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Leibniz ScienceCampus

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Regensburg Leibniz ScienceCampus

Europe and America in the Modern World: Transformations and Frictions of Globality in Past and Present



Official website launched

The full website of the Leibniz-ScienceCampus Europe and America is available at www.europeamerica.de


Aims of the Regensburg Leibniz ScienceCampus

Relations between Europe and America are currently undergoing dramatic shifts. At the same time, it is evident that these continental entities exist, and have existed in plural forms, fragmented and connected along multiple geographical, cultural, social, economic and political boundaries. The proposed ScienceCampus considers such shifts in past and present as indicators of frictions of globality. These frictions create forces transforming the relations be-tween the different parts of Europe and America. We seek to explore the macroscale of “European-American” relations as well as their effects across smaller-scale regions and socio-cultural stratifications; we link the global present with the historical trajectory of globalization.

The proposed ScienceCampus is mainly oriented towards producing new research. It pursues a multi-polar Area Studies concept viewing connections from different poles in order to grasp the relation between locales and globality. At the same time it advances multi-scalar Area Studies, reflecting the intersection of different levels and geographies of interaction and communication. In a global and highly complex world, problems need to be addressed from manifold perspectives. For that purpose, the ScienceCampus combines different disciplinary specializations whole bringing together the epistemic traditions of different Area Studies. This opens up new comparative angles on social and cultural processes salient to inter-connected developments in the multiple Europes and Americas – Eastern, Southeastern, Central and Western Europe; North and South America.

The activities of the ScienceCampus will be conducted in five thematic interdisciplinary re-search modules, coordinated by specialists from different disciplines. These themes mark areas in which frictions of globality are particularly evident, while demarcating crucial fields for exploring relations between the multiple regional configurations of Europe and America. The fifth module provides a space for critical reflection on Area Studies as a project.

Interdisciplinary Research Modules

1. Transatlantic political transformations

This research module focuses on the political connections between Europe and America, the local, regional and global interactions of relevant actors as well as the transformations emanating from them. It is particularly interested in (competing) notions of globalism, both in the past and the present, in efforts to shape a globalized world as well as the responses to its opportunities, challenges and frictions. Geographically the module invites research on the wider trans-Atlantic space, ranging from the United States to Russia. Thematic focal points include questions of sovereignty, alliances, security as well as diplomatic and negotiation processes.


Gerlinde Groitl (UR, International Politics and Transatlantic Relations)

Guido Hausmann (IOS, East- and Southeast European History)

2. Cultures and hierarchies of translations

Exchange involves translations, not only from one language into another but also transpositions of meanings across contexts. It involves intermediaries who create new interpretations in this process, making the act of translation both productive and unpredictable. Our research will expand the notion of translation from culture to the fields of norms and institutions, highlighting for instance vernacular responses to different forms of ‘Americanization’ or the localized responses to the human rights regime.


Jochen Mecke (UR, Romance Studies, Research Centre Spain)

Cindy Wittke (IOS, International Law and Politics)

3. Trade and institutions

Trade, of products, services and information/knowledge, has been one of the paramount forces making the world global and is central to debates about the effects of globalization and individual responses to them. While economic research suggests that the intensity of external trade improves with the quality of institutions and the rule of law, we also explore the reverse relationship as frictions affect the established order. Comparing Europe and America offers fertile ground: supply chains, for example, in both regions are distinctly continental, but increasingly reach out to the same third space, Asia (cf. Gereffi/Fernandez-Stark 2016). How do these shifting geographies of capital and production interact? How do states and multinational corporations as the main actors in the field shape and respond to transnational markets and production? How do those challenges affect global and regional economic development and inequalities?

Richard Frensch (IOS and UR: Faculty of Business, Economics and Management Information Systems)
Olga Popova (IOS, Economics)
Thomas Steger (UR: Faculty of Business, Economics and Management Information Systems)

4. Practices of belonging (Verheimatlichung)

The concept of Heimat helped nation-building put down roots in everyday practice. We will explore how belonging and senses of home are made, remade and experienced under conditions of globality, and how these practices link different places. Our research will especially address social, cultural and literary practices of “rooting” in a mobile and interconnected world. We will relate these bottom-up emotional and mnemonic invest-ments in a place to different scales of hegemonic politics of belonging that (re)produce domination and exclusion.


Sabine Koller (UR, Slavic-Jewish Studies)

Volker Depkat (UR, American Studies)

Ulf Brunnbauer (IOS, Southeast and East European History)

5. Towards Multi-Polar and Multi-Scalar Area Studies

This module engages methodological and epistemological questions. Drawing on recent theoretical debates and on our own research, it explores options for fruitful interdisciplinary interaction of transnational, transregional, and comparative approaches. It promotes a critical stance via a twofold act of reflexivity: it scrutinizes researchers’ positionality and the path dependency of particular research traditions; and it highlights the potential of collaborative Area Studies to reveal hegemonic patterns of knowledge production.


