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2019 Sose Brown Bag Poster
CITAS Brownbag Sessions - Lunchtime seminars with international guest researchers

24 July - Robert Priest (London).12:15 at CITAS (SG.214)

CITAS Brownbag Sessions - Lunchtime seminars

WEDS 24 July, 12:15, Sammelgebäude 214 (CITAS)

Robert Priest (London) - The Oberammergau Passion Play: Politics, Faith and Spectacle in Bavaria's Global Village

The community of Oberammergau has performed the Passion of the Christ since at least 1634. Despite multiple challenges from secular and religious authorities, the play survived into the nineteenth century and, with the birth of international package tourism and the mass media, exploded from a regional tradition into an international phenomenon. Oberammergau was a Catholic ritual that attracted a large Protestant audience, a Bavarian custom that became a symbol of German unity, and a religious performance that shaped the development of secular drama. This small community thus offers a springboard onto major historical questions, spanning multiple scales of analysis - from the internal dynamics of the village, to the broader forces of Bavarian an2019 Sose Brown Bag Detailsd German politics, to the transnational and transatlantic currents of aesthetics, scholarship and tourism. The project explores the evolution of this unique and controversial event from the mid-eighteenth to the early twentieth century.

Robert Priest has been Lecturer in Modern European History at Royal Holloway since 2014. He studied at UCL, completed a doctorate in Oxford and was a Research Fellow in Cambridge. He is a fellow of the Royal Historical Society and of the Higher Education Academy. His research focuses on the cultural and intellectual history of nineteenth-century Europe, expanding from a focus on France into a broader transnational framework.


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CITAS Dialog, 10. July 2019, 18:15, UR - H26

Warum schlechte Regierungsführung so stabil sein kann. Beispiele aus Italien und Südosteuropa

On 10 July, CITAS in cooperation with the Graduate School for East and Southeast

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European Studies, hosted the fourth CITAS Dialog of the 2019 summer semester. The Milan-based political scientist Andrea Lorenzo Capussela came to Regensburg to engage in a discussion with the Klaus Buchenau on why poor governance can provide stability, drawing on examples from Italy and Southeastern Europe. Both discussants drew on their disciplinary and regional specialisms to explore the intersections of political, economic and cultural factors, with the law scholar Rainer Arnold chairing the discussion ably.

Ultimately, clientelism and corruption account for the way in which relatively inefficient economies engender stability in both Italy and Southeast Europe. The inefficiency tends to benefit a small group in society, limiting the benefits of economic growth, ensuring that many ordinary citizens adapt to get by in these systems, rather

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than offering a challenge. However, the causes of this situation, the discussants argued, differ in each case with former Yugoslavia experiencing a much greater variety than Italy of political orders and regimes throughout which clientelism and corruption have proved common. The discussants were keen, though, to avoid suggesting that cultural determinism or path dependency can explain the equilibrium of inefficiency and corruption that seems to pertain.
An engaged audience offered examples from other parts of Eastern and Central Eastern Europe to suggest that corruption and clientelism must not necessarily prove immutable. The dialogue between the discussants, chair and audience certainly laid the grounds for more transnational comparison of the longue-durée and present-day manifestations of corruption, clientelism, social upheaval and structural stability.
CITAS looks forward to more Dialog events in winter semester 2019 with the kind support of the Vielberth Foundation.


Past CITAS Events - Summer Semster 2019

CITAS BROWNBAG SESSION, 3 JULY 2019, 1215-1330 CITAS

Goran Musić (Sarajevo) - Self-Managing in Africa: A Yugoslav Automotive Enterprise in Zambia

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The first CITAS Brownbag Session took place on 3 July with Goran Musić, who works for the Friedrich Ebert Foundation in Sarajevo and is currently a visiting research fellow at the Leibniz Institute for East and Southeast European Studies (IOS). The Brownbag Sessions provide guest researchers in Regensburg with a forum to discuss their ongoing project with colleagues and students from across the university while enjoying lunch together. We are grateful to Prof. Dr. Ulf Brunnbauer for his support with this event.

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Goran Musić presented his work on the expansion of the Priboj Automotive Factory (FAP) into Zambia in the 1970s. He positioned his work among current research that addresses “second” and “third” world globalizations, while also addressing their intersections with capitalist or “first” world economies. FAP also collaborated with Mercedes-Benz, while at the same time serving the ideological mission of expanding Yugoslavia’s geopolitical influence through the Non-Aligned Movement.
In his presentation and subsequent lively discussion, Goran Musić addressed the difficulties posed by the incompleteness of the archives in Yugoslavia and the difficulty in accessing materials from Zambia. The discussion thus highlighted an important methodological and practical issue in conducting comparative and transnational (area) studies.

