Together with its partners, GCE-HSG implements projects in social science and humanities disciplines within the BLACK SEA region. The support of GCE-HSG includes research projects with higher social relevance, academic exchange in the form of conferences, summer and winter schools and seminars, and dissemination of research results.

Research Projects

Digital History


The Digital History Seminar is a long-term academic initiative organized by the Center for Urban History Lviv and the GCE-HSG. This year's edition of Digital History Seminars by the Canter for Urban History was organized as a series of events titled "Documenting Disasters: Archiving Born-Digital Historical Evidences in Crisis" to share and collectively discuss digital archiving efforts that emerged as a response to various crisis events in Ukraine and globally. It also offers an opportunity to learn about the experience of other responsive archiving initiatives and talk about the theoretical or methodological issues they are dealing with. 

Telegram Archive of the War

Documentation Initiative

„Telegram Archive of the War in Ukraine" is a responsive documentation initiative launched by the Center for Urban History, Lviv in the first days of the full-scale Russian invasion of Ukraine in late February 2022. It was initiated by Taras Nazaruk, head of Digital History projects at the Center. Out of this initiative, the Center for Urban History envisions in a long-term perspective, an archive of historical sources based on the collected data, providing scholars access for future research.

Telegram Archive of the War in Ukraine

Displacement in Ukraine – Decision-making, Routes, and Prospects

Research Project

The project deals with migration strategies and decision-making processes of people displaced by Russia’s war in Ukraine. The main goal of the project is to collect narratives and analyze the decision-making processes and rationale that internal and external migrants follow (and construct) when leaving home. The project identifies the main stages and triggers in the decision-making processes and re-constructs rationalities on when, how, and where to go. Additionally, the project identifies how people perceive, plan, and imagine their long-term perspective, namely settling or returning.

Digital Platforms

Ukrainian Regionalism

Research Platform

The “Ukrainian Regionalism” initiative was launched in 2012 by the University of St. Gallen and is ongoing. The project proposes an interdisciplinary and transcultural approach to the question of regionalism in Ukraine, challenging simplistic conceptualizations and generalizations. It shows how Ukraine can best be understood through the lenses of various disciplines and methodologies, moving beyond the perspective of traditional political borders, macro-regions and cultural, economic, historical or religious stereotypes.

Ukrainian Regionalism

Shadows of Empires

Mapping Platform

"Shadows of Empires": contesting territorial imaginations and borders in modern Europe is a digital map tool that allows browsing, comparing, and contrasting historical state borders with those conceptualized by experts, political activists, and national leaders. It also shows territorial definitions of various short-lived self-proclaimed political entities existing in times of war and revolutions. The digital project is a result of cooperation between the GCE-HSG and dekoder. The project offers a possibility to explore either the changing political borders in Europe since 1650, or examine the territorial changes for each particular country in more detail.

Shadows of Empires

Territoriality of the Georgian Orthodox Church

Mapping Plattform

The project "Territoriality of the Georgian Orthodox Church" explores whether and to what extent the spatial dimension of the church's vision of territoriality corresponds to Georgia's legal boundaries. Through the creation of an interactive map, the project will illustrate how the Georgian Church's discourses on territoriality relate to the practice of church building. Using various qualitative and quantitative methods, the team analyzes the number of churches and their geographic location to trace when and how discourses of territoriality and the actual legal boundaries of the state (do not) coincide. All data are visualized on a digital map in Georgian and English. 

Territoriality of the Georgian Orthodox Church

The Many Faces of Ukraine

Mapping Platform

This project is a digital mapping project that aim to combine mapping with digital story-telling mechanisms to present the history and culture of Ukraine as a land of many peoples and ethnic groups. Its aim is to give a short overview of the ethnic diversity on Ukraine’s lands through available data on ethnic groups, and their cultural rights in Ukraine in historical perspective. This project was conducted by Ukrainian scholars directly affected by war, both those forced to flee, and those remaining in Ukraine. The project is co-ordinated by Dr Olena Palko (University of Basel) and Dr Albert Venger (Dnipro National University, Ukraine).

Religion and the Wars of the 21st Century

Research Platform

The Black Sea and South Caucasus region have witnessed three military conflicts in the 21st century: the Russia-Georgia conflict in 2008, the ongoing Russian-Ukrainian war since 2014, and the Azerbaijani-Armenian conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh in 2020. What possible religious underpinnings influenced these wars? How did religious organizations teleologically and theologically perceive and interpret these conflicts? This project seeks to address these critical yet underexplored questions in the existing sociological and theological literature. To do this, the project "Religion and the Wars of the 21st Century: Mapping the Narratives, Examining the Causal Factors, Understanding Teleology" aims to create an open access data base consisting of materials from Armenian, Azerbaijani, Turkish, Russian, Ukrainian and Georgian sources. 

Religion and the Wars

Research Network

Annual Conference


Since 2012, the GCE-HSG has organized its annual conference, which takes place every year in a different location in the Black Sea region. The conference is interdisciplinary in nature and allows presenters to discuss new theoretical and methodological approaches to many topics. The annual conference is aimed at scholars and experts from different countries who deal with the Black Sea region, its complex history, culture, language and literature, as well as its political and economic development.

