The title of the forthcoming Graduate School, “Horizonterweiterungen. Zukunfts­handeln in Machtstrukturen” [BroadeningHorizons: The Future of Action within Power Structures], at the Institute of History clearly shows how historical research considers itselfevery bit a science of the future. In 2007 / 2008, the institute’s strengths and main focus lay in developing international and comparative perspectives, and research into global developments in various periods.
Alongside these main areas, the institute is involved in complementary and interdisciplinary fields of research. These include cultural contacts (for example, “Cultural Relations of the Ancient East and Early / Classical Greece” and a project dedicated to analysing the transference of culture between Cuba and Angola); research on the nature of kingship and power projections through the Middle Ages to the Early Modern Period (“The Image of the Female Ruler in European Histography” and the DFG project “Projection of Power in the Early Modern Period”); the combination of economic, social and cultural approaches to history (i. e. projects dedicated to the history of agriculture and viniculture, a DFG proposal relating to “Evaluation of Technical Accomplishments of the Ancient World in the Context of Pre-Industrialised Societies”, projects on the social history of the family and family law in Europe); a project-history of European reconciliation; a comparative colonial history of Africa, North America, and the Caribbean, and thethematic field of Migration and Diaspora as sub­-areas of non-European history; research on the formation of networks and communication structures (both in the history of science and in regional history); innovation in historical didactics (i. e. projects on bilingual teaching of history in schools, and a project on textbook research).
International cooperation exists with the AEDE (European Association of Teachers), which is organised from Belgium, and the Universities of Nijmegen, Strasbourg, Paris I, and the London School of Economics. The institute is taking part in the EU’s “EU-Consent” Network of Excellence, the CNRS “Dimensions and dynamics of European Integration” network, and the European research network CORN (Comparative Rural History of the North Sea Area).