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Research Centres

Image: Simon Dirsing und Thomas Schorn (Zweimalig_GbR)

The teaching and research centres of the Faculty of Arts and Humanities are institutions and multi-disciplinary organizational structures that serve to optimize interdisciplinary cooperation in teaching and research at the Faculty.

Due to their open structure, they enable the continual adjustment of teaching and research to the changing general framework, priorities and performance standards. The following are some of their functions: 

  • The coordination of teaching in their discipline and the development of innovative transdisciplinary study modules and degree programs as well as inter alia
  • the consolidation of existing interdisciplinary structures, the coordinated procurement of third-party funding and the setting up of graduate schools and research groups.


Center for Language, Information and Philosophy (CLIP)


In recent years, scholars at the University of Cologne have developed an intensive cooperation in the fields of linguistics, formal semantics and pragmatics as well as logic and analytical language philosophy. Research at the interface between linguistics and philosophy can look back on a long tradition that has been cultivated especially in the field of analytical philosophy and has proven to be extraordinarily fruitful.

The creation of the CLIP (Center for Language, Information and Philosophy) creates an institutional framework that allows the collaboration to be strengthened and intensified.


Director: Prof. Dr. Klaus von Heusinger



Cologne Latin American Center (CLAC)


The Cologne Latin American Center (CLAC) is an interdisciplinary institution of the University of Cologne. The Center acts as a network for the institutes at the Faculty of Philosophy, Economics and Social Sciences that are engaged in teaching and research on Hispanic America and Brazil. It coordinates the cross-faculty programmes BA Regional Studies Latin America, MA Regional Studies Latin America and Diplom Regionalwissenschaften Latin America and supervises various exchange programmes for students and lecturers with Latin America and Spain.

Latin American history and Romance studies form the main pillars of the CLAC, but it shows its interdisciplinary orientation through the contributions of researchers from economics, political science and economic and social geography.


Speaker: Prof. Dr. Barbara Potthast



Cologne African Studies Centre (CASC)


The Cologne African Studies Center is an interdisciplinary network of Africa researchers at the University of Cologne. CASC is member of AEGIS (Africa-Europe Group for Interdisciplinary Studies) and will be hosting the ECAS conference (European Conference on African Studies) in 2021. 

Researchers of CASC are involved in the CRC 806 “Our Way to Europe” and CRC/TRR 228 “Future Rural Africa”. CASC is also involved in research-oriented teaching in the MA programme “Culture and Environment in Africa”. Currently, CASC is supported by the Global South Studies Center (GSSC) and the Competence Area IV (CA IV).


Director: Prof. Dr. Michael Bollig



Cologne-Bonn Centre for Central and Eastern Europe (CCCEE)


The Cologne-Bonn Centre for Central and Eastern Europe (CCCEE) brings together institutes of the University of Cologne as well as associations dealing with Eastern Europe as a whole or with parts of it: the Slavic Institute, the Department of Eastern European History of the Historical Seminary, the Department of Byzantine Studies of the Institute of Archaeology, the Institute for Eastern European Law and Comparative Law of the University of Cologne and the Institute for Eastern European History at the Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn, as well as the Lew-Kopelew-Forum e. V.


Co-Speaker: Prof. Dr. Martin Aust



Cologne Centre for Contemporary Epistemology and the Kantian Tradition (CONCEPT)


The Cologne Center for Contemporary Epistemology and the Kantian Tradition (CONCEPT) is sponsored by a generous five year grant by the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation and was founded in 2016.

CONCEPT is built on the premise that contemporary epistemology and epistemology in the classical German tradition both benefit from the cross-fertilization of ideas and methods. Contemporary epistemology supplies the conceptual resources that allow us to gain a deeper understanding of issues in Kantian epistemology. And Kantian epistemology, in turn, provides promising suggestions for resolving persistent issues in contemporary epistemology. Thus the goal is to use contemporary concepts and questions to refine historical research in epistemology and to historically contextualize the contemporary discussion in epistemology.

