Centre for Latin American Studies – University of Copenhagen

Engerom-English > Research > Centres and projects > Centre for Latin Ameri...

Centre for Latin American Studies

The purpose of the Centre for Latin American Studies is to create an environment for research, teaching, and debate on Latin America at the University of Copenhagen across a wide range of disciplines, including history, sociology, politics, anthropology, language, literary studies and arts.  

Teaching, workshops, seminars and guest lectures

The centre organises workshops, seminars and guest lectures on a variety of themes. Besides following and discussing the current political situation of Latin American countries, the members and fellows of the centre present their collaborative and individual research projects and their results on an ongoing basis. Additionally, invited individual guest lecturers and lecture series regularly cover a broad variety of relevant topics, by bringing in new specialised knowledge on Latin America and new approaches in Latin American Studies.

These activities are mainly aimed at supplementing the teaching and research on Latin America at the Department of English, Germanic and Romance Studies, but are also open to the general public. Moreover, the centre aims at maintaining a close dialogue with civil society, especially through joint activities with the association Netværk for Latinamerikastudier (NETLA).

Research projects

One of the aims of the Centre for Latin American Studies is to provide a stimulating, cross-disciplinary environment for debates and discussions about Latin America, and to create an inspiring milieu, where researchers can share their research findings and receive critical feedback on their works in progress. The overall research theme of the centre is the question of power and identity in Latin America, both in the past and present.

The following gives an overview of the research activities related to the centre. For more information on an affiliate and concluded or ongoing research projects, please click on the researcher's name, and you will be directed to the individual staff homepages.

Georg Wink (Associate professor)

My research interests lie in the cultural and social history of Brazil in texts and contexts (especially narratives of national identity); the crisis of democracy in Brazil (e.g., corruption, “impeachment”, politicisation of justice/lawfare, political systems, political and macroeconomic reforms); inequality and race relations (social policies, especially Affirmative Action policies); Brazil’s new role as a Global Player (e.g., Brazil’s relations to Africa); postcolonial and decolonial cultural theory (e.g., South-South epistemologies, cultural anthropophagy, transculturality and migration), intercultural communication theory and practice; Brazilian mass media (oligopoly structures, discourses and political role); contemporary Brazilian literatures.

Concluded projects: "Sur/South – América Latina – India” on intellectual relations and the transferral of ideas between Latin America and South Asia; "Pioneers of a South-South Dialogue: The Cultural Periodical Sul (1948–57) in Florianópolis, Brazil" on cultural relations between Brazil and Africa; "When Inclusion Masks Exclusion: Disempowerment and Depoliticisation of Minority Issues through ‘Harmonising’ Discourses" as a joint research project in collaboration with the Pontifical Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro (special issue forthcoming in Brasiliana – Journal for Brazilian Studies).

Current projects: Joint research project in collaboration with the State University of Rio de Janeiro on discourses on mass media, social media and mobilisation of social movements; joint research in collaboration with the University of Brasília on literature, genre and its relations to other arts like film and music, with a special focus on popular literature or so called “sub”-literature; joint research project in collaboration with the Norwegian Institute of Urban and Regional Research (NIBR) at Oslo Metropolitan University on actors, means and objectives of political and social right wing movements in Brazil.

Jan Gustafsson (Associate professor)

My research interests focus on Latin American political culture, with special attention to left wing populism, egalitarianism and utopianism.

My current project within this framework is an edited volume on “The use of fiction and popular culture within political utopianism” (working title), done in collaboration with Elena Ansótegui and Erick Palomares (post doc at AAU). Furthermore, I work on music and subjectivity, a project which aims at studying a number of Latin American popular music genres and their relation to subjectivities and identities: Tango, national and (male) gender identity; Bolero and passionate love as the subject’s self-identification; La Nueva Canción Chilena (New Chilean Song) and the creation of a revolutionary identity; La Nueva Trova (New Cuban ‘Trova’) and the “New Man” (the ”official” revolutionary subject); Cuban Rap and the protest against a failed revolution. Last, I also do research on photographic image and literary fiction. This subject is not exclusively within Latin American studies, as it includes general literary and image theory (particularly on the photographic image), as well as empirical studies of both Latin American and Spanish literature.

