The Center for Latin American Studies (ZILAS) coordinates the entire field of research on Latin America at the Catholic University of Eichstätt-Ingolstadt (KU), advocates interdisciplinary relations and promotes their productivity. The three research lines described herein were defined in accordance with the research interests currently pursued by the members of the center in their respective subjects and disciplines. Thus, they reflect the already existing interdisciplinary network and show a profile offering perspectives for further cooperation in research – both within the KU and beyond. The outlined research projects refer to fields of interest between different subjects and disciplines providing a context for potential interdisciplinary research proposals. The center pursues the three following research lines:


Conflict and Memory

Research project line B

Participation and transformation

Research project line C

Transculturality and knowledge dynamics

Since the European colonization of Latin America, the societies in this global region have been significantly marked by processes of transculturation, which have increasingly and perceptibly developed into a symbol of our present times. A fundamental process within such transculturation, although by far not the only one, is Christianization. The encounter of indigenous, European and African cultures in Latin America manifests itself in various different forms and areas; this also includes the many different traditions of one individual continent of those three which meet on Latin American soil. In general, transculturation never leads to stable conditions. Instead, tensions characterize the encounter between the original cultures and the newly emerging societies and must be endured and handled.

From all three continental perspectives, there has been an attempt to transfer the perceptions of contrasts and tensions into their own systems of knowledge. In many cases, the aim was to stabilize the own identity, while the perceptions of otherness defied one’s own epistemic orders. In other words, the aim was to maintain one’s own entitlement to universality – to expand on these orders, to enrich them and to shift them within the tension between empirical curiosity and the axiom of the unshakable one’s own superiority. The production, circulation and transfer of knowledge from and towards Latin America include both historical and contemporary situations. The research practice focuses on institutions and parties involved as well as on knowledge media and the relationship between knowledge as a resource, state power and (post-)colonial settings.

Involved disciplines

More information on the involved disciplines and associated researchers can be found on the German website. 

Conflict and memory

Dating back to the subjugation of indigenous people and the implementation of forced labor by Spanish and Portuguese colonial rulers, Latin America offers a rich selection of illustrative material for research on the dynamisms of violent conflicts and post-conflict situations as well as processes of peace building and reconciliation. In the 19th century, the formation of political nations was accompanied by civil wars and border conflicts on the one hand and the negotiation of peace building measures on the other. In the 20th century, the subcontinent was shaken by revolutions, guerrilla fighting, drug wars and above all by numerous military dictatorships – and the people of Latin America have only begun to process these experiences in the most recent years. In contrast to hegemonic cultures of memory, the concept of memoria seeks to encourage a critical analysis of the past and its significance for present times. It focuses on dealing with traumatic experiences, as is done in the official non-judicial truth commissions and on processing the details, causes and consequences of human rights violations and recording such atrocities in literary witness reports (testimonios), which can be found everywhere in Latin America’s media landscape. Beyond the processing of a conflictual past, memoria also includes symbolic orders, institutions and practices within the realm of cultural memory, in which social groups can refer to a common past and a shared cultural heritage. The fact that the shared past cannot be traced back to a common origin due to the historical, ethnic and cultural diversity of Latin American societies constantly leads to renegotiations of the cultural and historical memory which play a major role in the conflict between governments, indigenous groups and social movements.


Involved disciplines

More information on the involved disciplines and associated researchers can be found on the German website. 

Participation and transformation

The continued existence and reproduction of multiple forms of violence, inequality and authoritarian sociocultural hierarchies indicate that there are still major problems when it comes to the consolidation of Latin American democracies. These dynamism strongly influence the conditions of political negotiation and participation and not only have a limiting effect, but also serve as an opportunity for attempts of social transformation. It is precisely these correlations in which social movements, governmental institutions and other national and inter- or transnational players become active in order to implement own ideas of citizenship, development, nature, ethnicity, gender etc. – be it with an alternative, preserving or restorative intent. Despite, or because of its difficult circumstances, Latin America has repeatedly proven to be a global pioneer when it comes to sociopolitical creativity and innovation.

The activities within the ZILAS research line C focus on these phenomena. They not only look at political participation from the classical institutionalized point of view but also take into account informal and every-day practices of negotiation. In line with the interdisciplinary concept of the center, numerous artistic and literary forms of expression as part of the political visibility and participation spectrum of the different players are considered. Such attempts at transformation do not take place in spatial or temporal isolation, but are to be understood as products of historical and contemporary ‘glocalized’ learning and exchange processes. It is thus of major importance for our research to work both within and on alternative epistemologies (decolonization of knowledge, Southern Theories, alternative historiographies etc.) and their effects on reality.

Involved disciplines

More information on the involved disciplines and associated researchers can be found on the German website. 

Visiting researchers at ZILAS

Visiting Fellow Program/ Programa de investigadores visitantes

Visiting Fellow Program

The Center for Latin American Studies (ZILAS) regularly hosts excellent visiting researchers at all academic levels, from PhD candidates to professors. In exceptional cases, research visits from excellent MA students can also be considered. Visiting fellows typically pursue research projects related to Latin America in one or more of the academic disciplines represented at ZILAS, or in neighboring fields, which cover the larger part of the humanities and the social sciences. They have access to the KU library and to the unique resources on Latin America available at ZILAS, and are provided with office space.