All of the colloquia, workshops and conferences organized by CONCEPT are free and open to the public.


Director: Prof. Dr. Sven Bernecker



Cologne Center for eHumanities (CCeH)



The Cologne Center for eHumanities (CCeH) is an association of researchers interested in the use of digital methods and technologies in research and teaching in the humanities. Since its foundation in 2009, the CCeH has developed into an internationally recognized Digital Humanities competence center. As such, it is involved in a large number of interdisciplinary research cooperations and projects and acts as a "DH Coordination Office" for the North Rhine-Westphalian Academy of Sciences and Arts. This is also reflected in the meanwhile large number of CCeH staff members who are involved in various projects in the field of development and content coordination. In order to strengthen cooperation and build competence, the CCeH welcomes guest researchers.

Speaker: Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. Andreas Speer



Cologne Center of Language Sciences (CCLS)



The Cologne Center of Language Sciences (CCLS) acts as an interface for all linguistic institutions of the university. With over 230 members, the CCLS has an important voice in the university landscape and offers them the necessary space to develop common ideas and visions. Cologne Linguistics also benefits from the work of the CCLS through its close contact with other institutions inside and outside the university.

In particular, the support of young academics and the support and promotion of teaching are of particular concern to the Center. For example, the CCLS initiated its own Master's programme (with two courses of study) and a new doctoral study course and, together with the SFB 1252 Prominence in Language, created funding opportunities for students and young academics.

Managing Director: Prof. Dr. Daniel Bunčić



Interdisciplinary Research Centre for Didactics in the Humanities (IFDG)


The Interdisciplinary Research Centre for Didactics in the Humanities (IFDG) initiates, promotes and maintains the cooperation on didactics of the faculty's disciplines. As a research and teaching centre, the IFDG takes up didactic perspectives, in particular of teaching, competence and professionalisation research of the didactics represented, formulates cross-sectional topics and forms a platform for profiling the work of the didactics in terms of content and methodology. The Centre's projects, which are carried out in an interdisciplinary manner and in cooperation with the corresponding disciplines and other institutions and centres of the University of Cologne involved in teacher training (e.g. IZeF, ZfL), aim to strengthen the didactic profile of the faculty.

Managing Director: Prof. Dr. Heike Lindner



Multidisciplinary Environmental Studies in the Humanities (MESH)

Finanziert von der Alexander von Humboldt-Stiftung, unterstützt von der Philosophischen Fakultät wurde MESH als Forschungszentrum eingerichtet, das sich mit den sozialen, kulturellen und ethischen Dimensionen des globalen Umweltwandels und den damit verbundenen ökologischen, klimatischen und gesundheitlichen Krisen befasst. MESH bringt das historische, philosophische, literarische, linguistische und kulturanthropologische Fachwissen der Geisteswissenschaften mit den Natur- und Sozialwissenschaften ins Gespräch und fördert die Forschung und den Wissensaustausch in drei Hauptforschungsbereichen: dekoloniale kulturelle Ökologien, artenübergreifende Konvivialität und Katastrophenvorsorge.


Direktorin: Prof. Dr. Kate Rigby


Wahn Castle Theatre Archive (TWS)


The Wahn Castle Theatre Archive (TWS) of the University of Cologne is an international documentation and research centre for theatre history, performance and media culture. The collection focuses on the one hand on German-speaking theatre culture – with a comprehensive archive of critiques and photographs supplemented by a versatile graphic collection – and on the other hand on theatre and media forms of different cultures and epochs. As part of the Institute for Media Culture and Theatre, the collection with its extensive library is intensively integrated into teaching and offers students a unique place for learning and research in addition to its extensive holdings.