Julio Jensen (Associate professor)

In Latin American societies, religion plays an important role in culture, politics, the media, and the everyday lives of people from all social segments. I am interested in the role of religion in literature and film as a manifestation of a different modernisation, than the one we know from other Western societies. The fact that religious and all manner of supernatural events appear on the same level of normality as occurrences within the “natural” order of things is, evidently, one feature of literatura fantástica and of magical realism, but this attitude towards the supernatural can be found in many expressions of Latin American culture. This points to a feature of modernity in Latin America that is represented in literature and film, and which may be uncovered in this way.

Nieves Hernández-Flores (Associate professor)

My research areas are Sociocultural Pragmatics, Face studies, Intercultural communication, (Critical) Discourse Analysis, Political Discourse, and Media Discourse in the Spanish language. I am a member of the EDICE Program board, and I am also in charge of its publications office. EDICE is a research network in sociocultural pragmatics and discourse studies in the Spanish speaking world. The program was founded at the University of Stockholm by Professor Diana Bravo in 2002, and it includes scholars from Latin American and European universities working with language and discourse in Latin America and Spain. Among other activities, EDICE arranges biannual conferences at Latin American or European universities, and has two open access journals: Revista de Pragmática Sociocultural (SOPRAG) and Revista Textos En Proceso (TEP). One of EDICE‘s purposes is to reinforce collaborations between Scandinavian and Latin American universities and research groups. 

Katrine Helene Andersen (Assistant professor)

My main research areas are Spanish and Latin American philosophy, and the relationship between philosophy and literature. I have particularly published on the works of Baltasar Gracián, Miguel de Unamuno, and recently Juan Larrea. I am currently studying Spanish philosophy in exile. I am especially interested in Spanish philosophy in its Latin American exile after the civil war, and the Spanish – Latin American interchange of ideas in the 20th century.  

Ana Vera (Research assistant)

My research focuses on the relationships between cinema, culture and society. Using an interdisciplinary framework, I examine how cinema is inscribed in cultural spaces, as well as how it can be related to and understood in the context of social, political and economic transformations. During my doctoral research, I analysed Portuguese cinema and its representations of the evolution of society, from the 1960s until 2015. This research elucidated how cultural and social changes, that occurred in Portugal during this period (e.g. Dictatorship, Revolution, Europeanisation and Postcolonial contexts), are connected with film narratives.

In my past research, I examined the impact of the financial and social crisis on productions and film narratives in Portugal and Spain. More precisely, I studied how the same event – the European financial crisis – affected and was perceived by both Portuguese and Spanish cinemas between 2008 and 2016. Through a comparative approach, I aimed at contributing to the perception of a certain Iberian affinity in dealing with this major event. Most of my published research to date has been on these topics and, mainly, related to Portuguese cinema.

In my current research project, I am expanding my focus and incorporating Brazilian contemporary cinema into my activities. Through the analysis of its representations, narratives and discursive constructions related to contemporary Brazilian political, economic and social realities, I intend to develop a wider understanding of the role and interactions between cinema with cultures and societies.

Mads Bjelke Damgaard (PhD fellow)

My research project “Media Leaks and Corruption in Brazil” has resulted in the publication of a homonymous book, with the sub-title ”The Infostorm of Impeachment and the Lava-Jato scandal”, as well as the thesis “Car Wash, Crisis, and Political Cataclysm: Corruption Narratives in the Brazilian Mediascape” (assessment pending). The book is published by Routledge in the series Routledge Studies in Latin American Politics.

The book answers two central questions concerning the unprecedented and surprising situation in Brazil: First, how could political actors in a seemingly well-functioning democracy quickly override checks-and-balances, ousting the president Rousseff and putting a corrupt vice-president in her stead? Secondly, how could the nation’s very active media, while ostensibly performing the role of the watchdog, still fail to deliver media accountability to the public? The coverage and aggregate configuration of leaks, denunciations, and trials in the media are the focus of this book, along with the consequent effects upon coalition formation and judicialisation of politics.  

