Universität KonstanzExzellenzcluster „Kulturelle Grundlagen von Integration“


The Center has developed an innovative research structure, at once decentralized and highly cross-linked, showing marked differences from forms of cooperative  research in other venues.

General Institutional Conditions and Planning

A basic strategic aim of the Center was to organize external funding in a way markedly increasing the time allotted to research activities, while at the same time catalyzing influence by the Center on research structures in both the various participating departments and the university as a whole.

In order to realize these structural goals and see them incorporated into the university’s long-term development, the Center was organized as a network with a flat hierarchy, whose funds were not distributed exclusively to its principal investigators but rather supported the work of all members of formally affiliated departments.

The sustainability planning agreed on with the university envisions developing the Center step by step into a successor institution over the coming years—a network-oriented research structure integrated into the university beyond 2019. Required by the Excellence Initiative, the integration of the Center’s structures into the university will involve consolidation and improvement of established procedures, not the creation of a special area. The  unique quality of the emerging structure, a “Cultural Studies Research Center” at the University of Konstanz, will lie in a programmatic alliance of professorships, M.A. and Ph.D. programs, free spaces, funding for younger researchers, and generative mechanisms for new research activities.

Structural Objectives

  1. Strengthening existing research structures and expand the spectrum of disciplines at the University of Konstanz
  2. Improving the conditions for research and teaching of participating scholars in a sustained way
  3. Intensifying international networking
    Beyond Konstanz, the Center of Excellence is tied to a regional and international cooperative research network. The humanities have here profited from their anchoring in what is one of the most vital European regions for the advancement of research. In addition, intensive research relations have been established with leading universities in the United States, Great Britain, Spain, Italy (Bologna), Russia (Moscow) and the Czech Republic (Prague).
    More on academic cooperation
    The connections with the United States have been furnished with a shared organizational platform, the “Network for Transatlantic Cooperation.”
    About the Network
    Furthermore, the Center of Excellence offers generous support for the translation of German-language books and articles by its members, thus furnishing them with a readership beyond the German-speaking scholarly world.
    Further Information (Intranet, German only)
  4. Supporting scholars in the early stages of their careers
    In the first research period, the Center issued guidelines for early career support. These are oriented toward aptitude-based selection, reliability of the support framework with a sufficiently broad temporal horizon, advice and supervision by peers, and a rerouting from quantitative to qualitative productivity. In this way doctoral students are offered a training phase that is inspiring in multifaceted ways and offers very good prospects for career paths both within and outside the academic world. The Center cooperates closely with the university’s Academic Staff Development office.
    On the doctoral program in “Europe in the Globalized World”
    On the research groups
    Academic Staff Development
  5. Promoting Gender Equality in Research and Teaching
    The Center of Excellence promotes gender equality in research and teaching in a systematic way; it is both a guiding principle and structural goal anchored on both research and institutional levels. The result of close cooperation with the university’s Equal Opportunity Council and its executive organ, the Equal Opportunity Office has been a set of support policies by the Center that in many respect can serve as a model. In addition, it benefits from a set of fixed guidelines for gender equality—the first such guidelines issued by a German university.
    About gender equality
  6. Increasing insight into social problems
    The Center of Excellence conveys the research activities of its members to a broader public through conferences, exhibitions, and a medial presence. Insight also allows a view of everyday research life at the Center.
    To calendar of events
    To Media Coverage
    To Insight
    Since the fall of 2010, the newly founded, independent Konstanz University Press has published substantial contributions within the full spectrum of cultural studies. From the beginning these publications have enjoyed great resonance.
    On Konstanz University Press