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Early Career Research Seminar

We present ongoing work, provide feedback and engage in discussions around theoretical and methodological questions of Area Studies and research that relates to transnational and transregional questions. DIMAS member or not. Everybody is welcome!

Bring your lunch! Coffee & tea provided!

Wednesday | June 12th | 12:15 – 13:30 Uhr | Room S.214

  • Sebastian Richter, MA: „Another apporach to Area Studies: introduction to phenomenology of cultural (digital) space” (work in progress presentation)
  • Dr. Mélanie Sadozaï: “The dialogue between Area Studies and International Relations Theory (State of the Art)”
  • This is followed by a discussion of texts investigating theories and methods of Area Studies (please contact us for access to GRIPS).

Monday | July 17th | 12:15 – 13:30 Uhr | Room S.214

  • Barbara Wimmer-Bulin, MA: „Doing landscape, while exploring resources: a transcalarity and multiscalar fieldwork in the natural park „Parque natural da costa alentejano e da costa vicentina”, Portugal” (work in progress presentation)
  • German and European grant landscape for Early Career Researchers

Organizers: Dr. Mélanie Sadozaï and Dr. Roman Birke

Contact: dimas@ur.de

Transreading-Workshop "Kafka's Dao: a patience game with Laozi, Goethe and Nietzsche" with Prof. Dr. Huiwen Zhang

Friday, May 24th, 11:00 a.m. - 12:30 p.m, room SG.214

We invite you to a comparative transreading workshop entitled "Kafka's Dao: a game of patience with Laozi, Goethe and Nietzsche". The event will be hosted by visiting scientist Prof. Dr. Huiwen Zhang (Universitetet i Bergen) in collaboration with the Chair of Philosophical Foundations of Theology and invites you to actively participate in trans-reading. Questions and registrations can be directed to the organizer, Prof. Dr. Astrid Ensslin. We would be happy to welcome you.

- “Laotse's sayings are rock hard nuts. I am enchanted by them, but their core remains closed to me.” The fact that the legendary ancient Chinese wise man Lao Tzu found his way to Kafka is astonishing. What is even more astonishing, however, is how, despite his desperation, Kafka plays a game of patience with Lao Tzu to the end, translating the Daodejing, which has been canonized in China and is increasingly influential in the West, into his own writings. In the workshop we take part in this game and also invite Goethe, Nietzsche and Richard Wilhelm to our discussions. -

Huiwen Helen Zhang (Professor of Chinese and Comparative Literature, University of Bergen; BA/MA, Peking University; PhD, University of Erlangen-Nuremberg, Postdoc: Yale University) investigates and deciphers transcultural phenomena using “transreading”, a method that she developed in publications such as Cultural Transfer across Epochs and Continents, “An Ethics of Transreading,” “'Desire to Become an Indian' Read Translated in the Light of Kafka's Dao,” “Olav H. Hauge in Dialogue with Laozi and Eckhart,” and “Richard Wilhelm and Alfred Döblin Transread the Chinese Tradition”. Her current book projects expand and deepen the transreading of key moments in cross-cultural intellectual history: Transreading: A Common Language for Cultural Critique, Kafka’s Dao: The Patience Game, and Nordic Modes of Transreading.

Forthcoming talk at DAS|LAB 

Kübra Aksay: "Swallowing the City—Donut County and Stories of Gentrification in Video Games" 

Wed 8th May, 14:00h-15:30h

Anyone interested in attending is welcome to email Sebastian Richter to be sent the Zoom link: sebastian.richter@ur.de

“From the pixelated landscapes of early arcade games to the detailed metropolises of modern city builders, video games have long been intertwined with urban settings. Players' engagements with these settings encompass diverse interactions, including the development and transformation of virtual cities, immersive exploration of their intricacies, or deliberate acts of their destruction.

In this talk, I examine Donut County (Esposito, 2018), a video game in which players control an ever-growing hole in the ground, intending to swallow everything and everyone within a fictional rendition of Los Angeles. The game’s narrative, however, is not about destruction but displacement, as the player-controlled hole does not simply remove residents and their homes but traps them all underground, while the surface of the city is taken over by outsiders. Like the player who needs to expand the hole in the ground to complete each level, the protagonist of Donut County manipulates the holes for instant benefits, provided through a gamified reward system on a mobile app simulated in the game.