Birgit Bauridl (UR, American Studies, REAF)

Natali Stegmann (UR, East European Studies)

Participating Institutions

IOS - Leibniz Institute for East and Southeast European Studies

Ios-logo2017-blauengThe Leibniz Institute for East and Southeast European Studies is one of the largest and longest-standing non-university research institutes in Germany on the region. Its research focuses on interdisciplinary projects working across history, economics and the social and political sciences, while also supporting numerous publication series and journals, doctoral and postdoctoral programmes, guest researcher programmes and event series. Thematically, the research agenda at IOS focuses on Path Dependence, Change and Contingency, the Concept of the Social Institution, and the Relationship Between Continuity and Discontinuity as Guiding Research Perspective.

IOS is also home to one of the largest research libraries on the region.

In collaboration with IOS, CITAS coordinates a Doctoral exchange program with the Institute for European Studies at University of California - Berkeley.

UR - University of Regensburg


Universität Regensburg, founded in 1962 as the fourth Bavarian regional university, is a modern campus university at the southern edge of the Old Town of Regensburg. Originally designed as a regional university, Universität Regensburg has developed into a renowned international centre of teaching and research over the last decades. Among its attractive features are a broad spectrum of disciplines, a favourable student-teacher ratio and excellent infrastructure. There are currently more than 21,000 students enrolled at Universität Regensburg.

Besides teaching, Universität Regensburg is also very actively involved in research, as shown by six special research areas supported by the German Research Society (DFG), DFG Research Units, graduate schools and its participation in research initiatives and EU projects, among others. Very close ties within as well as between the areas of research – university and non-university – are a typical feature of Universität Regensburg.

This will be furthered through the ScienceCampus, a collaboration with the Leibniz Institute IOS. One of the University's strategic reserach foci is area studies, a field which is central to the ScienceCampus.

REAF - Regensburg European-American Forum

The Regensburg European American Forum (REAF) was founded in 2008 by the Chair of American Studies, Prof. Dr. Udo Hebel. Since 2013, Prof. Hebel has been President of the University of Regensburg.

REAF is dedicated to transnational American Studies in research and practice, serving as the central international and interdisciplinary platform for collaborative research, academic exchange and cooperation, political intervention, and public outreach in the field of European American Studies at the University of Regensburg.

Drawing on its interest in transnational areas, trajectories, and entanglements, REAF fosters cutting-edge research in European-American relations, interactions, and crossroads and their multifarious historical, cultural, and political dimensions. REAF hosts visiting scholars from all interdisciplinary areas of American Studies and organizes special lectures and conferences with nationally and internationally acclaimed speakers. It supports innovative interdisciplinary BA-, MA-, and PhD-programs in American Studies and European-American Studies with international courses, graduate research roundtables, and an MA / PhD exchange program with the University of Kansas.

CEH - Forschungszentrum Spanien - Centro de Estudios Hispánicos

Ceh Spanienzentrum

The Spanish Research Centre - Forschungszentrum Spanien - El Centro de Estudios Hispánicos - is part of the Institute of Romance Studies at the University of Regensburg. The Centre promotes research and teaching on Spain and the Spanish-speaking world. By supporting events such as lecture series and film festivals, it also engages the broader public in discussing issues relating to Spain and Latin America. The Centre is a partner in the MA in Intercultural European Studies and the binational BA German-Spanish Studies.

GSOSES - Graduate School for East and Southeast European Studies

Gsoses Small

The Graduate School for East and Southeast European Studies is a joint programme by Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität (LMU) München and the Universität Regensburg (UR). From November 2012 to October 2019, the Graduate School has enjoyed funding from the German Research Association (DFG) as a part of the German Federal and State Excellence Initiative (as DFG-GSC 1046).

Our primary goal is to create an academic environment for innovative research and for successfully completing outstanding doctoral projects in the research field of East and Southeast European Studies. The Graduate School pursues the concept of integrated area studies and, thus, collaborates with related disciplines as well as other area studies. We support the claim that East and Southeast Europe cannot be understood isolated but only in their interrelations with other world regions, enabling a differentiated and decentralised perspective on the processes around globalisation.

CITAS - Center for International and Transnational Area Studies

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 Culture.

The aim of CITAS is 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. The key partner in this respect is IOS - the Leibniz-Institute for East and Southeast European Studies. CITAS contributed to the successful application for a Leibniz ScienceCampus - Europe and America in the Modern World: Transformations and Frictions of Globalisation

CITAS promotes the specialist research being conducted across the disciplines in Regensburg on the regions of East and South-Eastern Europe, Western and Southern Europe, and North America and Latin America. The Center works towards developing comparative, transregional and global approaches to Area Studies with a focus on these regions and relations between them.

International Partners

North America

  • Institute of European Studies, University of California, Berkeley
  • Weiser Center for Europe and Eurasia, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
  • University of Kansas
  • Munk School of Global Affairs and Public Policy, University of Toronto

South America

  • Antioquia University in Medellin

Central and Southeastern Europe

  • Institute for International Studies, Charles University of Prague
  • Institute for Advanced Studies, Central European University, Budapest
  • Institute for Advanced Studies, Sofia
  • New Europe College, Bucharest

Western and Southern Europe

  • Institute of International Studies at Complutense University in Madrid
  • Maison des Science de l’homme, Université Clermont Auvergne (France)
  • School of Slavonic and East European Studies, University College London.

Citas Logo Only

Universitätsstraße 31
93053 Regensburg
Tel. +49 (0)941 943-5964

Email: citas@ur.de

Sammelgebäude, 214