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Mecila: Maria Sibylla Merian Centre Conviviality - Inequality in Latin America

Mecila examines past and present forms of social, political, and cultural conviviality in Latin America and the Caribbean. It employs conviviality as an analytical concept to describe ways of living together in specific contexts characterized by diversity and inequality. In order to achieve this, it links studies about interclass, interethnic, intercultural, interreligious and gender relations in Latin America and the Caribbean with studies about conviviality beyond the region. In doing so, the Centre aims to establish an innovative exchange with benefits for both European and Latin American research.

Mecila is financially supported by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF).


The Centre’s headquarters have been stablished in São Paulo (Brazil) by a consortium composed of three German institutions: Freie Universität Berlin; Ibero-Amerikanisches Institut, Berlin; and Universität zu Köln, Cologne, as well as four Latin American institutions: Universidade de São Paulo and Centro Brasileiro de Análise e Planejamento, São Paulo, Brazil, Instituto de Investigaciones en Humanidades y Ciencias Sociales (CONICET / Universidad Nacional de La Plata), La Plata, Argentina, and El Colegio de México, Mexico City, Mexico. The Centre draws on the existing long-term cooperation between these institutions.

The main activities will take place in São Paulo supported by USP and CEBRAP. The partners in Argentina (IdIHCS of (CONICET/UNLP)) and Mexico (COLMEX) will contribute to a regionwide presence of the Centre and the dissemination of its results.

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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.

Subproject Cologne

The Department of Iberian and Latin American History (IHILA) at the University of Cologne will be responsible for the historical dimension of the research program. Its main task will be the development of a data management system. As the Centre is a publicly funded institution, its research data will be available to the public, unless the right of privacy is applicable. To this end, a two-stage research data archival storage infrastructure will be established for the Centre.

Teilprojekt - Personen