Visiting fellows are also invited to participate in the Center’s academic activities, such as its regular research colloquium. Often, this collaboration then leads to the forming of academic networks, which may result in more formalized or institutional cooperation, or in joint applications for research funding. Research stays are variable in length. Interested researchers should note that academic activities during the semester breaks (mid-February/mid-April and August/September), are somewhat limited in scope.

Please be aware that ZILAS does not itself offer funding for research stays of any kind. However, we will be happy to support your application for external funding with relevant grant-giving institutions. Furthermore, our International Office (welcome(at) will be available for further advice regarding your research stay. If you are interested in becoming a visiting fellow at ZILAS, please write to Claudia Velázquez-Schobert (claudia.velazquez-schobert(at) and Jochen Kleinschmidt (jochen.kleinschmidt(at), indicating

  • your name,
  • your institutional affiliation,
  • the established or targeted source of your funding,
  • the estimated rough timeframe of your stay, and
  • sending a short description of your research project (3-5 pages).


Programa de investigadores visitantes

El Centro de Estudios Latinoamericanos (ZILAS) acoge regularmente a excelentes investigadores visitantes de todos los niveles académicos, desde una candidata o candidato al doctorado hasta profesores y profesoras de carrera. En casos excepcionales, también se pueden considerar las visitas de investigación por excelentes estudiantes de maestría. Las investigadoras o investigadores visitantes suelen dar seguimiento a proyectos de investigación relacionados con América Latina en una o más de las disciplinas académicas representadas en el ZILAS, o en campos similares, que cubren la mayor parte de las Humanidades y las Ciencias Sociales. Tienen acceso a la biblioteca de la KU y a recursos únicos sobre América Latina disponibles en el ZILAS, y también se les proporciona un espacio para trabajar.

Las y los investigadores tienen la oportunidad de participar en las actividades académicas del ZILAS, como es el caso del Coloquio de Investigación. A menudo, esta colaboración conduce a la formación de redes académicas, lo que puede resultar en una cooperación más formalizada e institucionalizada, o puede resultar en solicitudes conjuntas de financiación externa para la investigación. Las estancias de investigación son de duración variable. Las personas interesadas deberán tener en cuenta que las actividades académicas durante las pausas semestrales (mediados de febrero a mediados de abril y agosto - septiembre) son de carácter limitado.

Por favor, tenga en cuenta que el ZILAS no ofrece ninguna financiación para estancias de investigación. Sin embargo, estaremos encantados de respaldar su solicitud de financiación externa con las instituciones pertinentes. Además, nuestra Oficina de Relaciones Internacionales (welcome(at) estará disponible para asesoramiento sobre su estancia de investigación. Si desea realizar una estancia de investigación en el ZILAS, escriba a Claudia Velázquez-Schobert (claudia.velazquez-schobert(at) y a Jochen Kleinschmidt (jochen.kleinschmidt(at), indicando

  • su nombre y apellido,
  • su afiliación institucional,
  • las fuentes de financiación establecidas o propuestas,
  • el período aproximado de su estancia, y
  • por favor envíe una corta descripción de su proyecto de investigación (3-5 páginas).

Stays of visiting researchers at ZILAS

Dr. Josafat Raúl Morales Rubio

Dr. Cristian Acosta Olaya

Dr. Laura Febres

Prof. Dr. Carlos Sanhueza-Cerda

Andrea Salazar Vega

Prof. Dr. Karen Macknow Lisboa

Dr. Nicolás Dvoskin

Francisco González Granados

Prof. Dr. Sebastião Rios

ZILAS publication series

Mesa Redonda

[Translate to Englisch:] Logo

The publication series Mesa Redonda was published between 1985 and 1994 in form of workbooks of the Institute for Spanish, Portuguese and Latin American Studies at the University of Augsburg (ISLA). It was an interdisciplinary series in which shorter studies on Spain and Latin America were published by researchers from Augsburg.

Since January 1995, the series is developed by ZILAS in cooperation with the Institute for Spanish, Portuguese and Latin American Studies at the University of Augsburg (ISLA) of the University of Augsburg, the  Central Institute for Regional Research Section Latin America, University of Erlangen-Nuremberg and the Research Group on Latin America at the Institute of Political Science and Sociology at Würzburg University. Meanwhile, the Mesa Redonda is published online as an open access publication. This is particularly important for the exchange with researchers based abroad, who can receive the texts much more easily in this way. In addition to edited volumes published as a result of symposia, colloquia or joint projects by German and Latin American researchers, some works by young researchers have also found a forum in the series.

The older issues have been digitized subsequently and are available in the OPAC library catalog. All new issues of Mesa Redonda are also available in OPAC. If you do not have access to the library catalog of the KU Eichstätt-Ingolstadt, you can also access the old issues on the OPUS document server at Augsburg University. The new issues are also available on this server.