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Comparative Area Studies and Transregional Studies

The emerging field Comparative Area Studies and Transregional Studies is a platform for inter- and intra-university cooperation between researchers in relevant fields of the humanities as well as social and cultural studies. We aim to facilitate intellectual exchange with regard to theory, concepts, methodology and empirical research.

In contrast to the traditional field of Area Studies, Comparative Area Studies strive to overcome exoticizing, Eurocentric perspectives wherein non-Western regions are the object of research conducted by Europeans and North Americans. Focusing on regional comparisons in concrete fields of research while carefully taking into consideration their specific contexts, researchers of Comparative Area Studies identify similarities and differences. In doing so, they go beyond traditional regional demarcations, flexibly choosing such points of reference as are relevant to the context of research.

Transregional Studies focus on entanglements between different world regions in a variety of thematic fields and academic disciplines. Transfers are often multidirectional: from North to South as well as vice versa and particularly between the regions of the so called ‘global South’, which is a direction of transfer that has as yet received little academic attention. Transregional Studies examine concepts of space as well as movements of people, goods and ideas in space and their theoretical foundations.

The emerging field Comparative Area Studies and Transregional Studies centers the interdisciplinary exchange of ideas in order to gain new perspectives on processes of transformation in different regional contexts and the ways in which they are influenced by multidimensional transregional entanglements. As traditional and Eurocentric thought patterns are being challenged in research, society and politics, new possibilities of trans- and interdisciplinary cooperation emerge for researchers at the University of Freiburg. Based on the know-how that has already been established in collaborative projects such as the Center for Transcultural Asian Studies (CETRAS) and the Maria Sibylla Merian Institute for Advanced Studies in Africa (MIASA),the emerging field Comparative Area Studies and Transregional Studies at the University of Freiburg is going to build new models of cooperation. These will also be part of the structures of the European Campus which give access to an even wider variety of research fields. We cordially invite researchers across disciplines and regional areas of specialization to participate in this emerging field.

Please address queries regarding the emerging field Comparative Area Studies and Transregional Studies to the team of speakers, Johanna Pink (, Tim Freytag ( and Andreas Mehler (


The emerging field Comparative Area Studies and Transregional Studies is currently developing a collaborative research project that will take a global perspective on decoloniality.

Further information