About the Institute
Welcome to the Institute of Geography at the University of Hamburg. With currently eight professors, the Institute represents the full spectrum of the discipline of geography. Specific areas of research focus include climate and change, the exploration and critical interrogation of processes of globalisation and regionalisation and society-environment interactions in multiple contexts. In addition to the Hamburg region, the research activity of the Institute focuses on Latin America, southern Africa and central and southern Asia constitute.
The Institute offers a range of study programmes for both specialised geography students (B.Sc. / M.Sc. Geography, B.Sc. Geography International) and students training to become teachers. Selected courses at both Bachelor and Master level are offered in English.
The Institute for Geography at the University of Hamburg is a member of the Research Centre for Earth System Research and Sustainability (CEN) and has a central role in the Excellence Cluster “Integrated Climate System Analysis and Prediction” (CliSAP). If you would like visit us, you will find the Institute in the Geomatikum, at Bundesstraße 55 (20146 Hamburg), floors 5-8.
The Institute of Geography was established with the founding of the University of Hamburg in 1919. The Geographical Society in Hamburg and the Colonial Institute both predated the Institute of Geography, however, and prepared the ground for the establishment of a university institute focussed on teaching and research. Early research focussed on then comparatively unknown regions and countries of the world and contributed to conceptual understanding of natural and economic landscapes. Unfortunately, members of the Institute were active during the years of Nazi rule in the intellectual violation of human rights and scientific principles.
The post-war history of the Institute is marked by diverse currents stemming from highly differentiated perspectives on the discipline of geography. Included here, are traditional regional and cultural geography perspectives, critical perspectives developed following a pivotal conference of held in Kiel 1969, the emergence of postcolonial development studies and debates on the practice-relevance of geography. This difference of opinion and perspectives experienced across the discipline of geography within Germany as well as internationally led to a productive unrest in at the Hamburg institute.
Today the Institute of Geography is represented in almost aspects of the discipline. Strands of continuity with the founding era include the specific focus on world regions outside of Europe and the international outlook of its members. The diverse, worldwide engagement of the Institute, is however, counterbalanced by a strong local and regional anchoring centred on the training of professional geographers and geography teachers.