About us



The Interdisciplinary Centre for East Asian Studies (IZO)is a multi-disciplinary academic institution at Goethe University Frankfurt. The aim of research and teaching at the IZO is to study the modern cultures and societies of China, Japan, Korea and South East Asia, as well as their historic roots, from the combined perspectives of a variety of disciplines. The primary concern is to strengthen interdisciplinary, theory-led research, based on sound language skills as a prerequisite for working with sources in the original language. The Centre forms an integral part of Goethe University’s internationalisation strategy.

The IZO offers a wide spectrum of approaches to East Asian studies: knowledge about specific cultures and regions, as well as philological, historical and cultural methods, are combined with approaches from the social sciences, law and economics and their related competencies. The IZO maintains a close dialogue with the international research community in East Asian Studies, and is engaged in a wide range of collaborative activities with scholars and academic institutions in East and South East Asia. The Centre is committed to developing programmes on East Asian languages, cultures, societies, economics and law both within the University and beyond.

In addition, the IZO combines academic excellence with practice through cooperation and knowledge exchanges with institutions and representatives from the fields of business, culture and politics.

The Centre‘s primary objectives are:

  • To conduct theoretically and methodologically sound multi-disciplinary research on East Asia
  • To develop and enhance students' linguistic competence and intercultural skills in Asian languages and skills in interdisciplinary area studies
  • To link up Goethe University's activities related to East Asia in the areas of research, teaching and fostering of new academic talent
  • To disseminate East Asia-related research findings to academic and non-academic audiences
  • To increase public awareness of the significance of East Asia in relation to a rapidly globalising world. 

IZO related chairs and their staff