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In exploring the asymmetries of the impact of Yugoslav experts and technicians travelling to Zambia, on the one hand, and the impact of expansion into Africa on workers in Priboj itself, on the other, Musić highlighted that socialist globalization also entailed inequalities. Thus, the ideological motives and ideals, such as workers’ self-management, went largely unrealized. The discussion thus turned to a global and cross-temporal comparison with China’s current influence on the same part of Africa, which largely avoids the ideological superstructure in favour of economic relations.

Musić’s project and the discussion that developed in this initial Brownbag Session thus offered an excellent forum for exploring key issues related to the comparative and transnational area studies that forms a core part of research in Regensburg at both IOS and the University.


CITAS DIALOG 2019, 13 June 2019, 19-21, Evangelisches Bildungswerk, regensburg

Europa – quo vadis?! Wie geht es weiter nach der Europawahl und dem Brexit?

Following European Elections in just 27 EU countries in 2019 with the UK's drawn out exit from the EU a pan-European rise in populist and anti-EU tendencies was expected. Yet this discussion showed a variety of tendencies across Europe in the recent elections, while Brexit might paradoxically strengthen European unity.

Unistiftung-vielberth

The public discussed with Rainer Liedtke (Regensburg), Jochen Mecke (Regensburg), Ulf Brunnbauer (IOS) and Joanna Rostek (Gießen) what the future might hold and what impact the past has had on European relations. The discussion was chaired by Carsten Lenk (EBW, Regensburg).

This event was organized in cooperation with the Evangelischen Bildungswerk Regensburg. And it is supported by the Hans-Vielberth-Stiftung.

A report on the discussion can be found here.

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CITAS Dialog 2019. 16 May 2019, 18:15, H25

A discussion with European Press Prize 2019 winner Madeleine Schwartz on Germany's role in transatlantic relations

CITAS is delighted having been hosted a discussion with Madeleine Schwartz, winner of the European Press Prize 2019 for her Guardian article "The End of Atlanticism: Has Trump killed the ideology that won the Cold War?".

While the Cold War led to the division of Germany, it also laid foundations that cemented West German-US cooperation in the realms of the economy, politics and culture. Despite cultural and political tensions, whether expressed in fears of Americanization or opposition to the Iraq war, it seems that (West) Germany and the United States developed a set of common values that found expression in multilateral, cooperative Atlanticism.

With Madeleine Schwartz, a journalist who has written for The Guardian, The Atlantic and The New York Review of Books, among others, we discussed the state of transatlantic cooperation and Germany’s role in European-American relations. Has populism in both Europe and the US threatened the established political order? Is the multipolar world also fracturing along the Atlantic? Or perhaps there is hope for renewed cooperation in realms beyond politics, so in the world of culture?

More information is available here.


CITAS CONFERENCE 2-4 May 2019

CITAS Conference. Obsolete, Resilient, Resurgent - The Nation-State in a Globalized World

This first conference featured a keynote lecture by Matthias Middell (Leipzig) on 2 May at 18.00 at Landshuter Str. 4 and a second keynote lecture by Joanna Bockman (George Mason University) on 3 May at 18.00 on campus in PT3.0.79.

Unistiftung-vielberth

Panels addressed the past, present and future significance of national and transnational structures, exchanges and tensions across a range of disciplines. The conference also included a panel of Turbo Talks for early career scholars. The conference was supported by the Vielberth Foundation. You can find the programme here.

A full conference report will follow. For now we would like to thank all participants for engaging in highly stimulating discussions across regions and disciplines.


Thursday 25 April, IOS/Altes Finanzamt, Landshuter Str. 4, 18.00-20.00

Aggressor oder Friedenstifter? Russland, das Völkerrecht und seine Nachbarn

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Together with colleagues from IOS - the Leibniz Institute for East and Southeast European Studies and the Graduate School for East and Southeast EuUnistiftung-vielberthropean Studies, the first event in the CITAS Dialog 2019 series had taken place. This public discussion featured Lauri Mälksoo (Tartu) and Gesine Dornblüth (Berlin) in discussion with Cindy Wittke (IOS, Regensburg), discussing the s international and regional significance of Russia's approaches to international law.

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The CITAS Dialog series seeks to examine the state of Europe today, located between between crisis and revival as Brexit, tensions with Russia and the rise of populism in Europe and across the Atlantic impact European integration and Europe's international position.


