The Leipzig Centre for the Study of France and the Francophonie (FZL) at Leipzig University serves interdisciplinary and cross-faculty cooperation between the University’s institutions and faculties that are dedicated to the study of France and francophone cultures. It cooperates in the fields of research, teaching and continuing education with higher education and research institutions in Germany, France and the Francophonie.
The FZL works very closely with Leipzig University’s ReCentGlobe, the Global and European Studies Institute (GESI), CRC 1199, the Research Institute for Social Cohesion and the Graduate School Global and Area Studies (GSGAS). We develop projects, events and partnerships with staff at these institutions.
Since it was founded in 1993, the Leipzig Centre for the Study of France and the Francophonie (FZL) has undergone many changes. Today, the FZL is above all a space for Franco-German exchange. It oversees various projects in francophone countries, organises events for loyal friends and new partners in Saxony, and forms a bridge between the University and the German-French community in Leipzig.
FZL Academic Advisory Board
Past and Present
The Leipzig Centre for the Study of France and the Francophonie (FZL) was founded in 1993 following a resolution by the Rectorate of Leipzig University. From 1994 until 2008, it formed part of the Zentrum für Höhere Studien. Since then, it has provided a common framework for the University’s relations with France, which are spread across many disciplines, and has facilitated the organisation of interdisciplinary academic events and related teaching with a connection to France and the Francophonie.
From 1993 to 2009, its activities included organising the annual French Summer University with participants from Germany and abroad. From 1996 to 2008, the FZL administered the interdisciplinary Magister degree programme in French Studies, which involved the Faculty of Theology, the Faculty of Economics and Management Science, the Faculty of Law, the Faculty of History, Art and Area Studies, the Faculty of Social Sciences and Philosophy, and the Faculty of Philology. Research findings from the FZL have been published widely, including in the book series Deutsch-Französische Kulturbibliothek and Studien des Frankreich-Zentrums as well as the journal Grenzgänge. Beiträge zu einer modernen Romanistik, and have also reached large international audiences.
After a highly positive evaluation by an external expert commission in 2008, the FZL’s existence was interrupted by a Rectorate resolution. The Magister degree course was absorbed into the new study structures that arose from the Bologna Process, and became part of the master’s programme in European Studies, which the Global and European Studies Institute has been responsible for since 2009. Since 2013, the FZL has been working closely with the Graduate School Global and Area Studies in the area of doctoral training. The Journées d'études, which are an opportunity for doctoral researchers to discuss their projects that are related to France and francophone countries, contribute to the interdisciplinary training of early career researchers.
Research activities at the FZL were revived after the change of Rectorate in 2011, resulting in target agreements between the University’s Central Institution and the Rectorate. These target agreements successfully came to an end in 2017 and 2020, allowing new target agreements to be concluded for each of the following three years.
Among the many accomplishments of recent years are participation in CRC 1199, in the Research Institute for Social Cohesion, the close cooperation supported by the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation with the Yaoundé Centre for German-African Scientific Cooperation, the laboratoire d’excellence TransferS of the ENS Paris, and the Translitterea programme at Paris Sciences et Lettres University. In such endeavours the FZL Board also relies on the constructive support of the Centre’s Academic Advisory Board.
The Leipzig Centre for the Study of France and the Francophonie is part of the German network of university centres dedicated to France and francophone countries and participates in its activities and projects, such as an online event series on the theme of German-French perspectives in dialogue. In addition, the FZL contributes to organising the academic festival Globe21, which is run by the Research Centre Global Dynamics.