The Leipzig Centre for the Study of France and the Francophone World (FZ) serves the interdisciplinary and cross-faculty cooperation of the institutions and faculties of the University of Leipzig that are dedicated to the study of France and Francophone cultures. It cooperates in the areas of research, teaching and further higher education and research institutions in Germany, France and in the field of Francophonie as a whole.
The Leipzig Centre for the Study of France and the Francophone World (FZ) works very closely with the Research Centre Global Dynamics der Universität Leipzig (ReCentGlobe), the Global and European Studies Institute (GESI), the SFB1199, the Forschungsinstitut für Gesellschaftlichen Zusammenhalt (FGZ) and the Graduate School Global and Area Studies (GSGAS). We work on projects, events and collaborations with the staff of these institutions.
Since its foundation in 1993, the France Centre has undergone many changes. Today, the FZ is primarily a space for Franco-German exchange. It oversees various projects in the Francophonie, organises events for friends and new interested parties in Saxony, and builds a bridge between the university and the German-French community in Leipzig.
Past and present
The Centre was founded in 1993 by decision of the Rectorate of the University of Leipzig and existed from 1994 to 2008 as a sub-centre of the Centre for Advanced Studies. Since then, it has provided a common framework for the French relations spread across many disciplines and facilitates the implementation of interdisciplinary academic events and courses with a reference to France and the Francophonie.
From 1993 to 2009, activities included the annual organisation of the French Summer University with participants from home and abroad. From 1996 to 2008, the FZ organised the interdisciplinary Master's programme "French Studies", in which the Faculty of Theology, the Faculty of Economics, the Faculty of Law, the Faculty of History, Art and Oriental Studies, the Faculty of Social Sciences and Philosophy and the Faculty of Philology were involved. Research findings of the FZ have been published in the book series Deutsch-Französische Kulturbibliothek, as well as in the journal Grenzgänge. Beiträge zu einer modernen Romanistik and have also been widely received internationally.
After a very positive evaluation by an external expert commission in 2008, the existence of the FZ was interrupted by a decision of the rectorate. The Magister programme was incorporated into the new study structures that corresponded to the Bologna Reform and became part of the European Studies M.A. within the Global and European Studies Institute since 2009. Since 2013, the FZ has been working closely with the Graduate School Global and Area Studies in the area of doctoral training. The Journées d’études, at which doctoral students jointly discuss their projects related to France and Francophonie, also contribute to interdisciplinary doctoral training.
Research activities were revived after the change of rectorate in 2011 and led to the conclusion of target agreements between the university's central institution and the rectorate. These target agreements were successfully settled in 2017 and 2020, so that new target agreements could be concluded for each of the following three years.
The successes of recent years include participation in SFB 1199, the Forschungsinstitut Gesellschaftlicher Zusammenhalt, close cooperation with the laboratoire d'excellence TransferS at ENS Paris and the Translitterae programme at the University of Paris Sciences et Lettres in Paris. In this, the Board of the Centre also relies on the constructive support of the Centre's Scientific Advisory Board.
The FZ is part of the Netzwerks der Universitären Frankreich- und Frankophoniezentren in Deutschland and contributes to its activities and projects, such as the online event series „Deutsch-Französische Perspektiven im Dialog“. Moreover, the FZ collaborates in the organisation of the Globe science festival of the Research Centre Global Dynamics.