Friday 12 April, IOS/Altes Finanzamt, Landshuter Str. 4, 18.00-Midnight

Nacht.Schafft.Wissen

Together with colleagues from IOS - the Leibniz Institute for East and Southeast European Studies and the Graduate School for East and Southeast European Studies, CITAS contributed to the programme showcasing Regensburg's transnational area studies research. There has been a family-friendly block from 6-8 p.m., including short talks on communist-era cartoons, space exploration and cars followed by a discussion with academics and business figures discussing the potential and threats to business in light of tensions in Europe, economic populism and Brexit.

The night ended with a pub quiz. The pub quiz "prOST!" was sponsored by Bischofshof brewery.


CITAS Lecture Series Winter semester 2018/19 - Jenseits der Nation?

CITAS Lecture Series. 15 October 2018, 18:00-20:00

Gerlinde Groitl: Area Studies an der UR und CITAS.
Aufbau und Ziele der Ringvorlesung

As part of the CITAS lecture series "Jenseits der Nation?" (Beyond the Nation), Dr. Gerlinde Groitl gave an introductory lecture on October 15. She presented CITAS, the new Center for International and Transnational Area Studies and Regensburg as part of the University's broader framework for developing area studies research and teaching.

She emphasized that area studies is a field that examines the interconnections and relations between actors in regions of varying scales, from the local region through the nation to broader regional blocs in their global contexts. Dr. Groitl noted the multi- and interdisciplinary nature of area studies, something that became evident in her outline of the forthcoming talks in the CITAS lecture series.

Dr. Gerlinde Groitl is a Researcher (Akademische Rätin a.Z.) at the Chair of International Politics and Transatlantic Relations at the University of Regensburg. Her work focuses on American, German and European foreign and security policy, the Western intervention policy as well as great power relations and world order issues.


CITAS Lecture Series. 22 October 2018, 18:00-20:00

Ulf Brunnbauer. Anti-Balkanisierung: Föderalismuskonzepte in Südosteuropa im 19. und 20. Jahrhundert

On 22 October, Prof. Dr. Ulf Brunnbauer gave a lecture - in German - as part of the CITAS lecture series, "Jenseits der Nation?" (Beyond the Nation). His talk was on "Anti-Balkanisation: Ideas of Federalism in Southeast Europe in the 19th and 20th centuries". It offered a critical re-reading of the concept of Balkanisation in the historical context.

He outlined the multiple efforts towards forming federations and alliances of nations within the region of Southeastern Europe, particularly focusing on the post-imperial context. He differentiated the French-style state-centred vision of federalism and the German-style, Romantic-influenced and ethnic-focused interpretation of the idea, tracing how they were translated (or failed to translate) in the Balkan region.

He offered particularly interesting insight on the way that nation-building and ideas for federalism ran in parallel, with smaller nations often seeking strength in numbers, at least in theory. He traced the history of federal ideas for the region into the post-WWII era under communism, noting the tensions that emerged with the Soviet Union as a result of Yugoslavia's foreign policy pursuing greater integration with Bulgaria, for example. This idea for a pragmatic-diplomatic federation ultimately failed because of tensions within the communist bloc, with the Yugoslav move perceived as a challenge to the Soviet Union's own internationalist federalism.

Ulf Brunnbauer's engaging lecture offered a regional perspective on the global phenomenon of federalism, while offering an image of the Balkan region that runs counter the typical idea of it as an area plagued by fragmentation and conflict.

Prof. Dr. Ulf Brunnbauer is Director of the Institute for East and Southeast European Studies (IOS), Co-Speaker of the Graduate School for East and Southeast European Studies, Professor for Southeast and East European History at the University of Regensburg, and a member of the CITAS executive board.Citas Rv Infoscreen 2018 10 22 Brunnbauer


CITAS Lecture Series, 29. Oct 2018, 18-20.00, Lecture Theatre H4

Michael Khodarkovsky (Chicago). Was Russia "Ahead" of Europe? Russia's Colonial Experience in Comparative Perspective

This lecture argued that the Russian empire was indeed a colonial empire, yet the Russian state refused to see its eastward expansion in such terms. Prof. Khodarkovsky placed Russia's colonial expansion in comparison to other empires, arguing that its ventures into areas in the Caucusus, Central Asia and Siberia were already a state-led and state-building exercise from the sixteenth century already. This approach differed from practices familiar from other European powers, as Russia's state-led colonization that made subjects of the peoples conquered in the early modern period. Russia was ahead of other empires, which adopted this approach only in the nineteenth century. Prof. Khodarkovsky focused in particular on the mediators emerging from local populations, who faciliated the Russian colonial project by enabling cultural exchange and contact.