Annual Conference

Borderlands Studies in East Central Europe and the Black Sea Region

Summer School

The summer school "Borderlands Studies in East Central Europe and the Black Sea Region" is a high-quality, intensive, interdisciplinary training aimed at advanced students, early career scholars, and practitioners who have a strong interest in the borderlands of Central and Eastern Europe and the Black Sea region. The school focuses on the impact of state policies, nationalism, population movements, and geopolitical changes from the local perspective of “transient borderlands” that have a complicated history of belonging and identity, conflicts, and coexistence. 

Center for Interethnic Relations Research in Eastern Europe

Working Group on Lived Religion in Eastern Europe and Eurasia

Research Network

The Working Group on Lived Religion in Eastern Europe and Eurasia unites anthropologists, sociologists, historians, and other scholars who study religion in Eastern Europe and Eurasia. The focus on lived religion includes, but also moves beyond institutionalized forms of religion and the transnational and global connections they offer, to consider the links created by contemporary forms of vernacular religiosity and the experiences of the sacred it offers. The goal of the Working Group is to inspire insightful and influential publications from a variety of disciplinary perspectives on how religion affects contemporary social and political life in Eastern Europe and Eurasia.

Working Group on Lived Religion in Eastern Europe and Eurasia



The summer school "Spotlight" on film production in the social sciences is organized by Karina Gaibulina, Ágnes Erőss, Joanna Janikowska и Clara Kleininger-Wanik. The one-week long, on-site summer school is dedicated to exploring the potential of documentary film making in social sciences as research method and as an instrument of dissemination of research results. It offered an innovative, practice-oriented knowledge to students, empowering them with a skill which they can use either in their future research or dissemination. The Spotlight summer school empoweres the students with new skills, it showcases how social sciences can apply audiovisuality as method and it was also successful in promoting the work of the students among local people and the wider audience.

Partner Institutions

The Centre for Advanced Study Sofia is an independent institution with strong international and interdisciplinary orientation, promoting freedom of research, scholarly excellence, education and intellectual creativity in the humanities and the social sciences. CAS attracts young talents and outstanding senior scholars by offering institutional conditions conducive to free pursuit of knowledge and dialogue in the framework of individual research fellowships or collaborative multi-disciplinary and cross-cultural enquiries. In partnership with other Institutes for Advanced Study, universities, scholarly and cultural associations, it works to re-establish the tradition of intellectual communities and to facilitate open critical debate and exchange of people and ideas on national and trans-national levels. With its transparent, lean and flexible management, CAS has been, since its inception in 2000, a reliable partner for donors and scholars alike.

Centre for Advanced Study

The NGO “Center for Interethnic Relations Research in Eastern Europe” was founded in Kharkiv in 2011 by a group of young scholars. The Centre organizes academic and public events, summer schools, exhibitions, as well as research, archival, educational, and cultural projects. The main focus of our work is on interethnic relations in Ukraine and Eastern Europe, research and preservation of historical and cultural heritage. For instance, we promote academic and community practices and initiatives aimed at rethinking and representing the multicultural past and present of Kharkiv and Ukraine. The Center creates links and exchange of knowledge among universities, research centers and cultural institutions in Ukraine and internationally. Our projects contribute to the European integration of Ukraine in the academic, educational and cultural spheres.

Center for Interethnic Relations Research in Eastern Europe

The Center for Urban History is an independent research institution working across several areas: urban history research, digital humanities and archiving, and public history. The Center was born on April 16, 2004 in Vienna when Dr. Harald Binder established a private foundation with the intent to create an institutional framework for urban history research in Ukraine. One of the main aims for the Center was and remains developing an infrastructure that would support innovative research endeavors along with public outreach. Our name presents the two semantic components of who we are and what we do. “Center” stands for an independent academic entity. Independence remains our reality, our credo and our chief asset. “Urban” stands for our area of proficiency. Our primary focus is the city. “History” at the Center is interdisciplinary, crosses borders and explores new themes and approaches in research, teaching and discourse. Together these words signal our mission to explore and engage with the multitude of questions and experiences embedded in the complexity of urban societies throughout history.

Center for Urban History

Indigo is a reflection on events and reality, a medium seeking new authors, exciting views, and ideas for the future. Indigo studies trends, takes an avid interest in literature and arts as an interpretation of contemporary history. It focuses on those studying and changing the world. People, environment and culture, the city, travel, everyday rituals and global issues, the new age and its human crises—Indigo keeps an eye on and describes everything that happens around us, what amazes, attracts, scares, or inspires us.  Indigo was established in 2015 by Nino Japiashvili, Nino Lomadze, Tamar Babuadze, Tina Osepashvili, Tornike Lortkipanidze, and Bakur Sulakauri’s Publishing House, rolling out the first issue in October of the same year. 


New Europe College is an independent Romanian Institute for Advanced Study in the humanities and social sciences founded in 1994 by Professor Andrei Pleșu (philosopher, art historian, writer, Romanian Minister of Culture, 1990–1991, Romanian Minister of Foreign Affairs, 1997–1999) within the framework of the New Europe Foundation, established in 1994 as a private foundation subject to Romanian law. Focused primarily on individual research at an advanced level, NEC offers to young Romanian scholars and academics in the fields of humanities and social sciences, and to the foreign scholars invited as fellows appropriate working conditions, and provides an institutional framework with strong international links, acting as a stimulating environment for interdisciplinary dialogue and critical debates.

New Europe College