Thus, the game presents a narrative that parallels the power dynamics between the player and the gamespace, and those between the protagonist and their employer, who influences their actions through the mobile app and its rewards. I aim to support this argument by analyzing the gameplay as well as racial implications and the role of technology in the game’s story.”

Kübra Aksay is a lecturer and Ph.D. candidate in American Studies at the University of Freiburg, Germany. Her doctoral thesis focuses on the objects of recordings within video games, such as in-game diaries. She is an associated member of DiGRA and DAS|LAB (Regensburg), and has been convening the monthly meetings of the colloquium Reading Games in Freiburg since 2019.

Colonialsm: Different Approaches and Different Areas

DIMAS Lecture Series Summer Semester 2024 | Wednesdays, 14:00 in H22 

Full programme and more details here | Talks are in English and German

Rike Krämer-Hoppe, Professor of Public Law and Transregional Norm Development at DIMAS and the Faculty of Law at UR, is organizing a lecture series (Ringvorlesung) this summer semester. Colonialism: Different Approaches and Different Areas will take place on Wednesdays at 14:00 in Lecture Theatre H22. 

The event is open to the public and all interested colleagues and students. Students wishing to receive credits sign up for the course via SPUR

25-27 April | The Politics and History of Islam in East Asia with Kelly Hammond (Arkansas)

Professor Timothy Nunan (Transregional Cultures of Knowledge) will be hosting Professor Kelly Hammond from the University of Arkansas for a series of events on “The Politics and History of Islam in East Asia.” Professor Hammond will deliver a lecture on her current work from 10:00-12:00 c.t. on April 25, 2024, in Lecture Hall H23 followed by a brown bag lunch discussion in Raum SG214 at from 12:00-14:00 c.t..

On April 26-27, 2024, Professor Hammond and Professor Nunan will be co-teaching a block seminar “Regional Histories of the Cold Wars.” Professor Hammond’s lecture is open to the university public, and it is still possible for students (as well as interested doctoral students or post-doctoral scholars) to register for the block seminar. However, those interested in attending the brown bag lunch are requested to write to Timothy Nunan (timothy.nunan@ur.de) for planning purposes. This event series is generously sponsored by the Regensburger Universitätsstiftung Hans Vielberth.



NACHT.SCHAFFT.WISSEN is the title of the Regensburg Science Night, organized in partnership with the city of Regensburg.

Under the motto “Regensburg Global – interesting and exciting things from Eastern Europe and the rest of the world”, several UR institutions, together with the IOS Regensburg, have put together an evening full of exciting insights, interactions and fun. Join us to go behind-the-scenes of our research and get a taste of our work in promoting knowledge about Eastern Europe, Southeastern Europe and the global world.

On Friday, 19 April 2024, from 17:00 to 22:00, a varied program with family activities, mini-lectures, interactive elements and a pub quiz awaits you in the Altes Finanzamt (ALFI) at Landshuter Straße 4. Are you a quiz enthusiast and already have ideas for questions? Then feel free to share them with us!

Several DIMAS professors and colleagues will be involved in the event, giving short talks based on their research or demonstrating the educational and entertainment value of computer games. Back in 2019, DIMAS (then CITAS) was involved. This photo gallery offers a reminder of a great night: Galerie - Universität Regensburg (uni-regensburg.de)

The programme will be in German, with sessions also in Ukrainian. Participation is free of charge and does not require prior registration. You can find the full program at this link: LSC –  Nacht.Schafft.Wissen (europeamerica.de)

Bring family and friends and enjoy an inspiring evening with us, your colleagues, friends and the other visitors to Nacht.Schafft.Wissen.

We are looking forward to seeing you!

Past Events

“Videogames as Folk Worlds: Nationalism – Democracy – Sustainability”

An international symposium “Videogames as Folk Worlds: Nationalism – Democracy – Sustainability” will be held on April 11th-12th in room 319 of Altes Finanzamt.

