The Giessen Centre for Eastern European Studies (GiZo) is the regional-studies research and teaching centre for Eastern Europe at the Justus-Liebig-University (JLU) in Giessen. The centre was founded in July 2006 and brings together research and teaching on Eastern Europe in the humanities within the federal state of Hesse. Thus, it is the first institution in Hesse which uses such an interdisciplinary approach to cover research and teaching on Eastern Europe this comprehensively.
The GiZo profits from a strong university tradition of Eastern European research in Cultural, Political and Social Sciences as well as in Economics, Law and Agricultural Sciences. The centre is based on a regional concept of ‘Eastern Europe’, which is taken to include Turkey and the Turkic-speaking regions of the former Soviet Union, as well as Central Eastern, South-Eastern and Eastern Europe. Building on this concept, the GiZo seeks to describe, analyze and evaluate Eastern Europe within the context of Europe as a whole.
Research and teaching at the centre is conducted by scholars from various academic disciplines, with core subjects being the History of Eastern Europe, Slavic Studies and Turkic Studies. Further disciplines represented at the GiZo are Political Studies, Law and Economics. This variety of subjects is also reflected in the curriculum of the Master’s Programme, ‘Interdisciplinary Studies on Eastern Europe’, implemented in the winter term of 2007/2008.
The GiZo’s profile is especially notable for its strong orientation towards Cultural Sciences, both in research and in teaching. The main focus lies on research and teaching in the field of culture and society, examining the region of Eastern Europe in past and present. Current processes of European integration are as central to the GiZo’s interests as the history of the region is. The centre’s interdisciplinary approach encourages the use of a wide variety of methods.
The GiZo profits from an excellent institutional position among the various disciplines, located in numerous networks with university-based institutions (research areas, centres and individual specialists) and with regional and international partners. A list of these institutions can be found here.
The current flyer of the GiZo, as well as the flyer for the Master’s Programme ‘Interdisciplinary Studies on Eastern Europe’, can be found here.