In a lively discussion, Prof. Khodarkovsky argued that Russia's westward expansion from the late eighteenth century onwards could not be considered colonial but was instead an imperial power game. This is because, he argued, Russia could not consider itself culturally superior to the lands it conquered to the west, with such an attitude a necessary condition for any colonial endeavour. He also argued that Russia's colonial enterprise has had long-term consequences for Russian identity and political practice, with Putin's politics a revival of the imperial mindset as Russia seeks to assert its greatness in relation to international competitors.


Michael Khodarkovsky is Professor of History at Loyola University Chicago. In his research and teaching he specializes in the Russian empire, comparative empire studies, colonialism and Western civilization. In his first books he explored Russia’s imperial expansion and the resulting encounters with non-Christian peoples. His current project examines the Russian empire’s practices in comparison with other Eurasian empires. Prof. Khodarkovsky has lectured at many universities and institutions around the world, including the Central European University in Budapest, the Humboldt University in Berlin, Beijing, Göttingen, Cambridge and University College London, while his books have been translated into several languages including Russian, Turkish and Polish.

We are grateful to Prof. Dr. Guido Hausmann for arranging for Prof. Khodarkovsky to joing the CITAS Lecture Series and for leading the discussion with him.


CITAS Lecture Series, 29. Oct 2018, 18-20.00, Lecture Theatre H4

Volker Depkat American Exceptionalism und die Traditionen U.S.-amerikanischer Außenpolitik


Past CITAS Events - Winter Semester 2018/19

Friday 15 February 2019, 9.00-15.00, next to the Audimax

Regensburger Hochschultag - Degree Fair

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Wintersemester 18/19, Mondays 18-20 c.t., H4 Zentrales Hörsaalgebäude

Lecture Series: Beyond the Nation? International and Transnational Oders and Identities

In Winter Semester 2018/19, CITAS coordinated a lecture series titled “Jenseits der Nation? Internationale und transnationale Ordnungen und Identitäten” (Beyond the Nation? International and Transnational Orders and Identities). The lectures were hold on Mondays at 18.15 and presented multidisciplinary perspectives with contributions from cultural studies, history, linguistics, political science, law and economics. The individual lectures also explored a range of regions and the interconnections between them, including North and Latin America, Southern, South East, Eastern and Western Europe. Globalisation and its relations to the national provided a broader framework for the lecture series. Overall it offered a broad overview of the innovative research in area  studies being conducted in Regensburg, while there was also a contribution from Michael Khodarkovsky (Loyola U, Chicago), who was a visiting lecturer in Regensburg.

The series argued that the world is highly interconnected and entangled today. On the one hand, political, economic, legal, linguistic and cultural borders are being overcome. On the other hand, there are clear manifestations of nationalistic tendencies. This tension between overcoming the national and a return towards nationally-oriented models of political order and cultural identity in past and present was explored in this lecture series in interdisciplinary and multidimensional approaches.

The lectures were well attended by students, staff and the public alike. Overall, 38 students from across the disciplines took  the final exam, testing their knowledge on a range of subject and regions.

Information about past lectures and the respective speakers of the CITAS lecture series can be found below.

CITAS would like to express its sincere gratitude to all the lecturers who participated in the series, taking their time to provide stimulating talks and lead lively discussions afterwards.


12. Dec. 2018, 16.15-17.45, GSOSES, Landshuter Str. 4

Peter Hiller (DAAD, Bonn) Developments in Higher Education in Russia

Peter Hiller (DAAD, Bonn) led an engaging and insightful discussion on Developments in Higher Education in Russia. The event was held in German at the Graduate School for East and Southeast European Studies. CITAS was a partner of this event, alongside BAYHOST, the Institute for East and Southeast European Studies (IOS) and the Europaeum.

Dr. Hiller is head of Section P23 at the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD), which is responsible for Project Cooperation in Europe, the Southern Caucausus and Central Asia. As a graduate in Slavonic Studies, he has applied his knowledge across the region, including serving as the head of the DAAD offices in Moscow and Warsaw. Here he shared his insights on current developments in higher education in Russia and the role of the DAAD in facilitating exchange.

He offered a fascinating image of a higher education system in transformation, one including a combination of forms and reforms familiar to the German and Bologna-inspired European system, as well as elements that are specific to the post-Soviet realm. Thus, a centrally-supported excellence programme runs in parallel with a system that maintains somewhat aged academic personnel in leading positions in poorly-funded universities. Likewise, the Russian higher education system encourages exchanges and contact with colleagues and institutions abroad, while also requiring publications in indexed foreign journals, particularly in the English-language. At the same time, the presence of security officers at universities, scepticism towards foreign NGOs and - in some centres - an unwillingness to travel abroad, means that efforts towards internalization can face barriers.