Videogames are a mass medium whose global sales and user numbers have exceeded those of the film and music industries for over a decade. However, they serve much more than just entertainment purposes. As interactive, educational experience worlds, they are used by governments and paramilitary groups as propaganda tools and military training simulators, e.g. in the Ukrainian War.

Simultaneously, videogames can serve to convey and critically engage with culturally specific and folkloric content and thus pursue pacifist, democratic and sustainability-promoting goals. Although this dual role forms the basis of much public controversy, there is no comprehensive scientific/scholarly understanding of how videogames as folk worlds can impact intercultural understanding in anti- and prosocial ways. Nor do we have the methodological tools to perform such research in qualitative, quantitative and mixed approaches.

To address this lacuna, this international symposium serves to develop a systematic transdisciplinary research program in videogames as folk worlds and as tools for transcultural understanding. The contributions range from media, literary and cultural studies to computer science, anthropology, educational psychology and political science.

The two-day symposium will analyze the dual role of computer games as transregional, nationalistic propaganda machines on the one hand and as democracy and diversity-fostering, critical and prosocial media experiences on the other. It will explore how the social and political actions of players are shaped by nationalist or fascist content, how such content appears in games, and how, conversely, pro-democracy, sustainability-promoting elements can be incorporated, experienced and learned in and through the design of alternative “indie” games. 

You can find the complete program here.

LATinBAY network meeting on April 11

The meeting of the Forschungs- und Kooperationsnetzwerk Lateinamerika in Bayern (LATinBAY, Research and Cooperation Network Latin America in Bavaria) will take place at the University of Regensburg on April 11th 2024 from 10:30-5:30 p.m.!

After a ceremonial opening by the President of the University of Regensburg, Prof. Dr. Udo Hebel, Prof. Dr. Anne Brüske, professor at DIMAS at the University of Regensburg, and Prof. Dr. Silke Jansen (FAU Erlangen-Nuremberg) and Prof. Dr. Miriam Lay Brander (KU Eichstätt) will guide you through the program of the network meeting.

The team from the Bavarian University Center for Latin America (Bayerisches Hochschulzentrum für Lateinamerika, BayLat) led by Dr. Irma de Melo-Reiners will come to Regensburg to provide information about the work of BayLat, the LATinBAY network and funding opportunities for scientific cooperation between Bavaria and Latin America.

In addition, representatives of the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung, BMBF) and the German Research Foundation (Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft, DFG) will report on funding instruments for research with or on Latin America. Therefore Dr. Dietrich Halm, program director for Latin America and the Caribbean in the German Research Foundation cooperation with Latin America, will take part with a lecture.

In the second part of the program, the meeting offers the opportunity to exchange ideas in thematic working groups and to network with one another regarding current areas of interest.

Researchers from all disciplines with a connection to Latin America are invited to the network meeting.

Interested researchers and advanced students can register here.

You can find the complete program here.

Performance by Joujou Turenne - Carte Blanche | 29.01.2024, 18:30, Haus der Begegnung, Regenbsurg

This event is organised by Anne Brüske (DIMAS) in cooperation with the Institute of Romance Studies. This is a replacement date for the event that was cancelled in November.

Find more details here

CrossArea Conference 2023 | Doing Area Studies in the Polycentric Condition

16-17 November 2023 | in person and online

The Department for Interdisciplinary and Multiscalar Area Studies (DIMAS) at the University of Regensburg (UR) together with the Leibniz-ScienceCampus Europe and America in the Modern World, a joint project of the UR and Leibniz Institute for East and Southeast European Studies (IOS) were delighted to have organised the 2023 CrossArea conference in Regensburg.

Titled Doing Area Studies in the Polycentric Condition, the conference took place on 16-17 November at the Altes Finanzamt, Landshuter Str. 4, 93047 Regensburg.

A report on the event (in German) can be found here.


Vorstand | Board: Prof. Dr. Anna Steigemann and Prof. Dr. Rike Krämer-Hoppe

Geschäftsführung | Manager: Dr. Paul Vickers

Sekretariat | Secretary dimas@ur.de
Tel. +49 941 943 5966