge Infrastructures.
Since 1 September 2019, Regensburg has been home to Bavaria's first Leibniz ScienceCampus "Europe and America in the Modern World: Transformations and Frictions of Globality". It provides a platform for close collaboration between the University of Regensburg and IOS, with a focus on transatlantic connections in the present and past. Its five research areas focus on transregional connections within multi- and interdisciplinary frameworks, while contributing to broader epistemological and theoretical reflections on area studies.
The regular lunchtime Brownbag Sessions provide international visiting fellows and guests with an opportunity to present their research and network with colleagues from across the University and IOS. Students, researchers and faculty are all welcome to attend and engage in discussion.
CITAS works in collaboration with numerous existing institutions and centers developing area studies in Regensburg. Their profiles can be found here.
The University of Regensburg offers a host of innovative bi-national and international degrees at Bachelor and Master's level. These programs, listed below, are run in collaboration with partner universities across the regions covered. The programs cover both broader regions as well as relations between Germany and particular countries.
You will find links to the study programmes below and in this flyer (German only).
CITAS seeks to further develop the visibility of these successful programs on the national and international level. The Center aims to bring developments in comparative, transregional and transnational area studies into the courses, encouraging students to apply theoretical and methodological advances in their own research.
Each winter semester, CITAS organizes a lecture series (Ringvorlesung) that is open to the public and to students from across the disciplines. The lecture series showcases the research of faculty working in area studies while also offering a platform to renowned national and international guests who address the lecture series’ central themes.
The University of Regensburg offers the following area studies-related degrees:
Across the disciplines, the University of Regensburg also offers numerous courses related to area studies. The teaching at the university enables inter-regional, intra-regional and trans-regional comparisons, inspiring explorations of phenomena across regions as well as offering in-depth insights across times within particular spaces. Thanks to the interdisciplinary structure of many degree programs at the university, students can take courses covering many fields and disciplines. A solid disciplinary grounding is accompanied by a turn to cutting-edge theories and methods, while exploring socially, politically and culturally relevant issues.
One of CITAS' key aims is to make excellent research in comparative, transnational and international area studies accessible to the broader public and decision makers beyond the university. This seems to be particularly important given the political and social significance of world regions, including East and Southeast Europe, Western Europe and North America.
Beyond the annual lecture series, which has attracted members of the public and school groups to selected talks, it also organizes CITAS Dialog, a regular series of panel discussions and talks involving scholars, journalists, policymakers and members of think tanks. Each year, the Dialog events focus on a socially-relevant topic shaping current debates, thus highlighting the broader relevance of area studies-based knowledge. In 2019, the series addressed the future of Europe, while in 2020 CITAS Dialog focuses on views from across the world on the US presidential election.
CITAS has also contributed to events such as “Nacht.Schafft.Wissen”, an open evening showcasing science, technology and knowledge production in Regensburg, in collaboration with partner institutions.
Through targeted funding from the Free State of Bavaria, CITAS supports two Research Networks led by early career networks: KNOW-IN (Knowledge Infrastructures: Circulation, Transfer and Translation of Knowledge across Borders) and MS ISLA (Mediterranean Studies on Island Areas). One network focuses on transnational knowledge production, the other on Mediterranean island areas. The networks encourage collaboration across disciplines in Regensburg, nationally and internationally, applying an area studies framework to cutting-edge and socially-relevant themes, including Science and Technology Studies, climate change, and migration.
The Regensburg-Berkeley Doctoral Exchange Program is also managed by CITAS, with one visiting researcher per year coming to Germany and one Regensburg scholar spending up to five months at the Institute for European Studies at UC Berkeley to work on an area studies related project.
More information about early career scholars can be found here.
Chair of the CITAS Executive Board: Prof. Dr. Jochen Mecke
Postdoc: Dr. Joanna Moszczyńska
Manager: Dr. Paul Vickers
Assistants: Ivo Music (CITAS), Simone Schneider, B.A. (Leibniz-ScienceCampus)
For more on the CITAS team, please see the section on "Structure and People".
Tel. +49 (0)941 943-5964