IPP "Transnationalization and Regionalization from the 18th century to the present"

The International PhD Study Programme "Transnationalization and Regionalization from the 18th Century to the Present" pursues an interdisciplinary approach. It combines the research of areas dealing with the spatial dimensions of social and cultural processes. In particular, the programme incorporates History, Geography, Cultural Studies, Sociology, Politics, Economics, Linguistics and Literary Studies. What distinguishes our 'Area Studies' is the high level of competence with regard to the examination of developments in Western Europe, Middle and Eastern Europe, Africa, Latin America and Western Asia. The programme proceeds from the assumption that spatial dimensions exist within processes of economic transformation and cultural identification, as well as being present within social groupings and political structures. These processes are examined with a view towards their historical point of evolution until the present day.

These spatial dimensions of social, cultural and political action are linked to agents, whose active shaping of space is given particular attention in this study and research programme. As well as the creative agents, discourses and institutions are examined which help strengthen these terrritorial processes. The programme integrates numerous theoretical and methodological perspectives and includes many diverse fields of empirical research.

So that individual dissertations do not lose sight of the transnational or intercultural links to processes of region making or nation building, the study programme arranges the teaching of methodology in relation to the comparison of societies, intercultural research and cultural transfers.

Summer Schools in 2009 and 2010

The seventh international summer school organized by the Graduate Centre Humanities and Social Sciences of the Research Academy Leipzig dealt with the subject of “Memory Cultures in a Transcultural and Transnational Perspective”. The approach was not to analyze the subjects of memory, transnationality and interculturality in a separate manner, but to look at their interconnections.  Therefore, this summer school concentrated on transnational processes of memory and the associated policy areas. The central questions were in which way is the past constituted as history only by the process of memory? Beyond the individual memory, who decides which elements have to pass into the collective and cultural memory of a social group and how should they be passed on? What roles do power and institutional actors play in the process of shaping the collective memory, and which function do media and the form of the memorized have?

The eighth summer school took place in 2010 under the title “Transnational Actors – Actors of Transnationalization” and focused on the role of transnational actors in global political, economic, social and cultural processes of spatialization.  Without losing sight of the state apparatus, which has an important function/role in and for transnational processes, attention was given to various cross border agents such as migrants, tourists, companies, political parties, trade unions, associations of entrepreneurs, political, religious and cultural movements, NGOs, academics, journalists, athletes, service(wo-)men and also transnational criminal groups.