Director: Prof. Dr. Peter W. Marx





Centre for Ancient Mediterranean Cultures (ZaKMiRa)


The Centre for Ancient Mediterranean Cultures – ZaKMiRa for short – is an association of scholars of ancient history founded in 2002 at the Faculty of Arts and Humanities of the University of Cologne. The participating researchers include representatives of archaeological, historical, art-historical, philological, philosophical and theological disciplines whose fields of expertise cover a broad spectrum of topics related to Classical Studies. This diversity of ZaKMiRa's subject matters enables the processing and analysis of the entire spectrum of ancient written evidence as well as a differentiated exploration of the material culture of antiquity.

The aim of the Centre is to make use of this potential for research and teaching and to strengthen interdisciplinary, faculty-internal cooperation both internally and externally through the network. ZaKMiRa not only offers a platform for the regular scientific exchange between the participating researchers and institutes, but also opens up new ways to present the Classical Studies disciplines of the Faculty of Arts and Humanities to a broad public.

Speaker: Prof. Dr. Anja Bettenworth



Center for Media Studies and Research on Modernity (MeMo)


As a teaching and research discipline, Media Studies builds structures that bring the various subjects and subject groups of the Faculty of Arts and Humanities into discussion.

The Faculty of Arts and Humanities understands Media Studies in terms of Cultural Studies: it differs from social science-oriented communication science, which examines comparable subjects (such as television, radio, written and printed media), above all in its emphasis on historical, aesthetic, media and cultural theoretical aspects.

Media Studies, however, is not only a specific ‘perspective’ on a series of objects, but an independent discipline of cultural studies. With a great plurality of approaches and methods, it explores the diversity of media, media constellations and processes, and conducts their historiography and theorization. In this way it makes an essential contribution to the understanding of history, culture and society.


Speaker: Prof. Dr. Wolfram Nitsch



Cologne Center for Medieval Studies (ZEMAK)


The Cologne Centre for Medieval Studies (ZEMAK) is an association of medieval-oriented subjects at the University of Cologne. The Centre benefits from a broad spectrum of subjects that is unique for medieval studies in Germany: in addition to medieval history, Byzantine studies, Jewish studies and Islamic studies, Medieval Latin, German, Romanesque and Scandinavian philology are represented, as well as Philosophy, the History of Art and Architecture and, finally, Historical-Cultural Studies information processing. The interdisciplinary range of courses, which also integrates the different methodological approaches of the subjects, offers ideal conditions for comparative research.

Linked to the Centre's activities, a research-oriented Master of Medieval Studies (MAMS) is offered. Building on this, the a.r.t.e.s. Graduate school for the Humanities Cologne offers doctoral scholarships and the integration of medieval projects into the interdisciplinary Class 1: Dynamics of Knowledge and Societies in Pre-Modern Cultures.

Cologne is also a stimulating location for medievalists outside the university campus, whose institutions work very closely with the ZEMAK: The Archbishop's Diocesan and Cathedral Library, the Schnütgen Museum, the Wallraf-Richartz-Museum, the Dombauhütte and Domschatzkammer, the CICS (Cologne Institute for Conservation Science) of the Cologne University of Applied Sciences, the Historical Archive of the Archdiocese of Cologne, the Historical Archive of the City of Cologne, the Stadtmuseum and last but not least the incomparable collection of monuments make Cologne a unique place of study for people interested in the Middle Ages.


Speaker: Prof. Dr. Karl Ubl



Centre of Quaternary Science & Geoarchaeology (QSGA)


The Centre of Quaternary Science and Geoarchaeology enhances and disseminates knowledge on the Glacial Age. This includes investigations on climate and environment on the one hand, and the humans and their specific cultures during this period on the other.

The aims of the Centre are firstly, to initiate, encourage and facilitate interdisciplinary research in any aspect of the Quaternary, in the natural and human sciences, whether pure or applied, and in any part of the world; and secondly, to coordinate  teaching related to Quaternary sciences, mainly by offering an M.Sc. degree at the universities of Aachen, Bonn, and Cologne.


Coordinator: Prof. Dr. Frank Schäbitz