Proposal for the Creation of a Maria Sibylla Merian International Centre for Advanced Studies in the Humanities and Social Sciences in Latin America and the Caribbean
The proposed Centre will study past and present forms of social, political, religious and cultural conviviality, above all in Latin America and the Caribbean while also considering comparisons and interdependencies between this region and other parts of the world. Conviviality, for the purpose of the Centre, is an analytical concept to circumscribe ways of living together in concrete contexts. Therefore, conviviality admits gradations – from more horizontal forms to highly asymmetrical convivial models. By linking studies about interclass, interethnic, intercultural, interreligious and gender relations in Latin America and the Caribbean with international studies about conviviality, the proposed Centre strives to establish an innovative exchange with evident benefits for both European and Latin American research. The focus on convivial contexts in Latin America and the Caribbean broadens the horizon of conviviality research, which is often limited to the contemporary European context. By establishing a link to research on conviviality, studies related to Latin America gain visibility, influence and impact given the political and analytical urgency that accompanies discussions about coexistence with differences in European and North American societies, which are currently confronted with increasing socio-economic and power inequalities and intercultural and interreligious conflicts.
The Centre is based on a consortium consisting of three German partners (Freie Universität Berlin, Universität zu Köln and Ibero-Amerikanisches Institut) and four Latin American partners (Universidade de São Paulo (USP) and Centro Brasileiro de Análise e Planejamento (CEBRAP), Instituto de Investigaciones en Humanidades y Ciencias Sociales (IdIHCS of CONICET/Universidad Nacional de La Plata) and El Colegio de México (COLMEX)). The Centre will be located in São Paulo where its main activities will take place supported by USP and CEBRAP. The partners in Argentina (IdIHCS of (CONICET/UNLP)) and Mexico (CCOLMEX) will contribute to a regionwide presence of the Centre and the dissemination of its results.
In order to create a vivid space for transnational knowledge production and circulation marked by a symmetric cooperation between institutions and researchers from different disciplines, countries and career steps, the Centre’s activities will include: fellowships awarded in a competitive application process to outstanding junior and senior researchers from Latin America, Germany and worldwide; resident postdoctoral scholars; a research training programme for doctoral scholars; highly visible publications; regular workshops, conferences and summer schools as well as the development of an information infrastructure and a data management system.
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