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Interdisciplinary Research Modules

The Modules form the core of the research programme at the Leibniz ScienceCampus. They are coordinated by scholars from across different disciplines who specialize in different regions in order to encourage fruitful dialogue and exchange, reflecting the centrality of area studies to "Europe and America in the Modern World". The Research Modules are encouraged to collaborate in organizing events, including workshops, conferences and public engagement projects. The Modules will provide a base for mentoring the ScienceCampus' doctoral students and developing the comparative and/or transregional aspects of their projects.

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)

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)

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)

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)

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)