From January 2013 to December 2014, Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Behr and Prof. Dr. Angelika Malinar acted as academic directors of the URPP Asia and Europe. They ensured that the members of URPP Asia and Europe had access to the necessary resources for carrying out their research projects. With the support of the head office, they organized two retreats in Vitznau, which allowed intensive discussions within the three research fields of the URPP Asia and Europe and involved fruitful plenary sessions. At the second retreat, the lecture series “‘Asia and Europe’: Actors, Concepts, Narratives” was proposed. This event will take place in the fall semester of 2015, and it will further enhance the visibility of the URPP Asia and Europe at the University of Zurich itself and beyond. In 2013 and 2014, Wolfgang Behr and Angelika Malinar were also instrumental in other conferences that brought together researchers from universities in Europe and Asia, focusing on “Traveling Norms and the Politics of Contention” (2013) and “Asia and Europe in Translation: Interdisciplinary Perspectives” (2014).
During their terms in office, six doctoral theses were submitted and successfully defended. Furthermore, within the same timeframe, members of the URPP Asia and Europe received funding in the amount of 3.5 million Swiss francs, including an ERC Starting Grant. This funding allowed a very welcome extension of the research activities.
On behalf of all at the URPP Asia and Europe, we want to express our deepest gratitude to Wolfgang Behr and Angelika Malinar for all of their endeavors. We are taking over an institution that is in excellent shape and are honored to continue their work.
David Chiavacci and Mareile Flitsch
(Asia & Europe Bulletin, 4/2015, p. 23)