Explore the data of six months of corruption scandals in the daily coverage of Brazil’s national newspapers.

Elena Ansótegui Martinez (External lecturer, visiting researcher)

My investigations mainly concern how discourses can build social realities. Research on discourses and their relationship with social realities is often limited to either a linguistic or social reading. I use the discourse of Subcomandante Marcos, the spokesman of "Ejército Zapatista de Liberación Nacional" (EZLN), to investigate how his discourse has configured a political utopia opposing the "unique thinking" spoken by the neoliberal economy. The main purpose of the project is to analyse how a discourse from a marginalised figure in southern Mexico is able to attract so many people, and to build a collective identity across national borders.

Ana Amélia Rodrigues dos Santos (Assistant lecturer)

My area of research is modern and contemporary literature with a focus on visual and digital poetry. Research and theoretical studies in this field have mainly concentrated on specific aspects of its constitution, such as the verbal sign's material form, processes involving the exploration of computer technology, intermedia relations, and the (re)conceptualisation of the poetic space. With a view to establishing an (new) insight into this poetic genre, this research aims at an understanding of contemporary visual and digital poetry from the viewpoint of the materialisation of language, meaning-making, the role of the reader, and its (social) function. It is based on a comparative study of contemporary visual and digital poems produced in Brazil and other countries, with the purpose to call attention to a poetic production not linked to a specific socioeconomic reality, but rather the product of a technological world.

Marie Ørum Wikman (PhD fellow)

My PhD project “Negotiating meanings of death. An ethnographic study among relatives of victims of police violence in the urban area of Buenos Aires” is based on an ethnographic study carried out among relatives of young men killed by the police in the urban area of Buenos Aires. Throughout the project I search for an understanding of the experiences and perceptions of the relatives with regard to these acts of violence, as well as the ways in which the judicial institutions respond to them. A basic consideration for my approach is a notion of litigation as a negotiation or dispute between the relatives and state agents, as to the meaning of the death – and value of the life – of the victim. In these kinds of cases, the victims generally come from the poorer neighbourhoods of the city, and with this project I intend to contribute to debates about the relationship between state and margins in an urban setting.

Milton Almonacid (PhD fellow)

My thesis “Articulando diálogos inter-territoriales” aims at introducing a Mapuche perspective on the Western production of scientific knowledge. The objective is to construct a global perspective/dialogue with a point of departure in the inter-epistemological problems articulated in what has been denominated as the Western global structure. The intentionality is bi-directional: in one sense, I want to visualise the reasons, arguments and logics that articulate the profound inequalities, which characterise the marginal and excluded spaces and, in another, to visualise the logics, arguments and reasons articulated from these conditions. In other words, visualise the theoretical contributions produced from the marginal and excluded spaces, with respect to the debate and construction of a global dialogue.

Raul Marroquin Rosales (PhD fellow)

Concluded.

International collaboration and visiting researchers

The Centre for Latin American Studies collaborates with individual researchers specialised in Latin America from various universities and research institutions in Denmark and the Nordic Countries, especially within the Nordic Latin American Research Network (NOLAN).

Furthermore, CLAS has institutional collaboration agreements; In January 2014, the University of Copenhagen and Freie Universität Berlin concluded an Erasmus agreement on the exchange of short time lecturers in the area of Latin American Studies. Through this, the Centre for Latin American Studies and the Institute for Latin American Studies in Berlin are strengthening the dialogue in the institutions’ common fields of teaching and research, as well as extending the existing networks to new partners. In 2013, the Faculty of Humanities, the Centre for Latin American Studies and the Colegio de Sonora in Mexico made an agreement on research collaboration and a teachers' exchange program.

Visiting researchers

The centre offers an open environment for critical thinking and academic debate, and welcomes researchers, postdoctoral fellows and PhD students from all fields of interests, to work on their own project at the centre. For more information, please contact the Director of CLAS, associate professor Georg Wink (georg.wink@hum.ku.dk) .

