The last few decades have been characterised by internationalisation and globalisation. People are travelling more than ever, and more people than ever are also displaced.

Given this reality, one might imagine that the importance of specific sites would decrease over time, that people would continually search for and conquer new places, leaving old ones behind.

But for many people the importance of place seems to be more meaningful than this. In historical culture, great significance is attached to specific sites. Sometimes these places are endowed with monuments. People's mental maps of cities and other spaces play a decisive role in the way life is actually lived. Places are imbued with stories that matter to us.

Identities emerge based on the concrete location—the empirical context—and they are experienced as significant, to greater or lesser degrees, for people’s learning. An objective of the PIL projects is to make the relationship between place, identities and learning visible.

The research focus of PIL is investigating specific places and the role they play in people’s identity and/or learning. The work is interdisciplinary. Currently included in the research theme are historians, religious scholars, didacticians, sociologists, cultural geographers, social scientists and peace and conflict researchers. It is, however, also open to other fields and disciplines.