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:


Transculturality and knowledge dynamics

Research project line A

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

Josafat Morales
Dr. Josafat Raúl Morales Rubio

Institution: Universidad Popular Autónoma de Puebla (UPAEP) 

Duration of stay: 2 meses (Julio 2021 - Agosto 2021)

Funding: Fondo Concursable, Universidad Popular Autónoma de Puebla (UPAEP) 

Supervisor  ZILAS: Prof. Dr. Thomas Fischer

Discipline: Historia, Sociologia

Research interests: extractivismo en America Latina, siglo XIX, imaginarios sociales 

Research project: Imaginarios sociales y extractivismo en América Latina durante la Era del Imperio (1875-1914)


Dr. Cristian Acosta Olaya

Institution: Universidad Nacional de San Martín 

Duration of stay: del 1° de mayo al 31 de julio de 2021

Funding: Short-Term Research Scholarship, DAAD

Supervisor ZILAS: Prof. Dr. Thomas Fischer

Disciplines: Hisoria política, teoría política, sociología de las identidades políticas

Research interests: populismo, violencia política, identidades políticas, teoría política, historia de Colombia y América Latina.

Research project: "El gaitanismo sin Gaitán. Identidades políticas, tradición y liderazgo en Colombia (1948-1949)"

Contactcjacostao(at) ; cacostaolaya(at)

Dr. Laura Febres

Duration of stay: 2 años (Mayo 2021 - Mayo 2023)

Funding: Katholische Universitätt Eichstätt (Stipendiatin der Alexander von Humboldt Stiftung)

Supervisor ZILAS: Prof. Dr. Miriam Lay Brander

Disciplines: Historia y literatura y pensamiento Latinoamericano

Research interests: Historia, Literatura, Pensamiento Latinoamericano y estudios de género siglo XX y XXI

Research project: Novelas en español de mujeres migrantes en Europa en el siglo XX y XXI


[Translate to Englisch:] Prof. Sanhueza-Cerda
Prof. Dr. Carlos Sanhueza-Cerda

Institution: Universidad de Chile

Duration of stay: 2-17 de noviembre de 2019

Funding: International visiting professors’ program at the KU 2019

ZILAS supervisor: Prof. Dr. Thomas Fischer

Disciplines: Historia de América Latina, Historia de la ciencia

Research interests: Historia global de la ciencia/Circulación de viajeros y saberes entre América Latina, Europa, y América del Norte.

Current research project: Las actividades estuvieron concentradas en tres grandes ámbitos: docencia, investigación y contactos para futuros proyectos colaborativos.

Por el lado de la docencia se participó en el curso dictado por el Prof. Fischer durante el semestre de invierno 2019-2020 con un módulo de dos sesiones. La primera sesión fue dedicada a reflexionar sobre las posibilidades de estudiar la historia de la ciencia en América Latina, más allá de la visión de centro y periferia. La segunda sesión se basó en un análisis de la obra Cosmos de Alexander von Humboldt y las formas cómo el naturalista accedió a los datos de lugares como Chile. Además se hizo un taller con los estudiantes de doctorado en historia de América Latina sobre cómo estudiar metodológicamente la historia del conocimiento, tanto respecto de las fuentes documentales, como de los criterios teóricos.

Respecto de la investigación. Se revisaron los archivos de la KU y se hizo una revisión del acervo bibliográfico en temas referido a la historia de la ciencia y de la técnica.

Finalmente, se discutió con el prof. Fischer la posibilidad de hacer un proyecto colaborativo de largo plazo. Se hiceron conversaciones para conocer el trabajo que realizan en la KU tanto con colaboradores, personal del ZILAS, como estudiantes de postgrado.

Contact: carlos.sanhueza(at)


[Translate to Englisch:] Salazar Vega
Andrea Salazar Vega

Institution: Universidad de Chile

Duration of stay: January-February 2019

Funding: German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD)

ZILAS supervisor: Prof. Dr. Miriam Lay Brander

Disciplines: Literatura Latinoamericana, Literaturas Indígenas y Etnolingüística

Research interests: Lengua, Literatura y Arte Verbal del pueblo Mapuche, Colonialismo, Archivo

Current research projects: Tesis doctoral titulada "Sonidos removidos: Arte verbal Mapuche conservado en archivos lingüísticos y fonotecas" dirigido por la Dra. Kemy Oyarzún y el Dr. Luis Cárcamo-Huechante.

La autora propone analizar un conjunto de dungu (discursos orales) propios del arte verbal mapuche tales como nütram, ülkantun y tayül, producidos por mapudungufe (hablantes de la lengua mapuche) en diversos lugares de Wallmapu (Territorio Mapuche), hombres y mujeres mapuche en condición de "informantes" fueron grabados por lingüistas, antropólogos/as, etnomusicólogos/as y folcloristas entre las décadas de 1950 y 1970, y cuyas voces han sido conservadas en archivos lingüísticos y fonotecas. Mediante el despliegue de un abordaje teórico metodológico interdisciplinario y colaborativo -que contempla el uso de herramientas y técnicas de análisis propias de la documentación lingüística, aspectos sobre el arte verbal y su relación con el performance, así como los recientes aportes que los estudios de las sonoridades y la música han generado en el campo de la literatura-, se entreteje una reflexión desconolizadora sobre las políticas de archivo y las producciones culturales de pueblos originarios.

