Research Centers

The Institute for Global Studies serves as the administrative platform for several internationally oriented research centers in the College of Liberal Arts. The following centers form the Collaborative for International Research Centers (CIRC). Collectively, these centers facilitate, sponsor, and collaborate on cross and interdisciplinary research on the broad subjects of their thematic foci and make possible scholarly interventions and explorations across departmental and disciplinary boundaries.

Centers that form the CIRC

African Studies Initiative (ASI), an African Studies NRC
Assistant Director: Awa Saidy
The African Studies Initiative (ASI) begins from the premise that the interactions among the various regions of Africa, as well as with the rest of the world, are critical to the scholarly enterprise. ASI engages methodological and theoretical issues common to scholars of literature, culture, and the social sciences globally, to explore themes such as race and ethnicity, urbanization and migration, modernity and modernism, transnationalism and globalization, representation, and language.

Center for Austrian Studies (CAS)
Director: Professor Howard Louthan (history)
The Center for Austrian Studies serves to promote new scholarship about Austria and Central Europe across disciplines in the humanities, the social sciences, the fine arts, and international business management. It connects scholars, students, and an international community to resources in Austria, Central Europe, the EU, and Minnesota. The Center reaches out to students, scholars, and the community, bringing an awareness of Austria and the new Europe and its relevance to American life and it enriches the teaching mission of the University and the College of Liberal Arts by connecting its research and outreach programs with classroom opportunities for students.

Center for German and European Studies (CGES)
Director: Professor Henning Schroeder
CGES is dedicated to educating the next generation of specialists in the interdisciplinary study of Germany and Europe by supporting the research and teaching of its affiliated faculty, graduate, and undergraduate students, and sponsoring public fora to inform the professional and business community and the general public about current German and European issues.

Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies (CHGS) 
Acting Director: Joe Eggers
CHGS provides premier academic programs, fostering a community of students studying genocide and mass violence while cultivating the essential connection between scholarly inquiry, education, and outreach to different sectors of society. Our work is motivated by the hope to inspire future generations to fight hatred and strengthen democracy, thus ensuring a more peaceful and just world.

Human Rights Program (HRP)
Director: Carrie Walling 
The Human Rights Program serves as a hub of interdisciplinary research, teaching, and outreach at the University of Minnesota in the field of human rights. The Human Rights Program has a threefold mission:

  • Advancing human rights scholarship through support for research and publications;
  • Educating the next generation of human rights scholars and professionals; 
  • Engaging with serious human rights issues through timely and meaningful projects, public programs, and internships.


Immigration History Research Center (IHRC) 
Acting Director: Michele Waslin
The IHRC promotes interdisciplinary research on migration, race, and ethnicity in the United States and the world through monthly seminars and research grants. It connects US immigration history research to contemporary immigrant and refugee communities through our Immigrant Stories project. It advances public dialogue about immigration with timely programs that draw audiences from around the corner and around the world. It furthermore supports teaching and learning at all levels, and develops archives documenting immigrant and refugee experiences for future generations.

Center for Premodern Studies
Director: Juliette Cherbuliez
The Center seeks to provide an opportunity for scholars of all disciplines and at all levels to focus intensively on historical, literary, anthropological, social, economic, religious, legal, artistic, cultural, and methodological inquiries into the medieval period.