Dr. Hiller showed how the DAAD is a culturally sensitive and politically astute actor that negotiates the higher education landscape in Russia adeptly facilitating significant two-way exchanges that are and will continue to be of interest not only the STEM subjects, which flourish in Russia, but also to the social sciences and humanities.


Weds 21 Nov 2018, 18:00, Sammelgebäude Room 214

Projektschmiede. Project Workshop at CITAS

Following the first CITAS Workshop, held in June 2018, CITAS created this follow-up event. The "Projektschmiede", or Project Workshop, brought together some of the participants of the initial workshop, as well as other interested professors, early career researchers and members of the university from across the disciplines. There were representatives of the social sciences and humanities, cultural studies and history, law and economics, as well as pedagogy and education.

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One of the goals of CITAS is to inspire and generate new and innovative collaborative research projects on various scales, from  supporting individual projects  and early career research networks to developing larger-scale research groups and collaborative research centres, that would complement the strong comparative and transnational area studies already established in Regensburg.

At the "Projektschmiede" several ideas for projects were presented that encourage a multidisciplinary and comparative area studies approach. The ideas benefitted from collegial feedback, generating some encounters with colleagues who might previously have been unfamiliar. The evening also provided a fruitful forum for discussing some of the current trends and turns in area studies, exploring how they might be implemented in Regensburg in light of the regional, disciplinary and thematic foci present at the university.


Past CITAS Events - Summer Semster 2018

11 July 2018, 14:00, Sammelgebäude 214

ag:itas Working Group for International and Transnational Area - Planning and information meeting

Agitas Flyer Info-treff 2018-07-11

CITAS has founded ag:itas - the Working Group for International and Transnational Area Studies as a bottom-up initiative for early career scholars working in area studies in Regensburg. It is aimed a postdocs, doctoral researchers and advanced master's students (aka Pre-Docs).

An informal information and planning meeting over coffee, open to all, will take place on Wednesday 11 July at 14:00 at CITAS. If the time and date does not suit you, but you are still interested in being involved in ag:itas, please get in touch by email. For more information please see the ag:itas website.


27 June 2018, 13:00-18:30, CITAS (Sammelgebäude 214)

CITAS Workshop 1: Area Studies Revisited: Theories, Methods, Concepts


We would like to invite our colleagues and partners to the first internal CITAS workshop: Area Studies Revisited. The workshop will begin with an overview of current research in area studies before moving onto a discussion of the contributions that different disciplines can make conceptually and methodologically to a transregional area studies. The event will end with an open discussion on the future of area studies in Regensburg.

The discussion will be in German with the exception of one paper.

The program is available here.


REAF @ 10. 28-29 June 2018. University of Regensburg, P.T. 3.0.79 (Großer Sitzungssaal)

Regensburg European American Forum celebrates its tenth anniversary including:Roundtable discussion with the CITAS Executive Board members and Volker Depkat. Moderated by Prof. Dr. Udo Hebel.


Our friends at the Regensburg European American Forum are celebrating their tenth anniversary on 28-29 June with a programme of lectures, talks and discussions addressing a broad range of transnational, Transatlantic and global themes. The opening keynote lecture by David Savran (CUNY) will take place at 17:00 on 28 June.

The members of the CITAS Executive Board are delighted to have been invited alongside Volker Depkat to participate in a roundtable discussion on Area Studies: Interdisciplinary Perspectives on 29 June at 15:15. It wil be moderated by the President of the University of Regensburg, and REAF founder, Prof. Dr. Udo Hebel.


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CITAS Workshop #01

Workshop report published: Area Studies Revisited: Theories, Methods, Concepts

*** Read the Workshop Report here ***

On 27 June 2018, CITAS hosted its first workshop - Area Studies Revisited: Theories, Methods, Concepts. Despite Germany's decisive World Cup match taking place at the same time, the event was well-attended with over fifty people coming to hear the papers and contributing to the discussion. Those in attendance came from all levels of academia, from students through doctoral researchers and postdocs, to professors.

The debates focused on the meaning and practice of area studies in and across particular disciplines, with attention focusing on the significance of ideas of space, cultural contact and boundaries or borders.

A report on the particular panels and the discussions is available here.

We would like to thank all the participants for their contributions and the audience for their inspired input.

A follow-up event, addressing the question of which themes and topics are suited to comparative area studies research in Regensburg, is in the planning for the start of the 2018/19 winter semester in October.

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Sammelgebäude, 214