Contact: andreapingen(at)


[Translate to Englisch:] Lisboa
Prof. Dr. Karen Macknow Lisboa

Institution: Universidade de São Paulo/Departamento de História (Pós-graduação)

Duration of stay: December 2018 - January 2019

Funding: German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD)

ZILAS supervisor: Prof. Dr. Thomas Fischer

Discipline: Latin American history

Research interests: Brazilian history of the 19th century, European research trips to Latin America, migration, racial discourse, nation building, identity discourses, historiography and travel literature in Latin America of the 19th and 20th century.

Current research project: The material and everyday aspects of the Bavarian natural scientists Spix and Martius’s journey in Brazil (1817-1820). Research on the origin of the collection of objects (natural history and anthropology), on the working practices of the travelers and their relationship to local inhabitants. In order to investigate these aspects, the researcher will evaluate handwritten travel diaries, letters and official reports that go beyond the published travelogue and other texts by Spix and Martius.

Contact: karenlisboa(at)



[Translate to Englisch:] Dvoskin
Dr. Nicolás Dvoskin

Institution: Universidad Nacional de Moreno, Buenos Aires (Argentina) and Centro de Estudios e Investigaciones Laborales (CEIL) - Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y Técnicas (CONICET)

Duration of stay: October 2018 - September 2019

Funding: German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD)

ZILAS supervisor: Prof. Dr. Thomas Fischer

Discipline: Economic history, business and economics

Research interests: Economic thinking in Latin America, Latin American history, Políticas Públicas en América Latina

Research project: Economic development, structural heterogeneity and social security: the incorporation of social issues in Latin America’s development planning agenda (1960 – 1980)

La presente investigación se propone continuar los lineamientos metodológicos desarrollados por el autor en su análisis de la historia de la seguridad social en Argentina durante la segunda mitad del siglo XX. Allí, la tarea de la investigación consistió en un análisis de diferentes fuentes, para así identificar qué ideas y teorías económicas aparecen en los distintos discursos . Uno de los principales resultados fue la identificación de un cambio de énfasis en el rol de las políticas sociales alrededor de mediados de los 60: mientras desde fines de la segunda guerra mundial hasta mediados de los 60 el pensamiento económico en América Latina había estado dominado por un tipo particular de desarrollismo, según el cual las cuestiones sociales no eran relevantes, desde mediados de los 70 surge un nuevo consenso, en el que las cuestiones y políticas sociales empiezan a jugar un papel mucho más importante dentro de la agenda del desarrollo. Este viraje también incluye un cambio en el diagnóstico acerca de las economías latinoamericanas, de la hipótesis del subdesarrollo a la de la heterogeneidad estructural. Este proyecto se propone profundizar las investigaciones sobre el período que se abre a mediados de los 60 y extender su alcance a otros países latinoamericanos, ampliar el corpus documental y focalizar en las relaciones entre las reformas de seguridad social y los determinantes estructurales, meso- y macroeconómicos de la heterogeneidad estructural latinoamericana.

Contact: ndvoskin(at)



[Translate to Englisch:] Gonzalez
Francisco González Granados

Institution: Universidad Nacional de Colombia (Sede Bogotá)

Duration of stay: May to November 2018

Funding: Colciencias

ZILAS supervisor: Prof. Dr. Thomas Fischer

Discipline: Political philosophy, concept history, pensamiento colombiano

Research project (doctoral thesis): El concepto de Libertad en el periodo de 1870-1886 en Colombia

¿Cuáles son los sentidos del concepto de libertad durante el periodo de 1870-1886, la experiencia histórica condensada en este concepto y sus campos semánticos? El objetivo general es establecer los sentidos de libertad a través de las líneas discursivas y campos semánticos surgidos en torno a las clases de libertades, la experiencia histórica abarcaba a través de la libertad, como concepto de registro de experiencia, y los horizontes de acción que posibilitó, como concepto generador de expectativas. Para alcanzar este objetivo general se han establecido tres momentos en el desarrollo del proyecto de investigación: 1. Descripción de los campos semánticos del concepto Libertad, mediante la propuesta de historia conceptual de Koselleck, y, a partir de las fuentes primarias de la época. 2. Identificación de las tensiones entre los sentidos del concepto Libertad. 3. Análisis de los horizontes de posibilidades articulados por el concepto Libertad.

Contact: fgonzalezg(at)



[Translate to Englisch:] Sebastio
Prof. Dr. Sebastião Rios

Institution: Universidade Federal de Goiás (UFG)

Duration of stay: June to July 2018

Research interests: Literatura, Música e Sociedade no Brasil; Cultura Popular Tradicional no Brasil, com ênfase no Congado e na Folia de Reis

Work during research stay in Eichstätt: In addition to the academic exchange with colleagues and the maintenance and further development of the institutional links between the KU and the UFG, Sebastião Rios gave two guest lectures on the following topics: 

a) The Baroque satire by Gregório de Matos and the hierarchization of Brazilian colonial society (20 de junho de 2018); disciplina de Literatura Ibérica "Siglo de Oro". Profa. Miriam Lay Brander.

b) Memory culture and ancestor worship in religious Afro-Brazilian festivals: The Congado and Pretos Velhos. Exibição do filme “Na angola tem” (38 min.), direção de Talita Viana e Sebastião Rios, legendas em alemão (21 de junho de 2018); disciplina História do Brasil no Século XX. Prof. Leonardo Pascuti.

Contact: sebastiaorios(at)


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.