Certificate for students in Latin American Studies

Since the Fall semester 2018, the Centre for Latin American Studies offers the possibility to earn an additional Certificate in Latin American Studies to all undergraduate and graduate students at the University of Copenhagen, issued by CLAS and the Department of English, Germanic and Romance Studies (Engerom).

Requirements

Undergraduate Certificate in Latin American Studies (BA):

  • Proven language proficiency in Spanish and/or Portuguese (minimum level B2 in at least one language)
  • Passed undergraduate courses (minimum 45 ECTS), which include (to a relevant degree) topics related to Latin America
  • Successfully concluded (graded) Bachelor thesis (15 ECTS), which takes a relevant focus on a topic related to Latin America

Graduate Certificate in Latin American Studies (KA):

  • Proven language proficiency in Spanish and/or Portuguese (minimum level C1 in at least one language)
  • Passed graduate courses (minimum 30 ECTS), which include (to a relevant degree) topics related to Latin America
  • Successfully concluded (graded) Master thesis (30 ECTS), which takes a relevant focus on a topic related to Latin America

How to apply for the Certificate in Latin American Studies

In order to be granted the Certificate in Latin American Studies, please submit the following documents:

  • An informal application (cover letter) containing full name, student ID and contact e-mail, as well as a short personal statement on the fulfillment of the requirements (language proficiency, list of electable courses, topic of Bachelor/Master thesis). In addition, any other supporting information on the fulfillment of the requirements may be presented (such as accomplished course work on Latin America, if not evident from the course title and description, excursions, field work or student exchange to Latin America).
  • Language certificate or equivalent proof of language skills for the achievement of the required level of proficiency (if necessary, give additional information in the cover letter)
  • Transcript of records of the respective undergraduate/graduate studies, including the passed courses related to Latin American topics (as listed in the cover letter)
  • Abstract of successfully concluded and graded Bachelor/Master thesis

Applications are received and evaluated on an ongoing basis (no deadlines).

Please submit your application to the Director of CLAS, associate professor Georg Wink (georg.wink@hum.ku.dk).

“Across Latin America” - Meeting place for MA and PhD students

The Centre for Latin American Studies provides MA and PhD students, who work with Latin America at universities and research institutions in and around Copenhagen, a creative and positive meeting place. The goal is to discuss research projects, problems and challenges, we all meet when writing an academic text or doing field work. At the centre you will meet senior researchers, who have extensive experience with working in and about the region, and who will be willing to share their experiences with you. If you are interested in participating in the meetings, please contact the Director of CLAS, associate professor Georg Wink (georg.wink@hum.ku.dk).

Politics and media consulting

The Centre for Latin American Studies includes specialists, who conduct in-depth research on many Latin American regions, and possess broad interdisciplinary knowledge on the continent. We are all entirely available to share our knowledge with the broader public, especially professionals working in politics, media and business. Furthermore, we are in close contact through our professional networks with other research institutions in Europe, the US and, of course, Latin America, which allows us to find a competent contact person even for special requests.

If you have any questions, or are curious about Latin America, please contact the Director of CLAS, associate professor Georg Wink (georg.wink@hum.ku.dk), who will help you to get quality information from a competent researcher.

Researchers

NameTitlePhoneE-mail
Andersen, Katrine Helene +45 353-28415E-mail
Ansotegui Martinez, Maria ElenaPart-time lecturer  E-mail
Damgaard, Mads BjelkePhD fellow +45 353-31126E-mail
de Oliveira, Sandi MicheleAssociate professor +45 353-28430E-mail
Gustafsson, JanAssociate professor +45 353-28449E-mail
Hernández-Flores, NievesAssociate professor +45 353-28441E-mail
Jensen, Julio Hans C.Associate professor +45 353-28455E-mail
Jeppesen, Anne Marie EjdesgaardAssociate professor +45 60 15 04 75E-mail
Martins Mota Vera, Ana RitaResearch assistant +45 353-28285E-mail
Rodrigues dos Santos, Ana AméliaAssistant lecturer +45 353-32617E-mail
Wink, Georg WalterAssociate professor +45 353-29115E-mail